Advice on the implications of Brexit for EEA and Swiss students

We appreciate that as the UK prepares to leave the EU, students and their families may be anxious about how this could affect their studies.  We have put together information that we hope will help answer some of the main questions you may have on the implications of Brexit and your status in the UK.

If you have any further concerns, please email our International Student Adviser on immigrationadvice@aber.ac.uk

Which students will be affected when the UK leaves the EU – also known as Brexit?

Brexit will affect students from Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

If I am a current student, will I need to apply for a visa to remain in the UK?

No, currently, Swiss and EEA students do not require a visa to continue studying, working in the UK, or to enter the UK.  If you plan to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020, you should consider applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Please note that, in any scenario, British and Irish citizens will continue to have the right to live, study or work, in either state after the UK leaves the EU. 

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The UK government has set up the EU Settlement Scheme as a way for Swiss and EEA nationals to demonstrate that they are allowed to live, work and study in the UK.  We would advise students who would like to settle in the UK in the future, or, who are due to graduate in July 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

When should I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

You do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before the UK leaves the EU.

If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, also referred to as a ‘no-deal Brexit’, you have until 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement in place, you have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

I am currently overseas on exchange, can I still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

Yes, students currently on exchange can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from the 9 April 2019.

Can I still use a national ID card to enter the UK?

You will be able to enter the UK using your national ID card until at least the 31 December 2020.  You may wish to consider applying for a national passport if you do not have one.

Can I travel home for the 2019 Easter or Summer holidays and return to the UK without a visa?

Yes, your status is protected, at least until 31 December 2020, and it is therefore fine to travel in and out of the UK.  We would advise you to travel with a copy of your ‘Registration Certificate’ that can be requested from: Student Record>Personal>Student Letter Requests>’Registration Certificate’.

Will I still be able to access health care in the UK after Brexit?

In a ‘no-deal’ scenario, Swiss and EEA citizens and their family members lawfully residing in the UK on the date that the UK leaves the EU, will be able to continue to access healthcare on broadly the same terms as now.

Will my tuition fees be affected? And, will I be able to access Student Finance?

EU nationals who intend to study in Wales for the academic year 2019/20 and 2020/2021 will be eligible to pay the same tuition fees as Welsh students and will be eligible to receive loans and/or grants from Student Finance Wales (SFW) for the duration of their course – subject to the existing eligibility criteria.

Is the university running any sessions to provide advice to students?

Further to the drop-in sessions offered, the International Student Adviser will be running Brexit and EU Settlement Scheme workshops in April and May 2019.  Students can also request individual appointments by emailing immigrationadvice@aber.ac.uk.

Where can I find further information?

For latest updates and further information, please see the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA): https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/EU-EEA--Swiss-Students/Brexit-what-does-it-mean-for-students-and-their-family

Who can I contact in the university if I need further advice?

If you are not able to find the information that you are looking for, please email the International Student Adviser on immigrationadvice@aber.ac.uk