Advice and Guidance for EU students
We are proud of our richly diverse student community, and value highly the contribution of all European citizens in making Buckinghamshire New University a great place to both study and work.
BNU is a university where higher education transcends geopolitical borders. The transformative nature of the education we deliver is bolstered by the opportunities to share and embrace different cultures, providing our students and graduates with a breadth of perspectives to ensure they rise to the global challenges they face.
It is this enriching experience which enables our students to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them make a real difference to society and the world.
The UK's withdrawal from the EU
The UK-EU withdrawal agreement has been signed by EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council president Charles Michel. The EU will leave the UK on 31 January 2019 at midnight, and an 11-month transition period will then begin.
During the transition period – which runs until the end of 2020 - the UK will still follow all the EU's rules and regulations on trade, travel and business. The UK will remain in the single market and the customs union, and the free movement of people will continue.
You can find out more on the UK Government’s website.
EU Settlement Scheme: Settled and Pre-settled status
The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. It has also reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland.
These agreements mean that most citizens from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to apply to stay in the UK, and can then continue their lives in the UK as they do now.
Our current EU, EEA and Swiss citizens citizen students who want to continue living in the UK must apply for settled or pre-settled status.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will usually get settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme if they’ve started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period (known as ‘continuous residence’). EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with settled status can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status.
If EU, EEA and Swiss citizens do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when they apply, they’ll usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can then apply to change this to settled status once they’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. They must do this before their pre settled status expires. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with pre settled status can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status. They will need to maintain their continuous residence if they want to qualify for settled status.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with settled or pre settled status will be able to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS for free, if they can at the moment
- enrol in education or continue studying
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if they’re eligible for them
- travel in and out of the UK.
Settlement Scheme: Important Dates
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who start a course in England in the 2020-21 academic year or before will continue to be eligible for home fee status and student finance support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course.
Arrive in the UK before 1 January 2021
No changes; apply for EU Settlement Scheme to stay longer than 30 June 2021 (if you want to remain in the UK beyond 30 June 2021 and keep ‘home fee status’ beyond this date)
Arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 and start your course before 31 July 2021
Changes to immigration status, no changes to fee status
Arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 and start your course after 1 August 2021
Changes to immigration status and fee status (for studies in England or Scotland)
Current student, returning to resume studies
No changes; apply for EU Settlement Scheme to stay longer than 30 June 2021 (if you want to remain in the UK beyond 30 June 2021 and keep your ‘home fee status’ beyond this date)
It is possible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK
Frequently Asked Questions
Information for current students
Yes. Most EU citizens will need to apply to continue living and studying in the UK after it leaves the EU.
If you haven’t already done so, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The application deadline is 30 June 2021.
You do not need to apply if you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.
Brexit guidance for EU students in the UK, and how to apply for settled status, can be found on the Government’s website.
The EU settlement scheme is designed to offer EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens and their eligible family members living in the UK the opportunity to protect their residence in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
Please keep up-to-date with information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs’ (UKCISA) website for further information about how Brexit might impact your immigration status.
Universities Minister for England, Chris Skidmore has announced that there will be no change to the tuition fee status of EU students who begin their studies in the 2019/20 or 2020/21 academic years.
This means that there will be no change to the tuition fee status of current EU Bucks students, and that fees will continue to be at the applicable home fee rate for the duration of your course.
Eligibility requirements for current EU students to receive loans and/or grants to fund their studies for the full duration of their course remain unchanged. More information can be found on the Student Loan Company webpage.
The UK continues to participate in Erasmus+ as a full EU member state at this time.
Under the UK-EU withdrawal agreement, the UK would continue to participate in the Erasmus+ programme until 2020-21 and EU funding for participants would be unaffected.
For further information, please visit the Erasums+ website.
If you were studying in the UK and have returned home during the pandemic and are continuing with your course online in your home country (when you would otherwise be studying in the UK), you are able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK, so long as you are able to prove that you are still continuously resident in the UK. This means that you must not have been absent from the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period, except for a single absence of no more than 12 months for an important reason, for example due to studying outside the UK because of COVID-19. You will still be continuously resident in the UK for the purposes of the scheme.
If you have commenced your course online in your home country due to COVID-19, and you would otherwise be studying in the UK, you will be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as long as you arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you are unable to arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020, you will be required to apply to the Student route under the points-based immigration system, to commence studying in the UK.
EU Citizens interested in studying at BNU or who are holding an offer
- EU, EEA and Swiss nationals are able to use the new ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app which will use a chip in their passport to verify an applicant’s identity. If the chip is broken, or someone is unable to use the app then they will be directed to a Visa Application Centre to register biometrics instead.
- Those able to use the UK Immigration ID check app when applying will receive electronic notification of UKVI’s decision. This will set out the full conditions of their immigration status.
- They will also be able to check their immigration status and its conditions at any time using the ‘view and prove’ service on GOV.UK. This online service will provide a secure record of someone’s immigration status which is held digitally by the Home Office and is available to them at all times.
- The ‘view and prove’ service can also be used to share and evidence of someone’s rights in the UK – such as the right to work or study – by giving organisations or people, such as employers or universities access to the relevant information about their immigration status.
- EU, EEA and Swiss students can continue to visit the UK for up to 6 months, without applying for a visa and may participate in short term study. All nonrecreational study must be undertaken at an accredited institution. Recreational courses undertaken for leisure, that last no longer than 30 days and which do not lead to any formal qualifications, will not need to be undertaken at an accredited institution.
- The 6-11 month Short-term study route is distinct from the main student route and requires applicants of all nationalities to obtain a visa before travelling to the UK. This route is specifically for people taking English language courses, and it does not require sponsorship and does not permit work.
Universities Minister for England, Chris Skidmore announced that there will be no change to the tuition fee status of EU students who begin their studies in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 academic years.
This means that EU students studying at BNU will pay the same fees as 'home' students for the full duration of their course, even if the course you’re interested in finishes after the UK has left the EU.
The UK government has not issued any guidance on fee status or student support for those commencing study in 2021-22. We will share any updates here.
Eligibility requirements for EU students to receive loans and/or grants to fund their studies for the full duration of their course remains unchanged for those applying to commence their studies in 2019/20 or 2020/21.
How Brexit might affect your travel plans
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country.
The UK government has asked all 31 countries to keep valid EHIC cards in use for UK citizens until 31 December 2020.
Travellers in the EU and beyond are advised to have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC. Check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions.
The UK Government has published a website tool to help you check a passport for travel to Europe after Brexit.
Full guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit can be found on the Government's website.
If you have a full UK driving licence you won’t need an additional licence to drive in the EU during the transition period which is due to end in December 2020.
The Government is advising that you will need a GB sticker for your car when driving in the EU after Brexit.
A Green Card is evidence of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. Currently, you do not need a motor insurance Green Card to drive a UK registered vehicle in the EU, EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.
From 31 January 2020, UK registered vehicles may need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA.
Please visit the Government’s website for the latest information about driving in the EU after Brexit.
Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK.
After Brexit, these rules will no longer apply. However, some UK companies have said they may continue to offer this benefit to their customers. Please check with your mobile phone provider.