IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR NEW AND CONTINUING STUDENTS -  As the UK has now formally left the EU, you may require a visa to begin or continue your studies at GCU. To help you understand your immigration status, please read the following information carefully.

From the 1st January 2021, the UK has a new immigration system in place, and any EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who has not successfully applied for the EU Settlement Scheme will require a visa to enter the UK after 1st January 2021. As a GCU student, this means that to enter the UK on or after 1st January 2021, you must apply for a Student visa if you have not successfully secured settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. For further information about the EU Settlement Scheme and Student visas, please contact the VISA Team directly.  

‘Free movement’ continued until 11pm on 31 December 2020. Provided that you arrived in UK by 31st December 2020, the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme to remain resident in the UK is 30 June 2021. Please view GCU's Guide to EU Settlement Scheme applications for a step-by-step guide on the EU settlement scheme application process. We recommend you apply for this as soon as possible. 

Most EU nationals will be able to complete their application including identity verification, using a smartphone app, as outlined on our guide. However, some applicants may need to attend a Visa Application Centre if they are unable to access the app or if they do not have a biometric passport. Full details on the application process can be found on GOV.UK

More information: 

"UK's points-based immigration system: An introduction for EU students" guide

Click here for the latest information on getting ready for Brexit.

If you're an EU , EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. You can also apply if you're the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland. If your application is successful, you'll get either settled or pre-settled status. 

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

You may be able to stay in the UK without applying - for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or already have indefinite leave to remain.

 

 

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The European Union Settlement Scheme is a scheme launched in 2019 by the Home Office to process the registration of EU citizens resident in the United Kingdom prior to its departure from the European Union.

The EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open. The scheme will allow you and your close family members to continue to live and work in the UK.

It will mean you are eligible for:

  • Public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • Public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements.

* EU nationalities include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or Sweden.

The rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (EEA member states) are still being negotiated.

You do not need to apply if you are an Irish citizen (including Irish family members).

Who needs to apply?

Except in a few cases, you need to apply if:

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

This means you need to apply even if you:

If you have children, you need to apply for them separately.If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you have a family member who is an eligible person of Northern Ireland, you may be able to choose which way you apply.

 

When can I apply and the deadline to apply?

The EU Settlement Scheme is open. You can apply now if you meet the criteria.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. You must usually have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

The deadlines are different in some situations, for example if:

Which status you get may depend on when you apply.

Who else can apply

Who else can apply

You can apply to join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member if they started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.You also may be able to apply if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but:

  • you used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK (but you’ve separated, they’ve died or the family relationship has broken down)
  • you’re the family member of a British citizen and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together
  • you’re the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
  • you have a family member who is an eligible person of Northern Ireland
  • you’re the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • you’re the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, or the child’s primary carer
Who does not need to apply

Who does not need to apply

You do not need to apply if you have:

You cannot apply if you have British citizenship.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you moved to the UK before it joined the EU

You only need to apply if you do not have indefinite leave to remain. If you do have indefinite leave to remain, you’ll usually have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office saying this.

If you work in the UK but do not live here (‘frontier worker’)

You do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you’re a ‘frontier worker’ or have a Frontier Worker permit.Your close family members may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Read the guidance for what family members of frontier workers need to do to stay in the UK.

If you’re exempt from immigration control

You cannot apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. You do not need to do anything to continue living in the UK while you’re exempt from immigration control.You’ll have been told if you’re exempt from immigration control, for example because you’re:

  • a foreign diplomat posted in the UK
  • a member of NATO

Your family members may also be exempt from immigration control. If they are not, they may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.If you and your family members stop being exempt, for example if you change jobs, you will usually need to apply to the scheme within 90 days. If you stop being exempt after 30 June 2021, you’ll be able to apply after the deadline of 30 June 2021, as long as you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

 

 

How do I apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

Step #1 Before you apply The form will ask for basic factual information like names, addresses and reference numbers such as your passport, national identity card or National Insurance numbers. Make sure that you have these to hand before you begin.

Step #2 Proof of your identity Verify proof of identity and nationality by scanning your EU passport or national identity card and uploading a photograph of yourself. Alternatively, you can send relevant documentation by post.

Step #3 Proof of residence Confirm proof of residence in the UK by providing your National Insurance number, if you have one. Alternatively, other documentation may be provided.

Step #4 Criminality check Complete the criminality check by declaring any serious criminal convictions.

Please note successful applicants will get proof of their status through an online service. You will get a physical document if you are from outside the EU and do not already have a biometric residence card.

What about family member?

The EU Settlement Scheme covers all EU citizens living in the UK and their family members. Family members do not need to be from the EU; they can come from anywhere in the world (referred to as non-EU citizen family member).

Existing close family members  will be able to join their EU family member in the UK at any point in the future, as long as the relationship still exists when the family member applies to come to the UK (i.e. spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents).

Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 will also have their rights protected. Family members who are not EU citizens will need to show their relationship to an EU citizen living in UK.

What you'll need to apply

If you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen and you started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you’ll need proof of:

  • your identity
  • your residence in the UK, unless you have a valid permanent residence document, or valid indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK

You’ll need to provide this proof again when you apply to change your pre-settled status for settled status.

Proof of identity

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you need a valid passport or valid national identity card. You also need to provide a digital photo of your face.

If you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you need to provide one of the following:

You also need to provide a digital photo of your face. If you do not already have a valid biometric residence card, you will also need to provide your fingerprints (this is not needed for children 5 or under).

If you do not have any of these you may be able to use other evidence in certain situations. Contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre if you do not have any of the listed documents.

If you’re applying for your child, you’ll need to prove their identity. You might also need to prove their residence in the UK.

When you apply, you can either:

  • scan your document and upload your photo using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app using an Android phone, or an iPhone 7 or above
  • send your document in the post and upload your photo using the online application (you can take this yourself)

Scan your document

You can use the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app on:

  • an Android phone
  • an iPhone 7 or above

To scan your documents using a phone, you’ll need one of the following:

  • a valid EU, EEA or Swiss passport or ID card, if it’s biometric
  • a UK-issued biometric residence card

You can use someone else’s phone to prove your identity.

Send your document by post

You must send your document by post if you have a:

  • non-EU or non-EEA passport
  • biometric residence permit
  • non-biometric ID card

You can send other types of document in the post if you cannot use the ‘ID Document Check’ app.

If you need your documents back by a specific date, you should wait to apply. For example, if you’re going on holiday soon, apply when you come back.

Proof of continuous residence

To be eligible for settled status, you usually need to have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row. You need to provide proof of this when you apply.

If you’ve not lived here for 5 years in a row you may still be eligible for pre-settled status.

If you arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, you can give your National Insurance number to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records.

If this check is successful, you’ll not need to provide any documents as proof of residence. You’ll only need to provide documents if you have been here for 5 years in a row but there is not enough data to confirm this.

The Home Office will tell you immediately after you apply if you need to provide any documents. You should submit photos or scans of your documents through the online application form, rather than sending them by post.

Read what documents you can provide to the Home Office if you’re asked to provide more evidence.

If you have criminal convictions

If you’re 18 or over, the Home Office will check you have not committed serious or repeated crimes, and that you do not pose a security threat.

You’ll be asked to declare convictions that appear in your criminal record in the UK or overseas.

You do not need to declare any of the following:

  • convictions that do not need to be disclosed (‘spent convictions’)
  • warnings (‘cautions’)
  • alternatives to prosecution, for example speeding fines

You’ll also be checked against the UK’s crime databases.

You’ll still be eligible for settled or pre-settled status if you’ve only been convicted of a minor crime.

You may still get settled or pre-settled status even if you have other convictions. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

If you’ve been to prison, you usually need 5 years’ continuous residence from the day you were released to be considered for settled status.

If you’re not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland

You’ll usually need to provide proof of your relationship to your family member from the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

If your family member does not already have settled or pre-settled status, you will also need to provide proof of their identity and nationality and their residence in the UK.

If you’re applying to join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member

You’ll need to provide proof of your relationship to your family member from the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

If your family member in the UK does not already have settled or pre-settled status, you will also need to provide proof of their identity, nationality and that they live in the UK (for example bank statements).

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Applying for your children

Each child must have their own application. You can apply for your child or they can apply for themselves.

Your child is eligible for settled or pre-settled status if they’re under 21 and either they’re:

  • an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, but you are - or your spouse or civil partner is

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

If your child was born in the UK but is not a British citizen, they will still need to apply. You can check if they’re a British citizen if you’re not sure.

If you have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme

When you apply for your child you can ‘link’ their application to yours. This means that if your own application is successful, your child will get the same status as you.

To do this, select the option to apply ‘using your parent’s residence’, then enter your application number.

You will need to do this for each child you apply for.

You can use your own email address in the application if your child does not have one.

You can apply for your child any time after you’ve made your own application - you do not need to wait for a decision.

What proof you need

You’ll need proof of your relationship to your child when you make their application.

You’ll also need to prove your child’s identity.

You’ll also need to provide proof of your child’s residence if your child started living in the UK before 1 January 2021.

If you have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme

If you’re eligible for the scheme, make your own application first so that you can link your child’s application to yours.  

If you’re not eligible for the scheme but your child is, you can still apply for them. For example, if they live in the UK and you do not.

You’ll need to provide proof:

If your child does not have 5 years’ continuous residence

If your child does not have 5 years’ continuous residence when they apply, they’ll usually get pre-settled status.

They can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date they get pre-settled status.

You can apply to change this to settled status once they have reached 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before their pre-settled status expires - this will be 5 years after the date they got pre-settled status.

If they’ll reach 5 years’ continuous residence by 30 June 2021, you can choose to wait until they reach 5 years’ continuous residence before applying. If their application is successful, they’ll get settled status without getting pre-settled status first.

If your child is born or adopted after 31 December 2020

Your children are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, even if you’ve not yet applied yourself.

If your child is born or adopted in the UK before 1 April 2021, you must make an application for them by 30 June 2021.

If your child is born or adopted in the UK on or after 1 April 2021, you must apply within 3 months of the date they were born or adopted.

If you’re an Irish citizen

You do not need to apply for settled or pre-settled status if you’re an Irish citizen.

However, if you’re an Irish citizen and your child is not a British citizen, they’ll be eligible for either:

  • the same status that you could get, based on how long you’ve lived in the UK
  • settled or pre-settled status, based on their own residence

This also applies if you’re from Northern Ireland and have Irish, British or dual British and Irish citizenship, and your child does not have Irish, British or dual citizenship.

How to apply

Apply online for the EU Settlement Scheme.

After you've applied

If your application is successful, a letter will be emailed to you confirming your settled or pre-settled status.

Find out what rights you get for each status.

You cannot use the letter itself to prove your status.

Viewing and proving your status

You can view your status or prove it to someone else online. You will not usually get a physical document.

If you’re from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland

You will get a physical document if you do not already have a biometric residence card.

The document you get under the EU Settlement Scheme proves your rights in the UK only.

To accompany or join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you’ll still have to either:

You can still prove your rights in the UK until 30 June 2021 with your passport or national identity card (if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen), or with your biometric residence document.

Updating your details

You must keep your details up to date, for example if you get a new passport.

Applying for citizenship

You’ll usually be able to apply for citizenship 12 months after you’ve got settled status.

If the Home Office finds a mistake in your application

The Home Office will contact you before making a decision on your application, so you can correct the error.

They’ll also tell you if you need to provide more evidence before they can make a decision.

If your application is unsuccessful

You can apply again at any time until 30 June 2021 if you think the decision should have been different, for example you got pre-settled status but expected to get settled status.

There’s no charge for this.

You can submit new information or evidence if you want to.

Apply for an administrative review

You may be able to apply for an administrative review of your application if you think there’s been a mistake. It costs £80 and you’ll usually get the result within 28 days.

You’ll get your money back if the original decision is changed because of an error.

You can submit new evidence as part of an administrative review but you will not get your money back if the decision is changed because of the new evidence.

Appeal the decision

You can also make an appeal to an independent tribunal. You can only appeal applications made after 11pm on 31 January 2020.

If you already have an outstanding immigration application

In most cases, your outstanding immigration application will not be considered if you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. You’ll get a refund for your outstanding application.

Contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to find out how your outstanding immigration application will be affected.

More detailed guidance is available.

 

 

 
How can I prove I am a non-EU family member of an EU citizen?

You’ll not need to provide any evidence about your family relationship to an EU citizen if you have a valid permanent residence card issued to you under the EEA Regulations on the basis of your family relationship to that EU citizen.

If you have a valid biometric residence card (BRCas a family member of an EU citizen which does not confirm your right of permanent residence in the UK, this will be accepted as evidence of your relationship to that person if it was issued to you on the basis of that relationship and that relationship continues to exist (or did so for the period of residence relied upon).

You can tell if it’s the right type of BRC if:

  • on the back it says ‘EU Right to Reside’
  • at the bottom it says ‘Residence card of a Family member of a union citizen’ or ‘Residence card issued under the EEA regulations’

You’ll also need to provide evidence of:

  • the identity and nationality of that EU citizen
  • the continuous UK residence of that EU citizen

You’ll need to provide evidence of your family relationship to an EU citizen resident in the UK if:

  • your BRC was not issued to prove your family relationship to an EU citizen
  • your BRC was issued to prove your family relationship to an EU citizen but you’re now relying on a family relationship with a different EU citizen
  • you do not have a BRC

Further information on accepted evidence to confirm your relationship to an EU citizen can be found on the UKVI website.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance

‌Comprehensive sickness insurance is not required for the purposes of this settlement scheme; ordinary residence will remain the test for eligibility for free NHS treatment.

Further information can be found on the UKVI website for EU and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) citizens living in the UK if there is a 'no deal' Brexit.

If you intend to stay temporarily in the UK while studying and then return home you should obtain the European health insurance (EHIC)  card from your country of residence before leaving. If you are unable to get an EHIC card from your country of residence you will need to obtain separate insurance. The NHS have produced a helpful leaflet, Healthcare information for visitors and students from the European economic area (EEA) for further information NHS leaflet healthcare information.

If you're joining your EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member

You can apply to join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member if they started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. Your EU, EEA or Swiss family member will usually need to apply as well. If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK if you hold either a valid passport or identity card with a biometric chip. If you’re not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK if you hold relevant UK document, for example:

  • a residence card
  • a permanent residence card
  • a derivative residence card

Otherwise, you will need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK. Once you’re in the UK you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. If you arrive in the UK on or after 1 April 2021, you must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of the date you arrive in the UK. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You can apply if you’re the family member of an Irish citizen, even though they do not need to.

Your family relationship

You can apply if you’re in a relationship with an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen as their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner. The relationship must have started by 31 December 2020 and must still exist. You can also apply if you’re related to an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, their spouse, or their civil partner if you’re their:

  • child, grandchild or great-grandchild under 21 years old
  • dependent child over the age of 21

You can also apply as a dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent, or relative if you have a relevant document to prove your relationship. You may also be able to apply if:

  • you’re the family member of a British citizen and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together
  • you’re the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
  • you used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK
  • you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland
  • you’re the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • you’re the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, or the child’s primary carer

If you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland

You can apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland, even though they do not need to.

Follow the same process as family members of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens.

If your family member is a British citizen (‘Surinder Singh’ applications)

You may be eligible if you lived outside the UK in an EU or EEA country (or Switzerland) with your family member. You must have lived with them in an EU or EEA country (or Switzerland) before 1 January 2021, and be:

  • their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • under 21 years old, and are their child or grandchild
  • 21 years or older, and are their dependent child or grandchild
  • their dependent parent or grandparent
  • another dependent relative

The country that you lived in together must have been your main residence. Your British family member must also have been working, studying or self-sufficient in the country while there.

You cannot use the online service to apply if this is how you qualify for the scheme. Contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre online to find out how to apply.

If you used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK

You may be able to apply if you used to have a family member who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020. This is called a ‘retained right of residence’.

If you’re eligible because you have retained rights of residence, you can apply using the online service.

If you’re in education in the UK

You can apply if you’re in education and were resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and one of the following is true:

  • you’re the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has left the UK or died
  • one of your parents is the spouse or civil partner of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has left the UK or died
  • one of your parents was previously the spouse or civil partner of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has left the UK or died

If you qualify through any of these circumstances, your parent is also eligible, providing they have custody of you.

You can read further requirements at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/join-EU-EEA-Swiss-family-member

If you have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain

The process of applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is different if you have a permanent residence document or indefinite leave to enter or remain.

If you have a valid ‘UK permanent residence document’

If you have a valid UK permanent residence document, you’ll have one of the following:

  • a certificate inside your blue ‘residence documentation’ booklet (or pink if you’re a Swiss national)
  • a certificate inside your passport
  • a biometric residence card confirming permanent residence (only if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen)

Your document is not a permanent residence document if it has ‘registration certificate’ written on it.

If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland your permanent residence document will say ‘Document Certifying Permanent Residence’.

If you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, your biometric residence card will say ‘Permanent Residence Status’.

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

What you must do

To continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 you must either:

  • apply to the EU Settlement Scheme - you will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence
  • apply for citizenship before 30 June 2021

If you have indefinite leave to enter or remain

Indefinite leave to enter or remain (ILR) are types of immigration status.

You’ll usually have applied for indefinite leave to enter or remain. You’ll have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office. You could also have a ‘vignette’ (sticker) or a biometric residence permit.

You can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. However, if you choose to apply (and meet all the other conditions), you’ll get ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’ - also known as settled status.

This means you should be able to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status (instead of 2 years with the indefinite leave to enter or remain you have now).

If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.

You will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.

If you moved to the UK before it joined the EU on 1 January 1973

You may have been given ILR automatically if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who lived in the UK before 1973. If you were, you will not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK after June 2021.

If you do not have a document confirming your ILR status, you can either:

If you’re from Malta or Cyprus, you could also apply for British citizenship through the Windrush scheme.

Applications for either scheme are free of charge.