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Brexit information for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens studying in the UK

On Thursday 23rd June 2016 a referendum was held to decide whether the United Kingdom (UK) should leave or remain in the European Union (EU). The decision to leave the EU won the vote. As a result of this referendum the UK was originally scheduled to leave the European Union (EU) at 11pm UK time on Friday 31st January 2020.  

Recent Events - What's Happening?

  • The EU Settlement Scheme is open.  EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and family members can apply to be considered for EU Settlement.
  • The government's Brexit bill has been approved by the House of Commons, the House of Lords and has received royal assent.
  • The date when the UK leaves the EU is 31/Jan/2020.
  • The UK will then go into a transition period that is scheduled to end on 31/Dec/2020.

For more information please visit the UKVI website. You can also visit the UK Council for International Student Affair’s (UKCISA) website

*Please note all information is subject to change at any time without notice from the UKVI.

Latest update from the Home office regarding EU Settlement Scheme 

'There will be delays in processing your application due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are not accepting documents by post.
If you’ve already started or submitted your application, please do not post any documents to us. If you post a document to us after 25 March 2020, there may be a delay in it being returned to you.
If you posted a document to us on or before 25 March 2020, we will return this to you as soon as possible'

Last Updated - 31.03.2020

Current EU Students

New arrival guidance

Brexit: Advice for EU, EEA and Swiss students arriving in the UK after the end of the transitional period (31 December 2020)

Brexit may result in a range of changes over the coming years but the friendly and multicultural atmosphere at the University of Sunderland will stay the same.

Following the result of the EU Referendum in June 2016 the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 January 2020.

The ‘withdrawal agreement’ between the UK and the EU has now passed through the UK parliamentary process, meaning that when the UK leaves the EU on 31 January 2020 it will do so ‘with a deal’ and as such will enter a transitional period until 31 December 2020. During the transitional period EU laws will continue to apply in the UK, as will freedom of movement between the EU and UK for citizens.

Status of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after 'exit day'

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who enter the UK during the transitional period will be able to do so under the current freedom of movement rules.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will have until 30 June 2021 to make an application under the EU settlement scheme (see 'Residence guidance' tab).

EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals who arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020 (the end of the transitional period) will need to do so under the new immigration system, the details of which are yet yet to be announced.

Tuition fees and loan eligibility

There will be no change to the tuition fee status of current EU students attending UK universities or for those coming for courses starting in 2019–20 and 2020–21. This means that EU students studying at UK universities will pay the same fees as 'home' students for the full duration of their course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

There has been no change in the eligibility requirements for current EU students at UK universities to receive loans and/or grants to fund their studies for the full duration of their course. The same will apply to those students who start in 2019–20 and 2020–21.

There has yet to be any announcement about the fee status, or funding eligibility for EU students at UK universities starting courses in the academic year 2021-2022.


The UK is expected to participate in Erasmus+ until the end of the programme in 2020–21. This should allow staff and students to complete mobility periods, and receive funding, through the Erasmus+ programme until the end of the academic year 2020–21.

The UK government have stated it is open to participation in the new Erasmus successor programme from 2021, although this will be part of future relationship negotiations with the EU once the scheme has been finalised¿.

Brexit: information for prospective students

Fees and Funding

Existing rules around financial support and home fees will still apply to EU students starting university in 2020/21. The Department for Education has further reassured UUK that these commitments (for England) will be honoured in the event of a no deal.

The government has confirmed that EU students starting at the University in 2019/20 or 2020/21 will be eligible for home fee status. This means that they will be charged the same tuition fees as UK students throughout the duration of their course.

EU students who have been registered at the University in 2016/17, 2017/18 or 2018/19 (either as a new or continuing student) will continue to be charged the home rate for tuition fees for all subsequent years of their programme.

EU students who are eligible for student loans, grants and PhD studentships will still be able to access these for 2019/20 or 2020/21 entry.

Erasmus+ and study abroad

We have a strong commitment to enabling students to study and work abroad. Many of our students participate in the Erasmus+ programme, which is funded by the European Commission and provides a grant for students to study and work in Europe.

There is no immediate change to our participation in Erasmus+. We will be working to protect our involvement and to preserve and develop the close links we have with some of the best European universities.

The Draft Withdrawal Agreement confirms that UK universities will continue to be able to participate in the current Erasmus+ programme until its end date in December 2020 and that there will be no change in UK-EU immigration rules until 1 January 2021.

If the UK exits the EU without a deal, the situation may change. The future of our involvement in Erasmus+ in the case of a no-deal Brexit scenario has not yet been decided.

You can contact the International Office with queries on Erasmus+ and study abroad.

Comprehensive sickness cover

The Home Office has clarified that while EU students are required to have comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI), students will not be removed from the UK or refused entry solely because they do not have it. Read the UKCISA article.


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