The UK is leaving the European Union: Here’s how it affects students

The transition period ends today

In an email to all staff and students, the University of Lincoln advised students on the changes that may take place over the course of their studies.

The transition period of the United Kingdom departing from the European Union ends tonight, and there are several new rules as a result of Brexit, staff and students will need to keep in mind. In particular, the changing rules around travel and immigration, that will take place on January 1, 2021.

These are all the changes students should expect:

Overseas Travel Arrangements

The university said: “Free movement between the UK and EU will end on 31 December 2020. If you are travelling to or from the UK from a European country in the first few months of 2021, please ensure you have at least 6 months left on your passport and that your passport is less than 10 years old.

“You should also check travel and health insurance policies provide adequate cover, including for any pre-existing medical conditions.  There may be longer queues at border controls, so please plan any journeys carefully.

“If you plan to drive a vehicle, you may need an International Driving Permit and GB stickers.  You should also check your mobile phone provider’s data roaming policy.”

Lincoln provides a free airport pick-up service for overseas students arriving in the UK for the first time to study at the university. This service will be available for EU students arriving in February or October 2021.

Photo Credit: Hayden Pollard

Immigration Status and Visas:

The University of Lincoln said: “The existing Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, who can apply for settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme.

“There will be new immigration rules for all non-UK nationals moving to the UK for work or study after 31 December 2020. This includes the new Student Visa System which replaces the Tier 4 Visa. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals moving to the UK to study from 1 January 2021 will usually need a student visa.”

For EU students who are already in the United Kingdom before January 1, 2020, do not need a visa, but they will need to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30, 2021, to remain in the UK. However, EU nationals who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have British or Irish citizenship.

There will be new rules for graduates and skilled workers, including a new points-based system.

Fees and Funding

EU, EEA, and Swiss students enrolling on courses starting after August 2021 at English universities will no longer be eligible for ‘home’ fee status or financial support through the student loans system. Internation student fees will apply for EU students enrolling from August 2021, onwards.

There is no change in the fee status or financial support for EU students who have already started their courses and it applies for the duration of their courses.

The University of Lincoln said: “European students enrolling in February 2021 are classed as joining in the 2020/21 academic year and therefore would still qualify for home fee status and student finance.”

Credit: Hayden Pollard

Erasmus+ and Mobility

Universities in the UK remain eligible to participate in the current Erasmus+ programmed until the end of their current contracts, even if funding secured through the programme runs beyond the transition period.

Incoming and outgoing students on the Erasmus+ exchanges will be subject to immigration regulations from January 2021 unless an agreement is reached on the mobility of students for the purpose of exchanges.

More details are still being confirmed.

More information about Brexit can be found here.

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