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Thursday 21 November
Hr > Brexit > Human Resources Online : Brexit - FAQs

Brexit - FAQs

The UK is due to leave the European Union (EU) at 23:00 GMT on 31 October 2019. The process will lead to changes for existing EU staff, those wishing to work in the UK and research projects. The implementation will be different depending on whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or no deal.

As a global university we recognise that our EU students, staff, projects, partnerships and relationships are a key component of our future. During this process our priority is to ensure we support our current and incoming EU staff.

We value the richness, both academically and culturally, that colleagues from a wide range of countries bring to our community. These varied perspectives greatly improve our ability to respond to the many challenges we address in terms of education, research and our wider societal role - and we will ensure this continues..

This document answers key frequently asked questions, provides further information, useful links and guidance for EU citizens planning to or currently living and working in the UK.

How does leaving the EU affect me?

The UK’s exit will not affect the immigration status of our EU staff or those that arrive before the end of the Government’s implementation period, which is currently 31 December 2020.

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. They can then continue living their lives here as they do now.

Click the link below to find out what to do and when.

What happens to EU citizens currently living and working in the UK?

The EU Settlement Scheme enables EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and close family members (a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent) to apply to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021 (or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.)

The scheme states that EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who have been living lawfully in the UK for more than five years, and can evidence that, will be granted settled status. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens living in the UK for less than five years will be granted pre-settled status and will be able to apply for settled status once they have reached the five year period. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

This status means you will be able to:

  • work in the UK
  • use public services, such as healthcare and schoolsApply for a UK residence card
  • access public funds and pensions
  • travel in and out of the UK
  • request British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply.Apply for a UK residence card

When can I apply and how much will I have to pay?

The EU Settlement Scheme is open now and is free of charge. You have until 30 June 2021 to apply online. Your rights will remain unchanged until then, provided that you were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.

If you do not apply to the Settlement Scheme, you may not be able to continue living or working in the UK as you do now.

What if I am an Irish citizen?

Irish citizens do not need to take any action to protect their status and rights associated with the Common Travel Area (CTA). This means that Irish citizens will continue to have the right to enter, live and work in the UK without requiring permission. After the UK leaves the EU, they will continue to enjoy these rights, no matter what the terms of the UK’s exit. Both the UK and Irish Governments have committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are protected in all outcomes.

What if I have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain in the UK?

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

If you have a valid UK permanent residence document, 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 British citizenship before 30 June 2021 (or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal)

You do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have: indefinite leave to enter the UK, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, British or Irish citizenship (including ‘dual citizenship’).

How can I find advice tailored to my circumstances?

If you’d like independent advice on your immigration status, GOV.UK has information on how to find an immigration adviser in your local vicinity and these are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Further Support

If you are having difficulty applying, or would like some help please visit the International Office, on either our Cambridge or Chelmsford campuses. Offices are open 9-5, Monday to Thursday and 9-4.30 on Friday, and although we are unable to provide specific immigration advice, we can signpost you to a number of helpful resources as well as provide support with making an application for settled or pre-settled status or access to a phone to call the EU Settlement Resolution Centre.

We appreciate that these are uncertain times for our EU colleagues. We’ve a 24-hour Employee Support Helpline offering free, practical, confidential advice in a variety of areas. This service is also available to family members living with our employees.

Contact Health Assured on:

Helpline: 0800 030 5182 or from outside the UK: +44 161 836 9498

To support staff, we are offering an interest-free, tax exempt loan to cover the cost of applying for citizenship for our non-UK EU employees and/or family members. Please contact HR Services for further information.

We have also been reimbursing the costs of EU settled status applications during the pilot phase, although the government announced that they would be refunding the application fee, it has been agreed that the University will not reclaim the reimbursements made.

If you have individual questions about your application, you can contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre by calling 0300 123 7379 or +44 (0) 20 3080 0010 from outside the UK. Find out about call charges on

You can also ask a question using the online submission form

Further Information

Data Protection

We have plans in place to ensure that exchanges of personal data between ourselves and partners or suppliers based within the European Economic Area (EEA) continue as normal.

The UK government has already confirmed that in any Brexit scenario UK organisations will recognise EU law (the General data Protection Regulation – GDPR) so there are no barriers to us continuing to share data with organisations in the EEA. GDPR however will require EEA organisations to treat the UK as a ‘third country’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit, meaning that partners will need to ensure that our legal agreements contain additional conditions to make their sharing with us lawful.

If you are involved in any partnership agreements with EEA organisations, please contact the Information Compliance Team at for information on how we can update agreements to give our partners the assurance they need.

Where staff or students are conducting research which obtains personal data directly from participants based in the EEA, please see our Research Guidance. Following this guidance will ensure that research activity remains legally compliant. See also RIDO’s Research Ethics Guidance.

Where we use suppliers of software, hosting services or other support who are based in the EEA which involves them holding our personal data on our behalf, these arrangements are likely to be unaffected by Brexit.

If you have any concerns over specific arrangements relating to Brexit and personal data, please send your query to

Further advice is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Last Updated 11/09/2019