FOR EU/EEA STUDENTS AND STAFF
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK is now in a transition period until 31 December 2020.
Leaving the European Union will undoubtedly have implications for West College Scotland in the future – for both prospective/current students and staff. This page contains as much information available at the time of publication and will be updated as developments emerge.
THE TRANSITION PERIOD
Having left the EU, the UK is now in the transition period, otherwise known as the implementation period, until 31 December 2020. During this time, the UK will remain in both the EU customs union and single market whilst the UK and the EU negotiate their future relationship and other arrangements. That means, until the transition ends, most things will stay the same.
THE IMPACT OF BREXIT AT A GLANCE
- Travel: There will be no changes to travel arrangements until after the transition period. A new immigration system will replace freedom of movement in 2021.
- Settling in the UK: EU/EEA nationals arriving in the UK during the transition period will be able to apply for pre-settled status. Once a person has 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK, they can apply for settled status.
- Tuition Fees: Free tuition will continue to be awarded to EU/EEA nationals studying at a Scottish college for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years. The Scottish Government has not yet announced arrangements for future years.
- Erasmus: The UK will continue to participate in the Erasmus+ programme for the remainder of 2020 and planned placements will be unaffected by Brexit this year. Future participation is subject to ongoing negotiations between the UK and the EU.
There will be no changes to current visa requirements or entitlements until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. You can, therefore, travel as you normally would during this time. EU/EEA nationals coming to the UK to work or study from 1 January 2021 will require a visa under the UK Government’s current immigration proposals. Further information is available on the UK Government’s website.
Any EU/EEA nationals arriving in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for pre-settled status. You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you obtain pre-settled status. During this time you will be able to work in the UK, use the NHS, enrol in education, access public funds and travel in and out of the UK.
Once you have 5 years’ continuous residence, you will then be able to apply for permanent settled status. The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EU/EEA nationals and is free. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. You can apply now if you are eligible or choose to apply later depending on your circumstances.
The UK Government has compiled a list of things you will need before you begin the application process. Any device – for example, a laptop, Android device or iPhone – can be used for the application. Guidance has also been produced for the EU Settlement Scheme in 26 European languages. You may also wish to consult Citizens Advice Scotland for free, confidential and impartial advice prior to applying for pre-settled or settled status.
The Scottish Government has announced that EU/EEA nationals who begin studying a further or higher education course in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years will continue to receive free tuition for the entirety of their course. This includes eligible students starting Higher National courses who progress directly to year two or three of a degree.
The Scottish Government has not yet made a decision on the fee status of EU/EEA nationals beginning their studies in the 2021-22 academic year. However, we are aware that students are starting to consider where they would like to study in 2021 and we will provide further information as soon as we are able to do so.
The Withdrawal Agreement, the terms of which the UK is leaving the EU under, confirms that colleges and 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.
However, beyond 2020, the UK’s future participation in Erasmus+ will depend on the outcome of negotiations during the transition period with the EU, which will focus on the future relationship and other arrangements.
We appreciate that the Brexit process can be unsettling for both staff and students. Where possible, the College will review developments and update this page with more information as it becomes available to keep you up-to-date with how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect you.
Further information and advice can also be found from the UK Government, the Scottish Government and UKCISA. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact the College’s Student Advisory Services, Student Funding or, for staff, Human Resource departments for more information.
If you are a business and are looking for more information on how the College can support you in preparing for Brexit, please see here.
Last updated: 3 February 2020