(The page was last updated on 14 October 2019)

We continue to value our international community at the University of Aberdeen and welcome staff from across the EU and further afield.

We remain committed to supporting our staff whilst recognising their contribution to the University, and appreciate that EU staff may have a number of questions about how the UK’s exit from the EU might affect them and their families longer term.

Whilst all the answers may not be known at this stage in the Brexit negotiations, we have developed this page to answer frequently asked questions and provide updated advice to staff.

Latest updates

Rights to continue to live and work in the UK

How will Brexit affect my immigration status?

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals will need to apply for Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status under the Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 31st December 2020 (in the event of a no-deal Brexit) or 30th June 2021 (in the event a Brexit deal is agreed). You will still need to apply for settled status if you hold a registration certificate or permanent residence document. To check the eligibility for applications please visit the UK Government webpage.

Those wishing to apply for Settled Status will require proof of residence in the UK of 5 years or more. If you have less than 5 years of residence in the UK, you can apply for Pre-Settled Status. Once you reach the qualifying period of 5 years of residence, you will be required to apply for Settled Status at that point.

How do I apply to the Settlement Scheme?

Please review the detail online regarding eligibility along with information about what evidence is required as proof of residence in the UK.

Those wishing to apply for Settled Status will require proof of residence in the UK of 5 years or more. If you have less than 5 years of residence in the UK, you can apply for Pre-Settled Status. Once you reach the qualifying period of 5 years of residence, you will be required to apply for Settled Status at that point.

Please note that the HR department have an android device available to use to make an application. Should you wish to use this device, please contact Sharon Cassidy to book a time.

It is anticipated that the processing time of applications will likely take longer as the volume of applications increase in the lead up to 31 October 2019.

The deadline for application is 30 June 2021 (in the event of a deal) and 31 December 2020 (in the event of no-deal). There is no fee for applications under the Settlement Scheme.

What support is available to staff who are non-EU/EEA & Swiss family members (dependents) of EU/EEA & Swiss citizens?

We offer the same level of support and advice that is available to EU/EEA and Swiss staff. EU/EEA and Swiss dependents that hold a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) may apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status if they meet the eligibility criteria. Further information can be found on the UK Government webpage.

The HR department have an android device available to use to make an application. Should you wish to use this device, please contact Sharon Cassidy to book a time.

Should I apply for British Citizenship?

You do not need to be a British Citizen to remain in the UK after Brexit. EU/EEA and Swiss nationals will require either Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status as outlined above.

However, should you be interested in British Citizenship, further information can be found on the Citizenship Government pages.

Rights for new entrants to the UK after Brexit

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss national and considering applying for a job at the University of Aberdeen. What should I do regarding my immigration status?

You can still live and work in the UK even after a no-deal Brexit and we would encourage you to apply.

If you are currently in the UK, you can apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status. If you are not currently in the UK, and will arrive after 31st October 2019, you can apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR). Applications for Euro TLR are free and will need to be made by 31 December 2020.

Successful Euro TLR applications will result in a period of 36 month’s leave to remain in the UK from the date the leave is granted. The application process will be online with identity, security and criminality checks.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who hold Euro TLR status and who wish to remain in the UK will only be required to apply for status under the new immigration system when their 36-month Euro TLR expires. They may apply earlier for status under the new points-based immigration system (effective 1st Jan 2021) if they wish. If they do not meet the requisite criteria under the new immigration system, they will be expected to leave the UK when their Euro TLR expires.

Can my dependents join me?

Yes, non-EU and EU citizen family members may accompany EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who move to the UK after 31st October 2019. Family members are considered as spouse, civil partners and children. Family members will be able to apply under the Euro TLR scheme in the same way as EU citizens once their EU citizen sponsor has applied. The period of their Euro TLR will not exceed the end date of the Euro TLR of their EU citizen sponsor.

Travel and a No-deal Brexit

I have travel arrangements on and over 31st October 2019. What affect will Brexit have on these?

It is difficult to predict whether there will be travel disruption or delays at Border Control Points. If you are travelling, you should check flight information ahead of arriving at the airport. Equally, you should allow for extra time in the event that EU/EAA passport lanes are no longer in operation.

The UK Government have advised that you should have 6 months’ validity on your passport.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, your EHIC card will no longer be valid. Please ensure you have completed an application for travel insurance.

EU nationals who do not currently have settled or pre-settled status should take proof of residence with them when travelling (e.g. council tax bill).

Current students without proof of residence can visit the Infohub where they will be provided with necessary documentation, free of charge. Alternatively, students can email brexit@abdn.ac.uk with their request.

I will be travelling on University business on and over 31 October 2019. What precautions do I need to take?

If you are a member of staff or a student at the University and are travelling on University business, you are strongly encouraged to book your travel through the University’s travel agent, Diversity, and should apply for a University travel insurance.

I am an EU/EEA & Swiss citizen, will I need a visa to return to the UK after Brexit?

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens will be able to enter the UK as they do now after 31st October 2019, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  Irish nationals will also not require any additional status and are covered under the Common Travel Area arrangements. 

I am a UK citizen, will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

UK citizens will still be able to visit the EU without a visa for up to 90 days. For stays more than 90 days, you should check the Foreign Office Travel Advice.

Line Manager Guidance

I am a line manager, are there changes to right to work checks post Brexit?

The Government has confirmed there will be no changes to right to work checks until the new immigration rules that take place on 1 January 2021. This is also the case in a no-deal Brexit.

I am a line manager, what should I say to new employees who join after Brexit?

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who are already in the UK (prior to a no-deal exit or the end of the transition period) will still be eligible to continue to live and work in the UK provided they apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status before 31 December 2020.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens entering the UK for the very first time after a no-deal exit will be able to do so using their passport/ID card as normal. They can apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR). Applications for Euro TLR are free and will need to be made by 31 December 2020.

Successful Euro TLR applications will result in a period of 36 month’s leave to remain in the UK from the date the leave is granted. The application process will be online with identity, security and criminality checks.

EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who hold Euro TLR status and who wish to remain in the UK will only be required to apply for status under the new immigration system when their 36-month Euro TLR expires. They may apply earlier for status under the new points-based immigration system (effective 1st Jan 2021) if they wish. If they do not meet the requisite criteria under the new immigration system, they will be expected to leave the UK when their Euro TLR expires.

Further details on this route are to be announced in due course but there is information online that can be reviewed on the UK Government website.

I am a line manager/academic, how can I support my students and staff?

Please direct staff and students who have queries about Brexit to the University’s Brexit pages

In addition, our Communications team will be issuing regular Brexit updates in the ezine over the coming weeks. If students require more detailed advice, please contact the infohub or email brexit@abdn.ac.uk. Line managers should speak with their HR Partner. 

Should we be expecting disruptions to supplies as a result of a no-deal Brexit?

We have liaised closely with external providers and framework partners to seek reassurance that the impact on services, supply and data transfers will be managed. A few departments within the University are holding some additional stock to prevent disruptions to teaching, research and services such as catering, but this is limited by storage capacity and use-by dates and is not on a large scale. Some specialised areas have made detailed plans to meet clinical needs and have identified alternative suppliers to mitigate any shortfall.


If you have questions about supply issues please contact brexit@abdn.ac.uk.

Academic Research

What will happen with EU funded projects?

Any staff holding EU grants should continue with their projects as normal. Existing projects and grants are covered by the UK government’s underwrite guarantee.

Can I still participate in EU- funded programmes?

UK participants who receive Horizon 2020 funding from the European Commission, or have submitted a bid before the EU exit and are notified of their success after exit, will be covered by the UK government’s underwrite guarantee for the lifetime of the projects.

This will support UK participants to continue to take part in Horizon 2020 projects even in a no-deal scenario, subject to continued eligibility.

Further information can be found here.

Horizon 2020 grants currently held at the University of Aberdeen have been submitted to the dedicated UKRI portal to avail of the underwrite guarantee if the UK exits without a deal. The same has been done for all Erasmus+ and INTERREG funded projects.

If you have a query about an existing EU grant, please contact Anpu Varghese or Susie Hastings at
europe-rg@abdn.ac.uk.

Can I still apply for EU funding after October 31st?

The UK government post-EU exit guarantee would cover funding for successful UK bids to EU calls open to third country participants from the date of the exit until the end of 2020. The guarantee covers the lifetime of the projects, even if they last beyond 2020.

Horizon 2020 currently operates a number of schemes that are open to ‘Third Country Participation’ which describes the status the UK would adopt once we are no longer an EU member state.  As such, UK applicants will be able to apply to those grant schemes that endorse Third Country Participation, with our activities being funded by the UKRI underwrite guarantee. Please contact your EU BDO if you’re unsure whether the call you want to apply to is open to third countries.

Erasmus

Will the Erasmus+ programme be affected?

The University of Aberdeen continues to lobby for the UK’s full participation in Erasmus+ after Brexit. We are committed to our international partnerships and to providing international opportunities for our students and staff.

The UK’s participation in the Erasmus+ programme is one of many uncertainties associated with Brexit. There are two main scenarios:

  • If the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement, the UK will participate in Erasmus+ until 2020/21.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, ie no deal, the UK will aim to secure continued participation in Erasmus+, but this is not certain.

If we are in a no-deal scenario as of 1 November 2019, we can offer the following reassurances:

  • For Erasmus+ visits in progress at the time of exit – these can be completed as planned, and participants will be eligible for Erasmus+ funding as arranged. This is covered by the European Commission Erasmus+ Contingency Regulation.
     
  • For Erasmus+ visits that are due to start on or after 1 November 2019 – unless continued Erasmus+ participation has been secured separate to the withdrawal agreement, these visits would no longer be part of the Erasmus+ programme. However, these visits should still go ahead as planned, and participants should be eligible for funding via the UK Government Guarantee.

The Erasmus Unit at the University of Aberdeen will continue to accept and encourage applications for Erasmus Staff visits in 2019/20 until the application deadline of 15 November 2019.

We will provide an update as soon as there is more clarity from the government on funding or alternative schemes to replace Erasmus.

For updates from the UK National Agency for Erasmus+.