For Staff

Brexit

Leeds is an international university and our aspiration to attract and welcome students and staff from across Europe and around the world is undiminished. We are working to ensure that, as Brexit progresses, EU national students and staff can continue to study and work at Leeds, with support and regular advice as the national policy picture becomes clearer. 

Read the full text of the Vice-Chancellor’s statement following the referendum in 2016, and his 2017 Leader Column in the Reporter.


EEA and Swiss national staff - current situation


All EEA and Swiss nationals who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, and wish to remain and work here after the end of the planned implementation period, will need to have applied for pre-settled or settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

You will not need to apply if you:

  • are an Irish national
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, though you can choose to swap this for settled status which will allow you to spend longer outside the UK without losing your status
  • have indefinite leave to enter the UK, for example if you have a Returning Resident Visa.

We have more than 800 EEA and Swiss national colleagues at the University, who are a valued part of our community and integral to our current and future success. To support them, we have widened our reimbursement scheme to include the cost of applications made by individual employees. 

If you are a University employee who has applied for settlement during one of the test phases, you can reclaim the £65 fee via e-expenses, by logging in with your normal username and password.* The details and conditions of the reimbursement scheme, and step by step guidance for completing a claim, are available in the Immigration Reimbursement Guidance document.

If anything is unclear, please speak to your manager or your Human Resources hub.

* On 21 January it was announced that EU nationals applying via the EU Settlement Scheme will not have to pay a fee when the scheme is fully rolled out by 30 March. An application fee still applies during the test phase, but costs can be reclaimed through the University. We'll share further information as we have it. Read about the announcement on GOV.UK.

Resources and support for EEA and Swiss colleagues

Guidance on settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families: The GOV.UK website holds information on what settled and pre-settled status means, who should apply, settled status if you're under 21, getting settled status in less than five years and applying for settled status. Visit the website

One to one meetings: These sessions are free of charge and for University colleagues to discuss their individual cases. If you're interesting in booking a personal meeting, please contact Lisa Courtney

FAQ (updated 17 January 2019): Download our FAQ document to find out more about the EU settlement scheme and the public test phase. Download the FAQs

Sample scenarios (updated 17 January 2019): We’ve developed four sample scenarios to help guide you through what action you might need to take depending on your job role and how long you have been a resident in the UK. Download the sample scenarios.

Policy paper published on citizens' rights in the event of a no deal Brexit: In the event of a no deal exit from the EU, the Government has published a policy paper on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. Read it here 

Video of the EU Settlement Scheme information session: Freeths Solicitors hosted this special event for University colleagues on 19 November 2018, discussing the EU settlement scheme in general, the voluntary pilot which took place in Nov/Dec 2018 and they also answered a wide range of questions on immigration. Watch the recording.

Future updates

We’re committed to ensuring that EU national colleagues are kept up to date on developments directly affecting them. Updates are available from:

HR’s International Staff pages hold details of all the support available for international colleagues, including Brexit news, legal update sessions and updates from UK Visas and Immigration.

Please contact Lisa Courtney (0113 34 31833) in Human Resources for further information about immigration. 


Research funding - current situation


While Leeds is not as dependent on European research funding as some universities, it is nonetheless of great importance, accounting for nearly 16% of our research income.

Horizon 2020

The Government is encouraging UK research and innovation to continue to apply for Horizon 2020 (H2020) funding. It has confirmed we will be eligible to participate for the duration of the programme and intends that any funding received will be honoured for the lifetime of the project. In August 2018 the UK Treasury agreed to extend the underwrite to cover all of H2020. This is a backup solution and would only apply in the case of a ‘no deal’ scenario. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) remains confident that this will not be required and that the terms of the transition agreement will still take precedence as part of an overall Brexit settlement in October. 

Read the government’s ‘UK participation in Horizon 2020’ overview for full details.

Successor programme – post 2020

The next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be called Horizon Europe. This programme is due to commence in 2021 and will run for seven years replacing the existing Horizon 2020 programme (2014-2020). As this programme will start after the end of the proposed withdrawal from the EU, the UK’s relationship with this programme will need to be negotiated from scratch. In May 2018, the Prime Minister announced that the UK Government would be prepared to make an appropriate financial contribution in return for full access to and some form of influence over Horizon Europe as part of the proposal for a UK-EU Science and Innovation Accord.

This information note, developed by Universities UK, provides an overview of the European Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe, the background to the proposal and the key features. It also provides information on the legislative process that will be followed.

Erasmus+

The Government has stated publicly that the UK is committed to ongoing full participation in the Erasmus+ programme until departure from the EU, with the caveat that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. In principle, we will continue to benefit from all EU programmes, including Erasmus+, until the end of the current budget plan (2014-2020).

Even if the above is not finally agreed, the government’s promise will stand, that it will underwrite successful bids for Erasmus+ funding submitted while the UK is still in the EU, even if they are not approved until after we leave. Visit the Erasmus+ website for full details.

Successor programme – post 2020

The current Erasmus+ programme ends on 31 December 2020, and it will be succeeded by a new iteration of the programme running across a seven-year cycle. The proposal for the successor programme outlines some important innovations that would make it more accessible to a more diverse community of learners and beneficiaries. It also features a pathway for participation for 'third' countries, which would include the UK once we leave the EU on the 29 March 2019. It is important to note that the UK will remain in the current Erasmus+ programme until its end on 31 December 2020. This information note, developed by Universities UK, outlines some of the changes and new features of the programme, including how the UK might participate once we have left the EU.

Please note: If you experience any examples of being omitted from EU bids, please contact Ben Williams who will continue to collate examples and liaise with BEIS accordingly. 


EU national students – current situation


A section of the University’s main website has been created, dedicated to informing current and prospective students on issues affecting them. This includes a letter sent to all postgraduate researchers by Professor Claire Honess, Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

While the University endeavours to keep this information as up to date as possible, it cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. For the latest information from the government, please visit the Department for Exiting the European Union website. Regularly updated Brexit FAQs for universities and students are also available on the Universities UK website.

Updates

EU Settlement Scheme fee waiver

The Prime Minister has announced (21 January) that EU nationals applying for the EU Settlement Scheme will not have to pay a fee when the scheme is fully rolled out by 30 March.

Brexit: Public test phase of EU settlement scheme begins

The test phase opens to the public on 21 January. To support colleagues we’ve developed several resources and have appointment slots available to access the Home Office app on an Android smart phone.

Brexit: UK reaches agreement on citizens' rights

The UK Government has now reached agreement on citizens' rights with Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein (EEA EFTA countries) and Norway.

EU Settlement Scheme: New public test phase announced

The Home Office will launch another voluntary pilot scheme which will be open more widely for EU nationals wishing to apply early for their new immigration status.

Brexit: New skills-based immigration system announced

The UK Government has issued a White Paper on the future of the immigration system in the UK.

EU Settlement Scheme pilot ends this week

The Home Office has now removed the pre-registration step from the application process so there is still time to apply, details on how to reclaim the cost of the application have also been updated.

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