For Staff


Map of Europe

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. 

The UK and the EU have agreed an exit deal and both need to ratify the withdrawal agreement by 31 January 2020. There will then be a transition period until 31 December 2020, while the EU and UK negotiate new arrangements. Universities UK have provided a briefing on the transition period and what it means for UK universities.

Read the latest update from our Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, and Chief Financial Officer, Jane Madeley, on how we’re preparing for Brexit.

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 and 31 December 2020 if there is a no deal exit.

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; or
  • have indefinite leave to enter the UK, for example if you have a Returning Resident Visa.

Applications to the scheme are free. If you applied during one of the test phases and paid a fee, you’ll be automatically refunded on the card you paid with. You’ll get an email to confirm when your refund has been processed.

If you’re applying when the scheme is fully open, you’ll be able to send a passport or other identity documents by post. Alternatively, you can use the EU Exit ID Document Check app (currently only available for Android phones and iPhone 8).

Appointments are available to use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app on the University’s Android smartphone. Please email to book a slot.

Find out more about the application process on the government webpage, Continuing to live in the UK after it leaves the EU.


Events, resources and support

  • Advice and support: If you have questions about the EU Settlement Scheme, you can contact your local HR hub.
  • Information sessions: These regular events are hosted by Freeths Solicitors and are open to all staff. The sessions will share updates on Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme. Find out more and book your place.
  • One-to-one meetings with a Freeths solicitor: These confidential sessions are free of charge for University colleagues to discuss their individual cases. View available dates and book a slot.
  • Accessing the EU Exit: ID Document Check app: If want to use the Identity Document Check App to scan the chip in your biometric passport, but don't have a tablet or mobile device that supports the app, you can book an appointment to use the University device by emailing

Our International Staff pages on the HR website hold details of all the support available for international colleagues working at the University. The information covers life in the UK, buddy schemes and immigration.


If you’re travelling overseas during the period of withdrawal or after the UK leaves the EU, please read the following advice:

  • Travel: Colleagues and postgraduate researchers working or planning to travel overseas are asked to book their journey through Key Travel and ensure they have completed a risk assessment. Read this important safety update to find out more, including what to do if you’re travelling with a different booking agent.
  • Passports: Visit GOV.UK to check your passport meets the new rules that apply if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. In particular, on the day you travel, you'll need your passport to both a) have six months left on it and b) be less than 10 years old.
  • Driving licences: As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. In a no-deal scenario, UK travellers looking to drive in the EU may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit. Read more on GOV.UK

Research funding - current situation

While Leeds is not as dependent on European research funding as some universities are, it does account 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). 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.


If the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement, then Erasmus+ funding will be available for staff to undertake a teaching or training visit in the 2019/20 academic year. 

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, teaching or training visits that are organised by the time the UK leaves the EU can be funded. Staff who believe they are in a position to fully organise their visit prior to the date of departure are advised to contact the Study Abroad Office as early as possible for further advice.

Staff planning visits are advised to:

  • seek reassurance from your host institution that your visit can continue; and
  • refer to immigration advice issued by the country you plan to visit.

In a no-deal scenario, Erasmus+ funding will not be available to staff to undertake teaching or training visits organised after the date the UK leaves the EU.  


If you’re supporting a student on an Erasmus+ study or work placement, our main website has a useful guide on what they can expect after we leave the EU. 

For the latest information on Brexit and Erasmus+, please visit the Erasmus+ website.

Successor programme – post 2020

The current Erasmus+ programme ends on 31 December 2020, and 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 could include the UK once we leave the EU.

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.

Useful links and future updates

Future updates

We’re committed to ensuring that EU national colleagues are kept up to date on developments directly affecting them - to hear the latest:

While the University endeavours to keep the information on our websites 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.


Brexit information sessions and one-to-one meetings

Hosted by Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors, information sessions on Brexit and one-to-one meetings offering legal advice are now available to book.

Presentation from Brexit information session

The presentation given by Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors, at the 14 November information session is now available to download.

Brexit: a joint message from the University and LUU

It is now seven months since the University and Leeds University Union sent a joint message to staff and students in expectation of an imminent departure from the EU.

EU settlement scheme app available on iPhone

If you’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, the EU Exit: ID Document Check app is now available for iPhone 7, 7 plus, 8 and newer models.

Presentation from Brexit information session

The presentation given by Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors, at the 8 October information session is now available to download.

Inside Track - Hai-Sui Yu and Jane Madeley: Getting ready for Brexit

Our Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International and Chief Financial Officer share how we are preparing for Brexit.

Browse Brexit by date