EU settled status scheme

21 June 2018

Responding to the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme: Statement of Intent, Russell Group Chief Executive Dr Tim Bradshaw said:

“There are 100,000 EU nationals currently working and studying at Russell Group universities. These are valued colleagues and dedicated students who contribute not only to our universities but our society, and who have waited patiently, throughout two years of uncertainty, for further detail on their post-Brexit status.

“We appreciate the sincere attempt by the Home Office to design a simple and easy-to-use system. It is welcome that the Government’s explicit, default position will be to seek to accept, rather than refuse, status applications. EU students, in particular, will appreciate the flexibility surrounding proof of residence documentation, as many will not have engaged with the UK’s tax and benefits systems.

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“The ‘180-day rule’, which restricts EU nationals who are seeking settled status from leaving the country for more than 6 months in any year, will be a serious challenge for our academic community. The highly mobile nature of UK-based researchers and their ability to conduct projects abroad are essential for maintaining the UK’s position as a world leader in research and innovation.

“We urge the Government to confirm that the exemption allowing pre-settled EU nationals to leave the UK for up to twelve months including for ‘study or an overseas posting’ will give academics and researchers the greatest possible flexibility in pursuing opportunities overseas without harming their status applications.

“The Government has set an ambitious timetable for implementing the new scheme. Russell Group universities are ready to act as pilot sites and we will actively support EU nationals in our communities as they apply for status.

“In the spirit of providing greater certainty to EU nationals, we hope that the Government will soon confirm that EU students applying to study at UK universities next year will continue to receive home fee status.”

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