Human Resources

Brexit Staff FAQs

I am a non-UK EU national. Do I need a visa to continue working at the University?

Nothing has changed in relation to your immigration status or ability to work in the UK. If there were to be any changes to your ability to work in the UK in the future, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements have been reached in relation to issues such as freedom of movement.

I am a Norwegian, Icelandic, Liechtenstein or Swiss national, how am I affected?

As with EU nationals, there is no impact on your employment status as a result of the referendum.

Will I have to pay for medical care?

Nothing has changed in relation to your ability to receive NHS medical care in the UK. Again if there were to be any changes in the future relating to access to medical care, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements had been reached regarding the status of EU citizens in the UK.

What support services are available for employees?

Employees can access personal support from the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) on a confidential basis. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for staff.

Where can employees go for further information about visas and immigration?

HR will be able to provide general information via the following email address: StaffEUqueries@port.ac.uk.

The University will continue to assess what further support can be made available.

What is the immediate impact of the EU Referendum?

There is no immediate impact on the rights of nationals from the UK living in the European Economic Area (EEA). The UK remains a part of the European Union (EU), and therefore the EEA, until the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement. From the point that the UK notifies the decision stating its intention to withdraw, the UK has two years in which to leave the EU, unless otherwise agreed. It is widely believed that the full two years will be needed for the UK to negotiate its withdrawal from the EU although there is no minimum stated deadline.

As the UK is still part of the EU this means that UK nationals and their family still have the right to live and work, study, be self-employed or live self-sufficiently in EEA countries.

Non- EEA family members of UK nationals also continue to have the same rights to live and work in EEA countries while the UK remains in the EU.

What happens when the UK leaves the EU?

The EU has not yet announced the position that it will take in relation to UK nationals, and non-EEA family members of UK nationals, living in Europe after the UK leaves the EU.

It is widely anticipated that some kind of transitional arrangements will be introduced to enable UK nationals, and their non-EEA family members, who are already living in Europe to continue to live and work in those countries.  The UK government has so far released the following statement: “When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected.”  The full statement can be read here.

Can I apply for any documentation?

Some UK nationals living and working in EU countries may wish to apply for documentation which they believe may make their position more secure once the UK leaves the EU. 

FAQ’s specific to the Phase 2 pilot scheme

How long will the pilot scheme run for?

The pilot scheme will run from 15 November 2018 until 21 December 2018, after this date the scheme will close again and no further applications can be made via this pilot.

What is the definition of staff during the pilot scheme? 

This is anyone who is employed by or engaged by the institution.  This includes staff on open ended contracts, fixed term, casual, zero hours contracts, contractors and students currently working for the University.

Who can apply during this test phase? 

EU citizens or family members of EU Citizens who work at a higher education institution (HEI) and are able to access the android app to upload their EU biometric passport or BRP for non EU citizens.  If you have an older style passport without the biometric chip you will not be able to apply, or if your visa is a vignette in your passport you will not be able to apply at this stage.  You will be able to apply in March 2019 when the full scheme rolls out.  This stage is designed to test the digital scanning technology and is not the full settled status scheme which will allow all eligible citizens to apply.  

What is the definition of EU citizen and family member who can apply via this phase 2 scheme? 

EU citizens who work for HEIs or family members of EU citizens where the family member works at a HEI are eligible to apply via the phase 2 scheme.

Examples:

German man working for HEI, Chinese wife not working for HEI, he can apply, she cannot apply

German man not working for HEI, Chinese wife working for HEI, he cannot apply, she can apply

German man working for HEI, Chinese wife working for HEI, both can apply

How long should it take to complete the application form? 

Based on phase 1 of the pilot UKVI have stated it should on average take 10-20 minutes to complete the form.

I am applying during the phase 2 pilot but my DWP records do not cover 5 years? 

Applicants will be able to supplement additional records with their application.  They must apply initially electronically, and supplementary information can be added later.

What if I need to provide additional information to support my application will I still be able to apply via the test phase? 

As long as you are able to upload your passport/BRP via the android app you will be able to apply, if you require to submit additional documents to support your application you will be able to do so by scan, photo or email (e.g. documents supporting missing months of evidence).

How many applications are UKVI expecting during this pilot period? 

UKVI are expecting up to a quarter of a million people to apply during this phase (this figure includes HEI staff and those in the Health Sector).  This is only a test phase, the full scheme will be open in March 2019 and will be available to all.

I don’t live in the UK but I work for a HEI can I apply? 

The settlement scheme is for EU citizens living in the UK, however dependent upon your residence status you may be eligible to apply, for example, if are you working away on a secondment but usually based in the UK.  You should physically be in the UK to make an application.  If you are on secondment abroad you should come back to the UK to make the application.  If you do not want to do this during the trial period you can wait until after March 2019 when the scheme is fully open and apply on your return to the UK. 

Do I have to complete the whole application at once? 

No, you do not need to complete this in one go, you can part complete and come back to it at a later time.

How long will UKVI take to process applications? 

This is highly dependent upon the volume of applications, however during the phase 1 pilot applications were being processed in one week.  UKVI are aiming to maintain this time scale or process within two weeks maximum.  Live data will go onto the UKVI website to give a real time view on timescales on applications, but this may not happen during the pilot phase.

I am a casual worker for the University can I still apply for settled status during the pilot phase? 

Yes, you do not need to be in regular work with a HEI to apply for settled status.

Will the University reimburse me the fee for EU settled Status?

 During this pilot stage the University is not reimbursing staff for the cost of obtaining settled status.

General FAQs for the EU Settlement Scheme

Where can I find out more information about settled and pre-settled status? 

The Gov.uk website has dedicated pages to both settled and pre-settled status.  For full details on the scheme, who is eligible and how to apply can be found  here.

What is the difference between settled and pre-settled status?

Settled status – for those who have been in the UK for 5 years or more (equivalent of Indefinite leave to remain)

Pre-settled status – for those who have been in the UK for less than 5 years (equivalent of Limited leave to remain)

How long will the scheme be open for? 

The scheme will be opened fully in March 2019 and EAA citizens have until 30 June 2021 to apply.  From 1 July 2021 EU citizens without settled status will need a UK immigration status.

I don’t have access to an electronic device to make an application, what should I do? 

UKVI is working with local authorities to provide access to devices when the scheme rolls out in March 2019.

How do I know if my device will be able to upload the scanned documents?

UKVI have not provided the technical spec for this, but, if your device is able to make contactless payments it will meet the specification for uploading documents.

I’m concerned about the security of my information, how will UKVI ensure this is safe? 

UKVI advise there are no security risks to uploading information using the app, as none of your personal details or scanned documents/information are stored on the device.  The process can be started on a compatible device and saved, and can be continued on another device if required.

What if there is a ‘no deal’ scenario on 29 March 2019? 

UKVI are expecting a deal to be in place, however if not the rights of current employees will be protected, they will still be able to work, and still be able to apply for settled status.

What is the future immigration system going to look like? 

Currently there is no further information on this. Policy is being worked on, however UKVI are currently just focusing on resident EAA citizens.

Will I get a provisional decision on my application? 

Yes, after payment stage of the application process you are asked to confirm the status you are applying for (settled or pre-settled) and you will be provided with a result.  This is only an interim result; the final decision will be made after submitted documents have been reviewed by UKVI.  Currently final decisions are being made within 1 week of application.

I have been in the UK for over 5 years will I need to evidence my whole time in the UK? 

No, UKVI are only interested in the last 5 years to evidence your application.

Can I apply for British citizenship after I gain Settled Status?

Yes, once you have been in the UK 1 year after obtaining settled status you will be eligible to apply for citizenship.

I have applied for British Citizenship should I also apply for settled status? 

No, if you apply for citizenship now you will not need to apply for Settled Status.

I hold dual citizenship, one of which is British will I need to apply for settled status? 

No, if you are a British Citizen you cannot apply for settled status.

I already have permanent residence in the UK will I need to apply for settled status? 

Yes, if you have permanent residence in the UK you will need to apply for settled status as this is equivalent to Indefinite leave to remain. Permanent residence documents will not be valid after 31 December 2020.

Will I have to pay the fee if I have permanent residence? 

No, the application system will ask a question about your current status and if you have a permanent residence card or letter. You will need to provide the reference number on this card/letter and the process will skip payment.

How will I evidence my Status once UKVI have processed my application? 

Once your status has been confirmed you will receive an email containing a letter confirming that your status (settled or pre-settled) has been granted, the date granted and details of any public funds you have access to.  You will also receive access to an online system confirming your status that can be shared with employers.

I am an Irish citizen do I still need to apply?

No, there is no requirement for Irish citizens to apply, but you may apply if you want to.  We will keep Irish citizens update on the process who can then choose to apply.

Why might I choose to apply if I am an Irish citizen? 

It may help prove status in years to come should you be considering bringing family members to the UK anytime in the future.

What will I need to do if I have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) already, and if I apply will I need to pay? 

You can choose to apply for settled status if you already hold ILR, but you will not have to pay. By doing so you will be able to live outside the UK for 5 years instead of 2 years with ILR, giving you more protection. The application system will ask a question about your current status and if you have ILR.  You will need to provide your ILR reference number and the application will then skip payment.

Does my employer need to keep a record of outcomes on their HR systems? 

No, currently there is no requirement for employers to hold records on settled status of EU citizens, and this is expected to remain the case until the end of the implementation period of the UK leaving the EU.

Will I receive a BRP similar to that of non-EU individuals in the UK? 

No, this a digital system and process.  You will receive an email with a letter confirming your status and access to an online record.

How will I prove my status in the future? 

As this is a digital status you will be able to give employers / landlords access to your digital information to prove your status. There is currently no additional right to work checks required for employers to undertake.  UKVI are gradually implementing digital online status and this system is trialling the method, additional information on this will follow in due course, but currently has not yet been announced.

I have a permanent residency document already; will anything change? 

No, this will not change, and after 1 year if you are eligible and want to apply for citizenship you will be able to do so. You will need to apply for Settled Status through the scheme if you do not intend to apply for citizenship, and you will not have to pay the fee.  You will need to enter the reference number from your permanent residence document at the payment stage to skip paying the fee.

I need to provide additional documents to support my application, will I have to provide these immediately?

No, if UKVI require additional information to support your application you will be given a deadline to respond (usually a few weeks after application) and they will attempt to contact you 3 times during this period to chase the information before making a decision.

If I do not provide supporting documents will my application be refused?  

UKVI will not necessarily refuse applications, however if you applied for settled status and the supporting documents required are not provided it is likely UKVI will give you pre-settled status over settled status.

If my application is refused can I appeal? 

Yes, if the status you applied for is refused you will be able to apply for a review process. For example, if you applied for settled status, but received pre-settled status and you believe an incorrect decision has been made.

I have been resident in the UK for 4 years if I apply for pre-settled status now will I automatically obtain settled status when I have been here 5 years? 

No, if you apply now you will be granted pre-settled status.  UKVI cannot assume citizens are still here or still want settled status after 5 years, therefore if you want to apply for settled status you will need to apply again once you have been here long enough. There is no additional charge for moving from pre-settled status to settled status. Alternatively, you may prefer to not apply for pre-settled status now, and wait until you have been here 5 years (as this will be before December 2020) and apply for settled status only. 

I have been living in the UK for 6 years, and will apply for settled status now, will I still need to apply for citizenship if I want it? 

Yes, there is no assumption you are eligible, or will want it, if you want citizenship you will need to apply for it.

Can my settled status lapse if I leave the UK? 

Yes, current immigration rules state your status will lapse if you are out of the UK for 2 consecutive years. Assuming there is a Brexit deal this will increase to 5 years being out of the country before settled status for EU citizens