Brexit Information

Brexit – Information for Staff – Current and Prospective

Here at the University of Lincoln, we welcome thousands of new members to our community each year with the benefit of sharing views and ideas from all around the globe. As the UK has now left the European Union and as we continue to understand new details/rules as they emerge we will use this page to keep you up to date with the latest information, advice and guidance.

“We actively seek to create One Community where, whoever you are, wherever you come from, you are part of our University and you can be safe enough to be challenged and supported to grow and develop. ‘Wherever you are from, Lincoln is your home – a base for discovery, learning, and exploring your world and your future.’ (University of Lincoln – One Community)”

Key Dates

  • 31st January 2020 – UK left the EU
  • 1st February – 31st December 2020 – Transition Phase
  • 1st December 2020 – Government Introduction of New Immigration Rules
  • 31st December 2020 – Final date for individuals to be resident in the UK to apply to the settlement scheme for pre-settled status
  • 30th June 2021 – Final date for application to the settlement scheme for pre-settled or settled status

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Information for Current/Prospective Colleagues (EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals resident/ working in the UK by the 31st December 2020)

The revised UK Points Based Immigration System is currently in the ‘grace period’ up until 30th June 2021, during which time EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals can continue to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The University recognises that this may be a challenging time for many in our community, particularly those from the EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and those currently on Tier 2 visas who may be concerned about the changes. The HR department will continue to update the HR information pages to highlight relevant information, where to seek further guidance and support, along with the availability of wellbeing services.

1.1 The Settlement Scheme for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals’ resident in the UK by the 31st December 2020?

Colleagues who are EU, EEA and Swiss nationals resident in the UK by the 31st December 2020 can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for settled or pre-settled status to continue to live, work and study in the UK after 30th June 2021.

Individuals (and their family) will still need to apply for settled or pre-settled status.  Once five qualifying years has been reached, individuals may then wish to apply to update their visa to settled status.

For individuals who have not been resident in the UK for five years you can apply for pre-settled status. Once you reach five qualifying years, you can then apply to update your visa to settled status.

1.2 EU Settlement Scheme Applications

The EU Settlement Scheme is still open, and we encourage colleagues to apply as soon as possible. Individuals must have been resident in the UK by the 31st December 2020, with a closing date for applications to the settlement scheme being 30th June 2021.

The EU settlement scheme application process is free for all applicants.

1.3 What if I do not primarily live in the UK?

A Frontier Worker permit allows EU/EEA/Swiss citizens to come to the UK to work while living elsewhere. Applications to the Frontier worker route close at the end of the ‘grace period’ on 30th June 2021.

Individuals may be eligible if all of the following apply:

  • you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • you live outside of the UK
  • you worked in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • you have kept working in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here

Ref: Frontier Worker permit:Gov.uk

There are no fees to apply for the permit, and individuals do not have to pay the immigration health surcharge although, payment may be required to submit the biometric information (photograph or fingerprints).

1.4. What if I have Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK, British or Irish Citizenship, do I still need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

Individuals do not need to apply if they have: indefinite leave to enter the UK, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, British or Irish citizenship (including ‘dual citizenship’). See https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/if-you-have-permanent-residence-or-indefinite-leave-to-remain

However, if individuals choose to apply (and meet all the other conditions), individuals will receive ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’ – also known as settled status.

1.5 How will I prove my Right to Work?

 For current colleagues, the government have confirmed that there will be no requirement for retrospective right to work checks.

 For newly appointed EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals, individuals can continue to evidence their right to work in the UK by providing their passport (and/may also opt to provide their share code if they have a status under the EU Settlement Scheme) up until 30th June 2021. Noting however, that whilst the University are currently not required to check an individual’s existing right to work visa/ status under the EU settlement scheme, for employment start dates prior to 1st July 2021, candidates who do not have a right to work may be refused entry to the UK upon arrival and it is therefore important that you check your right to work status against the Governments Right to Work calculator prior to application. The University may be able to provide sponsorship for eligible roles.

1.6 Continuity of Residence: Advice if you are currently working outside of the UK

The Covid-19 pandemic, may have resulted in many European colleagues working remotely outside the UK, please be aware of the following:

1.6.1     Settled status

If you have already been granted Settled status, you can remain outside the UK for up to 5 years without affecting your status. Returning to the UK, even for one day, during a five year period of absence will mean that you won’t lose your settled status and it will reset the clock for another 5 years.

  • Pre-Settled status

If you hold Pre-Settled status, you can remain outside the UK for up to 2 years without your Pre-Settled status being cancelled however, if your absence outside the UK is more than 6 months in any 12 month period (or 12 months for an ‘important reason’, such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training or an overseas work posting) it will break your continuity of residence. While you could remain in the UK for the five years, a long absence might mean that you do not qualify for Settled status at the end of that time. You might then have to apply for a UK work visa (at significant expense) instead. If you have had a significant absence it may be worthwhile considering applying for Pre-Settled again when you return to the UK before the 30 June 2021 deadline to apply.

1.6.3 If you have not yet applied for Pre-settled Status

If you were previously living in the UK but have not yet obtained Pre-Settled status and:

  • returned before 1 January 2021 following an absence from the UK, you should apply for Pre-Settled status as soon as possible, and before the 30 June 2021 deadline, at the latest.
  • returned after 1 January 2021 following an absence from the UK, you will only continue to have a ‘right of residence’ and be able to apply for a Pre-Settled status when you return if your absences have not exceeded 6 months (or 12 months for an ‘important’ reason such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training or an overseas work posting).

It may be possible in some circumstances to submit a Pre-Settled application from outside the UK.

1.7 Absences due to Covid-19

Home Office guidance published in December 2020 states that periods outside the UK when you were ill with Covid-19, were self-isolating, or could not return to the UK due to travel restrictions, would be counted as an ‘important reason’ which would not break your continuous residence if you were outside the UK for up to 12 months. You would need to retain evidence of your illness, required period of self-isolation, or that travel to the UK was not possible to submit when applying for Settled status to explain that this longer absence was for an ‘important reason’.

If it was possible to return to the UK, but you chose not to, this would not count as an absence for an ‘important reason’ and would break you continuous residence if you were outside the UK for more than 6 months in any rolling 12 month period.

Please note: this is generic guidance and cannot cover every scenario, should you have a query related to your status in the UK now or after the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), or your eligibility for Pre-settled or Settled status, please obtain legal advice, to ensure the duration of absences outside UK will not affect your continued rights to live and work in the UK without having to obtain a UK work visa.

2. Information for Current Colleagues - with existing Tier 2 Visas

The University recognises that this may be a challenging time for many in our community, particularly those from the EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and those currently on Tier 2 visas who may be concerned about the changes. The HR department will continue to update the HR information pages to highlight relevant information, where to seek further guidance and support, along with the availability of wellbeing services.

2.1. I have an existing Tier 2 visa; how will the new immigration system affect me?

Existing visa rights will continue until/if renewal is required and at which point either a Certificate of Sponsorship under the new Points Based System will be necessary/ an alternative visa sought, as appropriate.

On 6th March 2021 the government made a further update to the Points Based Immigration system rules and determined that existing Tier 2 holders would not need to meet the revised criteria in order to transfer onto a Skilled Worker (SW) visa. Specifically, under the SW Route the requirement to meet the criteria for HE level occupations meant a significant increase in the going rates for three of those occupations, namely 2113 Physical scientists, 2119 Natural and social science professionals not classified elsewhere and 2311 HE teaching professionals. A transitional arrangement has being introduced for Tier 2 (General) migrants who continue to be sponsored in these occupations which exempts them from the higher going rates when they apply to extend their permission or settle under the skilled worker rules. The previous going rates will continue to apply for these cases for applications made before 1 December 2026.

The HR Department will support colleagues over the coming months and make contact with impacted individuals prior to visa expiration dates.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Emma Harrison in the first instance, HR Department.

3. Recruitment and Prospective Applicants –EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals (arriving in the UK after 1st January 2021) and Non-EEA nationals (arriving in the UK after 1st December 2020)

Freedom of movement between the UK and EU ended on 31 December 2020 and the UK subsequently introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS). The new system treats EU and non-EU citizens equally. Anyone coming to the UK to work, excluding Irish citizens, will now need to apply for permission in advance; this will normally be in the form of a visa, passport or status under the EU settlement Scheme if resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.

The following individuals do not need a visa for the UK, but do still have to prove their right to work before employment can commence:

3.1 How will Brexit Impact my Immigration Status and Right to Work?

EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals (arriving in the UK after 1st January 2021) and Non-EEA nationals (arriving in the UK after 1st December 2020) joining the University will fall under the new Points Based Immigration System (PBS) and require an appropriate work visa in advance of travel to the UK.

 Candidates may already have a ‘right to work’ in the UK through a Family visa, Ancestry visa or Global Talent visa for instance. However, for applicants who do not already possess a ‘right to work’ they will, in the main, require university sponsorship to apply for a ‘Skilled Worker visa’ or a ‘New Entrant visa’ under the new PBS.

3.2 What should I do before making an application?

Please refer to UK Visas and Immigration to consider your eligibility requirements to work in the UK prior to your application.

4. Business Travel - Travelling to EU from 1st January 2021

Other Brexit changes from the 1st January 2021 will include changes to all travel to the EU, with additional requirements for business travel. For full details see the following document:

Click Here

A reminder that all travel should be accompanied by a Travel Notification Form so that the relevant level of support can be put in place.

Pleas note: the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has been replaced by the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for more details see the following document:

Click Here

5. Help and Advice

a. What support services are available to colleagues?

We understand that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit may be a cause for concern. Colleagues can access confidential personal support from the University’s Care First Programme including in relation to Brexit, by phoning 0800 168 2143 from within the UK or +44 (0) 0800 168 2143 from outside the UK. Family members of staff can also access support.

Additionally, the government provides a number of routes to seek guidance on the application process should you require support in this area.

b. What guidance can I give my students?

Useful information for students can be found on the following university webpages: https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/brexit/

c. My research is EU funded, where can I seek information/advice on this?

If you are working on an EU-funded research project and you are concerned about how Brexit might affect this, Research and Enterprise are able to deal with queries on an individual basis by contacting research@lincoln.ac.uk

6. External Contacts

 

 

 

  • Assisted Digital – This free service is available over the phone and in person if you do not have the right access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form. Contact We-Are-Digital by calling 03333 445 675. To check availability of this service and for more information, visit: uk/eu-assisted-digital

 

  • ID document scanning service – This service is available to complete the proof of identity step if you do not have access to the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. There may be an administrative fee to use this service. To check availability of this service and for more information, visit uk/eu-id-scanner-locations

 

  • Community support – If you need more help with your application, you can contact a support organisation. For more information, visit uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme

 

 

Manager Guidance

 

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided here but this does not constitute legal advice and is subject to change. The University accepts no liability for content provided via third party websites.