Skip navigation to content

Brexit - advice and support for EU students

The University of St Andrews is global, inclusive and outward looking. We recognise that many of our students have practical and personal concerns and questions as a result of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

We are committed to ensuring that our international and diverse community of students and their families feels entirely at home here, and has access to helpful, up-to-date information and the best possible support and advice.

Leaving the EU

The United Kingdom is currently due to leave the EU. As present the terms of that exit are unknown. We will update these pages as and when new and relevant information becomes available, and students will also be kept informed directly via email.


A range of support and advice is available to students, their partners and immediate families

Rights to continue living, working and studying

EU citizens rights in the UK post Brexit

The UK government has reached an agreement on EU citizens' rights and this protects the right to continue living and working in the UK. The agreement covers both EU and non-EU family members and requires that individuals must apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland 

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EEA EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland to protect the rights of those citizens in the UK. As widely expected, these citizens and their family members will be required to apply for residence status through the EU Settlement Scheme in the same manner as EU citizens. 

Irish nationals

Irish citizens living in the UK are not required to obtain leave under the EU Settlement Scheme as their status within the UK is not linked to the UK’s membership of the EU. Irish citizens rights are protected in UK law under the Common Travel Area rules which is unaffected by Brexit. 

Irish citizens do not need to apply for EU Settled Status by may do so if they wish. Non-Irish and Non-UK family members will need to apply for Settled Status. 

EU permanent residency 

Any permanent residency document will become invalid once the UK leave the EU as their status is linked to the UK's membership of the EU.  These documents will not be a valid proof of residence or right to work after Thursday 31 December 2020. Individuals with permanent residency must either apply for Settled Status or UK citizenship, if eligible, to continue living in the UK after Brexit.

If you already hold a Permanent Residence card you will be able to apply free of charge to swap this for settled status.

EU settlement scheme

EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply under the Settlement Scheme to obtain their new UK immigration status to remain in the UK after Thursday 31 December 2020. So if your course of study finishes after 31 December 2020 or you intend to live and work in the UK after that date, you must apply to the Settlement Scheme.

Those with five years' continuous residency will be granted Settled Status; those without will be granted Pre-Settled Status. Those with Pre-Settled Status can stay in the UK for a further five years but must obtain Settled Status if they want to remain in the UK permanently.

The EU Settlement Scheme is open now and is free to apply. The Settlement Scheme is available to:

  • any student who is a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • family members of an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen.

Find out more about applying for EU Settled Status on the UK government website.

There is no need to apply now

The EU Settlement Scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019, but there is plenty of time for current students to apply. You and your family can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme at any point up to Wednesday 30 June 2021 (or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal) to continue living and studying in the UK after the transition period ends in December 2020. Those who have been resident in the UK for less than five years when they apply will be granted Pre-Settled Status and will later apply for Settled Status.

Travel after exiting EU

Students  with Pre-settled or Settled Status should be able to re-enter without a problem as your status will remain valid even in a no-deal Brexit. However, you may have to provide proof of residency to gain re-entry.


As there is still uncertainty about the documents you may need when travelling at this time, we strongly advise that you carry your student card, as well as a ‘Proof of Student Status’ letter which can be obtained from the ASC. The letter needs to be in printed format. If you require a letter, email

EU and EEA nationals arriving after Brexit

Whether or not a deal is agreed before the UK leaves the EU on Thursday 31 October 2019, EU and EEA nationals and their dependents will still be able to come to the UK to visit, work, or study.

If an agreement is reached between the UK and the EU, there should be a transition period after the UK leaves the EU in October 2019 up until 31 December 2020, during which the rights of EU and EEA nationals coming to the UK will not change.

If the UK leaves the EU on Thursday 31 October 2019 with 'no deal', the government has outlined that EU and EEA nationals and their EU and EEA dependants (spouse or partner and children under 18) arriving from Friday 1 November 2019 will be able to enter the UK and will be permitted to work and study for up to three months. Non-European family members will have to apply for and obtain a Family Permit before travelling to the UK with, or to join, an EU or EEA national family member.

Those who wish to stay in the UK for longer than three months will need to apply for 'temporary leave to remain' for three years. There will be an online application, with an application fee (which has not yet been set) and identity, criminality, and security checks. When the new immigration system is launched in January 2021, EU and EEA nationals and their family members who arrived in the UK from Friday 1 November 2019 will then need to apply for the appropriate visa under the new system.

The UK government published a policy paper on 'The UK's future skills-based immigration system' in December 2018 which sets out the likely visa requirements for EU and EEA nationals coming to visit or live in the UK after December 2020.

Tuition Fees

Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Students

The Scottish Government has confirmed that there will be no change in current funding arrangements in the event that the UK leaves the EU, and that eligible EU students already studying in Scotland will continue to benefit from tuition fee support and, for those who meet the residency requirement, associated living cost support, for the duration of their course.  This means that your fee status will not change, and the fee levels that you are currently charged will not change. 

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) have confirmed that they are committed to meeting the cost of tuition fees for all eligible EU students who have started their programme in or before academic year 2019/20, for the duration of their course.  In addition, you will still be entitled to any support you receive from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). 

Further information is available at

Research Postgraduate Students

UK Research and Innovation have confirmed that EU nationals who started Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions in or before academic year 2019/20 will continue to receive studentships on the same basis, as is available at present.

Further information is available at

Current University Tuition Fees

For up to date information on tuition fees

Health Services

All current students who were resident in the UK prior to the agreed EU exit date will be entitled to the same Healthcare arrangements as part of the Settlement Scheme.

So you can access services in the same way

UKCISA Information to Healthcare in the UK for EU, EEA and Swiss Students

Help and Advice

If you have any questions or require further information please email theasc@st-andrews

What is St Andrews doing to plan in general for Brexit?

The University’s Brexit Preparedness Group, chaired by the Vice-Principal for International Strategy and External Relations, meets regularly to consider the challenges and opportunities likely to arise from Brexit, model scenarios which might impact fees, funding, research bids and immigration statuses, and consider changes which may be required to ensure the continued smooth running of our operations.

The group’s mission is to ensure St Andrews’ resilience pre and post-Brexit, and that our staff, students and prospective students are kept appropriately informed.

Its membership ensures expert input from academic and professional services staff, risk management, planning, student recruitment, human resources, communications and student services.

The group listens closely to the concerns, ideas and experiences of our staff and students to ensure these inform our planning, risk-analysis, lobbying and communications.

We have a programme of regular, active lobbying of the UK and Scottish Governments and the EU, to ensure the voices of St Andrews staff and students are heard at the highest levels of Brexit decision-making.

Links and useful resources

Ask a question



Advice and Support Centre
79 North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 (46)2020


Student services

Eden Court
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AS
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: 01334 462720
Fax:01334 464007

Eden Court location map

Encountered any difficulties?

Not the right match?  If you haven’t formed a good rapport with your Adviser or you’ve encountered any difficulties and wish to speak informally to someone, please contact Ruth Unsworth ( or Lara Meischke (, Deputy Directors of Student Services, in the first instance.

Please also be aware that the University has Complaints Handling Procedure for formally addressing concerns.


  • Book an Appointment online
  • Documents