For Staff


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Leeds is an international university and our aspiration to attract and welcome students and staff from across Europe and around the world is fundamental to our mission and purpose. 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/EU Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified by both the UK Government and the European Union and adopted into UK national law. The transition period that began on 31 January 2020 ended on 31 December 2020.

The EU and UK announced new agreements on 24 December 2020. Check for the latest Government updates. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and executive officers of Leeds University Union wrote to all staff and students in December 2020 with an update on the Brexit situation. 

On this page:

The EU Settlement Scheme – deadline approaches

The deadline for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is Wednesday 30 June 2021.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you were living in the United Kingdom by 31 December 2020, you and your family must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to work, study, and access free healthcare and benefits in the UK after 30 June 2021.

Even if you have been in the UK for many years and/or you have a permanent residence document or EEA Biometric Residence Card (BRC), you still need to apply to the EUSS (or apply for British citizenship) by the 30 June 2021 deadline to secure your existing rights in the UK.

Making an application for a child

Your children must also apply, even if they were born in the UK, unless they have British citizenship. If you are not sure, you can use the British citizenship checker to find out.

You can, of course, apply on their behalf.

Non-EEA/Swiss family members

Family members who are living with you in the UK and are not from the EEA/Switzerland must also apply to the EUSS to make sure their existing rights continue after 30 June 2021.

If you have close family members living overseas, they can apply to join you in the UK at any time, as long as you were living here by 31 December 2020.

Help is available

Help with making an application to the EUSS is available via the site  – this includes over-the-phone advice and other one-to-one support. You can also find out about community support for vulnerable citizens

After you have applied

You will receive a letter confirming your new status. If you have a passport with a biometric chip, you will not receive any physical proof of your status. If you do not have a passport with a biometric chip, you will receive a Biometric Residence Card (BRP) – any non-EEA/Swiss family members will get one of these too.

If you do not receive a BRP but need to prove your status to anyone, for example a future employer or a landlord, you will need to give them a ‘share code’ and your date of birth so that they check your status.

You should also update your profile if you receive any new documents following your application to the EUSS (for example, a new passport). Existing documentation such as National ID card can also be added to avoid any delays at the border when re-entering the UK from 1 July 2021.

If you miss the deadline

It will be possible for eligible people to apply to the EUSS after 30 June 2021. However, you must have “reasonable grounds for failure to meet the deadline”. These include physical/mental capacity, serious illness or abusive relationships – see page 31 of the Home Office’s guidance on the EUSS for details (opens as PDF). Every late application will be considered on its individual merits.

If you are unsure whether you need to apply to the EUSS, please speak to your school or departmental contact, or faculty or service human resources.

Your right to work in the UK

If you have already provided your passport or national ID card as proof of your right to work in the UK, you do not need to tell us if you have pre-settled or settled status. If you would like to tell us so we can update your personnel file, please log into your online government account and send a ‘share code’ to your school or departmental contact, or faculty or service human resources.

More information

Further information on applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is on the GOV.UK website. You can also contact the Staff Immigration team for further details

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Events, resources and support

If you have questions about the EU Settlement Scheme or, if you are a new member of staff and have questions about the new immigration system, you can contact

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.

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Please note: due to the covid-19 pandemic, significant restrictions relating to travel are in place – for the latest guidance, visit the staff travel advice section of the coronavirus website. There is also a page of visa and travel guidance for students and postgraduate researchers 

If you’re travelling overseas, please read the following advice:

  • Passports: Visit GOV.UK to check your passport meets the new rules that apply. 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. Some UK travellers looking to drive in the EU may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit. Read more on GOV.UK

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Research funding – current situation

Following the Brexit deal agreed in December 2020, it is hoped the UK will continue to be associated with Horizon Europe, subject to ratification of the overall deal and finalisation of the Horizon Europe Programme regulations. 

Draft Protocol I of the Joint Declaration on Participation in Union Programmes and Access to Programme Services states that the UK will be permitted full participation in Horizon Europe and also states that the UK may participate in Joint Research Centre (JRC) activities, European Partnerships in the form of Article 185 and 187 (Joint Programming), the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), ERICs (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) and the European Research Area Committee (ERAC). 

The UK has also reached agreement with the EU to associate to the next Euratom Research and Training (R&T) Programme 2021-2025. This agreement includes UK participation in the ITER fusion collaboration through membership of Fusion for Energy. 

The only part of Horizon Europe not accessible is the European Innovation Council Fund, which falls under the EIC Accelerator programme (formerly the SME Instrument) and provides financial support to SMEs through the European Investment Bank. Please note that various reports are misleading and sound like there is no access to Pillar 3 (see below), but it is just this specific fund within it. 

Although Friday 1 January 2020 was meant to be the first day of Horizon Europe, we are still awaiting the finalisation of the Programme regulations. As a result, no calls have been released officially and no deadlines confirmed, but we will update these pages when this changes. 

Next steps 

Once Horizon Europe is formally established and the Brexit deal ratified on all sides, there will be a formal process between the UK and the EU to conclude the association agreement. This will establish the UK's relationship to the programme legally. 

Contact the EU Team for any clarifications, and visit the Research and Innovation Service’s events page for EU funding webinars in January that will provide regular updates. 

You may also find the following online resources helpful:

  • UK Research and Innovation website on UK Participation in Horizon 2020 the EU's Flagship Science and Innovation Programme; and
  • UK Research Office (UKRO, Brussels) Brexit factsheet

Although Brexit will ultimately change the structural relationship between the EU and the UK, collaboration with our European partners will remain a priority as described in the BEIS R+D Roadmap

Information about the UK’s access to EU Funding through Horizon Europe (the next funding programme running from 2021-27) will be available on the RIS Impact on EU Research Funding website as this becomes known, although any process of association cannot be commenced until the programme is legally established which, due to the pandemic, will be in late 2020/early 2021.

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The UK has left the EU and the withdrawal agreement has been ratified by both the UK Government and the EU, which technically allows the University to fund Erasmus teaching and training visits in the 2020/21 academic year and possibly into the 2021/22 academic year. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the University is not accepting applications for Erasmus+ funded teaching or training visits until further notice. Further information about the scheme can be found on the Student Education Service website

Successor programme – post 2020
The current Erasmus+ programme ended on 31 December 2020, and will be succeeded by the Government’s recently announced Turing Scheme 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.

EU national students – current situation

A section of the University’s main website is dedicated to informing current and prospective students on issues affecting them. 

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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 visit the transition period web pages on GOV.UK

Regularly updated Brexit FAQs for universities and students are available on the Universities UK website

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Brexit – a message from the Vice-Chancellor and Leeds University Union

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk and Leeds University Union have written to all staff and students outlining what Brexit means for our community.

One-to-one immigration solicitor appointments

All international staff can book a 30-minute one-to-one meeting with Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors.

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.

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