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 undiminished. 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 now been ratified by both the UK Government and the European Union and has been adopted into UK national law.  A transition period now comes into place until 31 December 2020, while the EU and UK negotiate new arrangements. Universities UK has provided a briefing on the transition period and what it means for UK universities.

The Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, addressed the latest Brexit position in his Inside Track article in January. In addition, in October our Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, and Chief Financial Officer, Jane Madeley, set out Brexit preparations at that point, some of which would still be applicable, particularly in the event of a no-deal Brexit at the end of the transition period.

EEA and Swiss national staff – current situation

Following our departure from the EU, there is no change to the rights of EEA and Swiss nationals who are already resident in the UK, or those who arrive before 31 December 2020. 

However, most EEA and Swiss nationals who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, and wish to continue to live and work here beyond that date will need to apply for pre-settled or settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

You will not need to apply if you:

  • have British or Irish citizenship (including dual citizenship);
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, although you can choose to swap this for settled status, which will allow you to spend longer outside the UK without losing your status; or
  • have indefinite leave to enter the UK, for example if you have a Returning Resident Visa.

You will need to apply even if you have Permanent Residence; your permanent residence document will not be valid after 31 December 2020.  

Applications to the scheme are free. You’ll need to start by downloading the EU Exit ID Document Check app (currently available for Android phones and iPhone 7 and above) to scan your biometric passport or, if you’re a non-EEA/Swiss family member of an EEA/Swiss national, your biometric ID card. If you don’t have a compatible handset, you can email to book an appointment to use the University’s Android phone. If you don’t have a biometric document, you can send your passport or other identity documents to the Home Office by post.

Find out more about the application process on the government webpage, Continuing to live in the UK after it leaves the EU.

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Events, resources and support

  • Advice and support: If you have questions about the EU Settlement Scheme, you can contact your local HR hub.
  • Information sessions: These regular events are hosted by Freeths Solicitors and are open to all staff. The sessions will share updates on Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme. Find out more and book your place.
  • One-to-one meetings with a Freeths solicitor: These confidential sessions are free of charge for University colleagues to discuss their individual cases. View available dates and book a slot.
  • Accessing the EU Exit: ID Document Check app: If want to use the Identity Document Check App to scan the chip in your biometric passport, but don't have a tablet or mobile device that supports the app, you can book an appointment to use the University device by emailing

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

  • Travel: Colleagues and postgraduate researchers working or planning to travel overseas are asked to book their journey through Key Travel and ensure they have completed a risk assessment. Read this important safety update to find out more, including what to do if you’re travelling with a different booking agent.
  • Passports: Visit GOV.UK to check your passport meets the new rules that apply if the UK leaves the EU without a deal at the end of the transition period. 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. In a no-deal scenario, 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

The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement ensure that the UK will continue with its committed contributions to H2020, allowing continued participation in these programmes until the end of 2020. 

This means:

  • all current awards from these programmes will continue as normal;
  • all applications pending evaluation will follow the same process as previously;
  • applications to remaining calls that involve UK partners are eligible for the remainder of the programme under the same terms and procedures, with funding received from the European Commission as normal; and
  • any project funded in H2020 that includes a UK Beneficiary will have its funding honoured until the end of the project duration, even when this falls well beyond 2020.

You may 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. Information about the UK’s access to EU Funding through Horizon Europe (the next funding programme running from 2021-27) will be provided as this becomes known, although any process of association cannot be commenced until the programme is legally established in the last quarter of this year.


The University has submitted a bid for Erasmus+ funds to support staff teaching and training visits in the 2020/21 academic year. The outcome of the bid is expected in May 2020. Further information about the scheme can be found at 


If you’re supporting a student on an Erasmus+ study or work placement, our main website has a useful guide on what they can expect depending on the year they’re due to study or work in Europe.

For the latest information on Brexit and Erasmus+, please visit the Erasmus+ website.

Successor programme – post 2020

The current Erasmus+ programme ends on 31 December 2020, and will be succeeded by a new iteration of the programme 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.

This information note, developed by Universities UK, outlines some of the changes and new features of the programme, including how the UK might participate once we have left the EU.

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EU national students – current situation

A section of the University’s main website has been created, dedicated to informing current and prospective students on issues affecting them. This includes a letter sent to all postgraduate researchers by Professor Claire Honess, Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

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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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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.

Presentation from Brexit information session

The presentation given by Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors, at the 8 October information session is now available to download.

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