KCL Brexit Briefings: the Settlement Scheme Explained


King’s Principal Professor Edward Byrne updates students on the Brexit situation. The email sent on October 21 highlights dates for Brexit briefings organised by KCL Advice & Guidance Team. The next session is scheduled for 1 pm on Friday, October 25, at Strand campus.

“Following a majority vote by the UK Parliament at the weekend, the Prime Minister has sent a letter to the EU to request a three-month delay to Brexit. However, the UK Prime Minister is intent on the UK leaving the EU on 31 October 2019 and exiting with no deal in place remains a possibility,” wrote Principal Ed Byrne in his email to KCL students.

The most recent events around the hot topic of Brexit got many EEA, EU and Swiss students and staff members worried. Therefore, Principal Ed Byrne highlighted the importance of KCL Advice & Guidance Team  in the case of any insecurities and queries. The team’s first “Brexit briefing” was held on October 22 at Waterloo.

“Only four EU students turned up. There was also an Australian who was interested,” one of the attendants told Roar.  

Although not a lot of people showed up, the briefing provided valuable information regarding the possible future necessities for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens that would like to remain in the UK. The team broke down the information regarding the new Settlement Scheme. 


All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their eligible family members who “are living in the UK prior to the planned Brexit day of October 31, 2019”.


The deadline for application depends on the outcome of the events. In case the UK leaves the EU without a deal people will be able to apply until December 31, 2020. In case the current deal is accepted people that were living in the UK by December 31, 2020 will have the opportunity to apply until June 30, 2021. 

 Who should apply?

  • Students whose courses go beyond December 31, 2020
  • People who want to remain in the UK for further studies or work after December 31, 2020
  • People who wish to (or think they may) remain in the UK after December 31, 2020

*“If you have already been granted “Right to Reside” or “Permanent Residence” in the UK under EU law, apply under EU settlement scheme to protect your status under UK law.” 

The Scheme:

  • Free to apply
  • There is a “settled” and a “pre-settled status”

Criteria for application for settled status:

  • Living in the UK by December 31, 2020 in a (current) deal scenario or by October 31, 2019 in a “no deal” one
  • Having a status of ‘continuous residence’: a 5-year period without being absent from the country for more than 6 months in a 12-month period 

* Case of permitted absence: a single absence for more than 6 months, but without exceeding 12 in the case of working placement, studying, health reasons or other “important reasons”.

  • Can retain settled status if not absent for more than 2 consecutive years

Criteria for application for pre-settled status:

  • Living in the UK by December 31, 2020 in a (current) deal scenario or by October 31, 2019 in a “no deal” one
  • Not having a status of ‘continuous residence’ (the case for most undergraduates that may be affected by Brexit)
  • Granted for 5 years
  • People become eligible to apply for settled status after 5 years of continuous residence
  • Can be retained if the person is not absent for more than 2 consecutive years. However, eligibility for applying for settled status can be lost if the person is absent for longer than 12 months.


The application can be done from both within and outside of the UK. Before the actual application, however, you need to confirm your identity, a process that can be done both electronically and by sending your physical documents by post. Although most people prefer the online method, there are some important restraints that have to be pointed out. You can confirm your identity online through the “EU Exit: ID document check” app which was recently launched. However, until the recent days it was present only on android devices. Luckily, it is now available on iPhone 8 and will soon be downloadable on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as Apple’s App Store indicates. Unfortunately, everyone who does not use any of those devices, would have to send their physical documents by post in order for the government to check those. In case you are applying for a settled status, you need to send evidence of residence or permitted absences, if any. Meanwhile, all students are required to send their confirmation of studies letter.

The app on App Store

As many students shared that they were afraid of travelling with an ID, the following statement serves as their relief:

“For the time being, border crossing arrangements will remain unchanged. EU citizens will enter the UK as they do now, using their passport or national identity card. They will be able to use eGates if they are travelling on a biometric passport, and they will not face routine intentions testing.

The UK will also be phasing out the use of EEA national identity cards for travel to the UK. This will happen during 2020. More details will be provided in due course.”

In terms of healthcare, EHIC and CSI advise everyone to take advantage of their right while those agencies are still under EU Law. In terms of working, in the (current) deal scenario, there would be no changes until December 31, 2020. After that, however, people will be required to show a document proving valid UK immigration status, such as the one provided by the EU Settlement Scheme. In a “no deal” scenario nothing changes for those living in the UK before exit day (October 31) until December 31, 2020. However, if applying for a job after that date, employers will check for a valid UK immigration status in addition to passports or IDs. 

Furthermore,  a new immigration scheme incorporating both EU and non-EU is to be introduced in early January, 2021. In addition, KCL formed a Brexit Preparation Committee that works hard in order to secure the best outcome for students and help them go through the situation.

*Information accurate on 22nd October 2019 as all information is subject to changes.

For more information and application consult Gov.uk.

The next Brexit briefing will be held at 1 pm on October 25 in Bush House, South East wing, room 4.06 . If you have any questions to the KCL Advice & Guidance Team, book your place here.


For questions contact the Advice & Guidance Team:

Bush House (SE): 4th floor Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 1-3 pm

Advice Line: 02078487001 Tuesday: 1-3 pm; Friday: 9-11 am

Email: Advice@kcl.ac.uk

Or consult the following webpages:

KCL Intranet Brexit Pages


UK Council for International Affairs (UKCISA)

Deputy Editor @ Roar News. Liberal Arts. Content creation, design, photography. Huge nature and mountain lover.

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