Current students

As you are now likely aware, the UK has left the EU and the transitional period will end on 31 December 2020.  This means that any EU or EEA national who is currently in the UK and is planning on continuing their studies with Heriot-Watt University beyond 1 January 2021 will be subject to the immigration rules in place at this time.

To help you understand the options open to you regarding your immigration status beyond this date we have produced this short guide.

The EU Settlement Scheme

If you intend to remain in the UK from January 2021 it would be highly advisable to apply for the EU settlement scheme  which is available to all eligible EU/EEA citizens. This is a free online form and you can apply for this from inside or outside the UK, in other words, from your home country

If you are thinking of returning home for Christmas and have applied for pre-settled status, you need to ensure you arrive back in the UK by 31 December to keep your status.  If you apply but do not travel to the UK until after 1 January 2021 you will require a visa to be in the UK for your studies.

There will be significant advantages for any EU/EEA student or applicant who is able to make an application for settled or pre-settled status and arrive or remain in the UK by 31 December 2020

Being granted pre-settled or settled status gives you permission to travel to or remain in the UK after 1 January 2021 without having to apply for a relevant visa to come to the UK to study or work.

If you are in the UK by 31 December but have not applied for the EU Settlement Scheme, you need to have done so by 30 June 2021.

Do I need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

If your current programme of study at Heriot-Watt University ends in May 2021 and you are in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 you don’t need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme since your rights as an EU or EEA citizen will remain until 30 June 2021. However, we would strongly advise you to consider applying to the EU Settlement Scheme since it is not known what could happen between now and January 2021, for example a no-deal Brexit

We recommend having a look at this UKCISA page which gives more detailed information on the EU Settlement Scheme to help you make an informed decision.

Please contact if you have questions or need to clarify any of the points on this page. 

Home Office updates

For the latest information, visit the Home Office/UK Visas and Immigration page Status of EU nationals in the UK: what you need to know.

You may wish to sign up for email updates from the Home Office. You will then be kept updated with relevant developments.

Key information

European exchange team