EU/EEA staff: end of Brexit transition period
We are now approaching the 31 December and the end of the transition period, which has permitted EU nationals to live and work freely in the UK
It is important that current EU/EEA and Swiss staff ensure that they have (or will soon) obtained permission to remain in the UK after 30 June 2021.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who has already obtained British nationality or Settled status, no further action is required.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who has already obtained Pre-Settled status and are currently or plan to be living in the UK before 1 January 2021, again no further action is required. However, those who have obtained Pre-Settled status, but are currently living outside the UK and working remotely, should see the section below.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen currently living in the UK and have not yet applied for Settled or Pre-Settled status, you should apply as soon as possible and before 1 July 2021.
EU/EEA staff who have commenced employment outside of the UK
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who has not yet started work in Oxford due to the COVID-19 pandemic (working instead outside the UK since the start of their employment), you must start living in the UK before 1 January 2020 or you and your family will be required to apply for a work visa at considerable expense.
This requirement will not apply to EU/EEA citizens who already have Settled or Pre-Settled status, or who have already established a home in the UK and are eligible to apply for Settled or Pre-Settled status.
EU/EEA staff who have left the UK to work remotely during the pandemic
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who was resident in the UK before the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been working outside the UK during the pandemic, you should be aware of the following:
If you have not yet applied for Settled or Pre-Settled status, you should apply as soon as possible and before 1 January 2021. It might be possible to make the application from outside the UK, as explained on the government's website.
If you already hold Pre-Settled status, you can remain outside the UK for up to 2 years without losing your Pre-Settled status; BUT if your absence outside the UK is more than 6 months in any 12 month period (or 12 months for an important reason, such as a work or study placement, maternity or illness) it will break the continuity of residence that you need in order to be eligible for settled status.
While you can remain in the UK for the five years, the long absence might mean that you will not qualify for Settled status at the end of that time.
This then may require you to apply for a work visa (at significant expense), or apply for Pre-Settled status again before 1 January 2021 (though in some cases later, but before 1 July 2021).
It is not yet clear what absences related to COVID-19 will be accepted as an important reason for the purpose of the 12 months absence.
This is general guidance only and cannot cover each and every situation.
If you have any concerns as to your status in the UK now or after the end of this year or your eligibility for Pre-Settled or Settled status, you should contact the Staff Immigration Team (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) or obtain legal advice, to ensure the duration of your absences outside UK will not affect your continued rights to stay in the UK without obtaining a work visa.