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The UK government has recently launched a new phase of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot. This phase will enable those EU citizens with a valid passport and who work in the UK in the education, health or social care sectors, to apply for their UK immigration status.
The application for the pilot will open on 1 November 2018 for those employed by the following three universities in north-west England involved in this phase of the pilot: Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool. On 15 November 2018 the pilot will open for anyone employed by any HEI in the UK. The applications will run until 21 December 2018, and EU residents in the UK will have until the end of June 2021 to register for settled status. Family members, on the other hand, will be able to apply for the status as of 30 March 2019.
The preferential treatment given to employees in the HE sector is self-explanatory, if one only considers that about 50,000 EU nationals work in UK universities, either as academic or as technical staff, accounting for 12% of the total staff population.
The important contribution made by European workers in the UK has also been confirmed by a recent report by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). The average adult migrant from the European Economic Area (EEA) contributed approximately £2,300 more to the UK public finances than the average adult resident in the UK:
The news might not be so good on the students’ side: at the beginning of October, Theresa May has announced that after the academic year 2019-2010, EU students – who now enjoy the same status of UK students and therefore pay the same amount of fees – might have to pay the same fees of all other international students. This means that for them university fees might get a lot higher: for instance, in England the fees might increase from up to £9,250 (EUR 10,400) per year to between £11,000 (EUR 12,000) and £58,600 (EUR 66,000) per year, depending on the course. At the same time, Prime Minister May has reassured that no visa limit for EU nationals who wish to study in the UK will be put in place.
More information on EU settlement scheme.