Oxford University is to pay the fees of all EU employees and their families wanting to stay in the UK after Brexit.
Ever since the EU referendum result was announced, the University has been clear that European staff are greatly valued members of the Oxford community. It is committed to ensuring that all colleagues from the EU keep the rights and freedoms they currently enjoy.
The Home Office has now announced it will be extending its EU settlement status pilot programme to include staff at higher education institutions, including Oxford.
The University’s commitment means it will support all staff from the European Union wishing to apply for settlement or pre settlement status. It will pay the fees for staff applying to the pilot scheme, as well as fees for all staff and their dependents when the full scheme comes on line after Brexit. Staff who are applying for a Permanent Residence card, or who have applied since the 2016 referendum, will also have fees covered for them and their families. The University’s – immigration team is on standby to provide further information and advice for colleagues wanting to apply to the scheme.
The EU Settlement Scheme gives workers from non-UK European Union countries the right to continue to live, work and study here if they have been resident for more than five years. The scheme also allows workers who have not been in the UK for as long to register for pre-settlement status and qualify for settlement status after five years. Under the scheme, both sets of workers will continue to be eligible for public funds, pensions, public services, such as healthcare and schools and applying for British citizenship.
The Home Office pilot scheme runs until December 21 this year and covers all employees of the University and its colleges. The full scheme will open after Brexit on March 29, 2019
The pilot is open to:
- Employees of the collegiate University, but not their family members, who are EU citizens and hold a valid EU biometric passport (which has a digital chip).
- Employees of the collegiate University, who are not EU citizens but hold a Biometric Residence Card as the family member of an EU citizen.
If you would like to take part in the pilot, you need access to an android phone or other android device (not iPhone or other Apple devices). You will find details in the Home Office Invitation Email (will require SSO login).
The invitation will ask you to email the Home Office to apply. Please only send one email, and make sure you check your inbox and junk mail regularly. The Home Office will reply on a phased basis and say it might take two to three weeks for you to receive your reply, which will contain a link to the online application form.
Applications must be completed before 22 December 2018 and the University is urging staff to apply as early as possible. Staff of the central University will be able to reclaim the £65 cost of their Settlement/Pre Settlement visa by submitting an expense claim in the normal way. Once the full scheme opens after Brexit, they will also be able to apply for your dependents and recover the cost from the University.
More information on the pilot and settled status and British Nationality can be found here. If you wish to discuss your status or have questions about the EU Settlement Scheme or Permanent Residence applications, please contact either: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org in the Staff Immigration team.