In this time of uncertainty over the final shape of Brexit I wanted to write to let you know that the University continues to be committed to supporting its EU, EEA and Swiss staff, many of whom we know are concerned about their immigration status after the UK leaves the EU next year. Our people make Cambridge what it is, and we deeply value all of our staff and the contributions they make. We hope that you continue to feel welcome at Cambridge, and we are keen to help you and your dependants retain the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit.
That is why the Vice-Chancellor announced this morning that the University will reimburse our EU/EEA and Swiss employees, and their dependants, the costs of applying for Settled/Pre-Settled status (the government’s two proposed residence routes for European nationals after Brexit), once the application route opens to the public. It will also make a contribution towards the cost of obtaining a Permanent Residence Card, for those European staff members who took that step after June 2016.
The scheme will be open to all EU/EEA and Swiss members of staff who took up employment at the University before 29 March 2019.
Lastly, I would like to assure you the University is concerned about any proposed immigration regime that, after Brexit, would make it harder for talented people to come and work here. We are calling on the government to engage with us and others to develop a light-touch immigration system that supports the UK’s research base and innovation capabilities.
Applying for Settled/Pre-settled status
The application process for this is not yet open to the public.
The Home Office is currently piloting the application process for Settled/Pre-settled status in targeted locations throughout the UK. This pilot is expected to continue until the end of the year. We do not expect the application process to be open to the wider public, which will include our staff, until the early part of 2019; at the latest it would open by March 2019.
Once the application process is open, staff and their dependants will have until 31 July 2021 to apply for and be granted either Settled/Pre-settled status. There will be no requirement to gain these statuses before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. Also, you will not need to apply for Settled/Pre-Settled status if you are an Irish national, or you are an EEA national who is also British. For those staff holding Permanent Residence Cards, you will be able to make an application for Settled status at no additional cost.
It is expected that the application process will be simple and straightforward, and entirely electronic. The application fee will be £65 for over-16s and £32.50 for under-16s, and the University will cover this cost for you and your dependants. Further details of the proposed scheme can be found in the EU Immigration FAQ document on this page: https://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/hr-services/immigration/eea-staff-and-immigration-options (Raven login required)
Once the application process is open to the public, we will inform staff and provide guidance on how to apply and how to claim reimbursement from the University.
Help with the cost of Permanent Residence Cards
Affected staff who have applied for Permanent Residence Cards for themselves or their dependants since June 2016 can apply to the University for the reimbursement of a contribution to the cost of that application (up to a maximum of £65 per applicant). Further details of the process for submitting a claim will be published shortly on https://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/hr-services/immigration/eea-staff-and-immigration-options
Any queries regarding the reimbursement process should go to UFS_enquiries@admin.cam.ac.uk in the first instance.
The Compliance Team in HR are happy to advise staff and students on all matters to do with residency, immigration and visas. Contact details for this team, and more information about their work, can be found here: https://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/hr-services/immigration
We are committed to keeping you informed about how the University is preparing for various Brexit scenarios and their impact on our staff. We will send further updates in the coming months.
Professor Eilís Ferran
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations