EU Settlement, Leave to Remain and Citizenship.

All of the information provided below is general. Individuals will need to access relevant information for their situation. This information will at some point become out of date and it is your responsibility to know the changes and refer to the latest UKVI guidance. The HR Immigration team can provide information on requirements, guidance and common questions but cannot provide immigration advice or check visa applications. The HR team also has access to a UKVI Premium Account Manager who can help with questions on the policy guidance etc.

EU settlement

There is lots of info on the university website about this. Keep up to date as the conditions do change.

Here are the basics:

  • the application is online and you need a smart phone to apply,
  • it is free,
  • fast turn around (a few days to a week),
  • the deadline is Dec 2020 (no deal) or June 2021 (brexit with a deal), and
  • if you have a European passport and have had resided in the UK for at least five consecutive years you can apply for settled states or less than five consecutive years then you can apply for pre-settled status. When you apply you won’t be asked which one you are applying for, the status will be issued according to how long you have been living in the UK when you apply.

Useful links: UKVI webpage on EU settlement scheme and the university webpage on settled status. If there are any questions regarding the EU settlement scheme please email humanresources [at] exeter [dot] ac [dot] uk

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) for Tier 2 visa holders

The university is able to give guidance but not advise on applying for Indefinite leave to remain. Here is the relevant university website. If you want advice then you will need lawyer or someone registered with The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).  The University can provide details of a Solicitor we refer to for complex immigration queries.

In short, after 5 consecutive years living in the UK you can apply for ILR which means you no longer need a visa to work in the UK. This is also the first step toward citizenship.

Some points to be aware of:

  • you need to have resided in the UK for 5 years at the time of application,
  • the start of the 5 years is the start of your first suitable visa (which visa’s are eligible needs to be considered for example a Tier 4 visa does not count),
  • you will need to list every time you left the UK for the 5 year period so start making notes as early as possible,
  • in any 1 year period you can’t have been out of the country for more than180 days,
  • you will need to sit a life in the UK test (not an English test but a culture test), and
  • you will need a letter from the university, bank statements, and payslips.


  • the earliest you can apply is 28 days prior to the 5 years date,
  • the decision will take up to 6 month (during this period you cannot travel otherwise you may jeopardise your visa application), and
  • you can fast-track the process and have a decision within a few days (for a fee).

Costs per person (accurate at time of posting this blog) :

  • £2389,
  • biometic information £19.20,
  • life in the UK test £50, and
  • fast track process (optional) £800.

To find where you can sit the life in the UK test visit here (there is no expiry date for the test). Of the total costs listed, the university will reimburse (the main application only – ie not partner or children) up to £2300. But note that under the HMRC rules this will be taxable (so you won’t get the full £2300 reimbursed).

Everyone’s application is unique and complicated. So get as much information as you can.

Some useful links: the ILTR pages including guidance on how to calculate continuous residence, the universities Visa reimbursement scheme. To request a letter to support your ILTR application, email humanresources [at] exeter [dot] ac [dot] uk


After being on IRL for 1 year or with settled status for 1 year you can apply for citizenship. You need to consider if you can have duel passports or not; some countries do not permit dual nationality so you need to check and may need to choose between British or retaining own citizenship. Again the process takes up to six months and you will not be able to leave the UK during this time.


  • £1330,
  • biometric information £19.20,
  • Life in the UK teat £50 (if your applying from a settled status),
  • £80 for the citizenship ceremony.

The university will not cover any of the fees associated with citizenship.

For more information see UKVI webpage on British Citizenship

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