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Important information for Current EU/EEA Staff and the impact of Covid-19

(6 November 2020)

The following information is important for EU/EEA staff that have left the UK to work remotely during the pandemic and EU/EEA staff who have commenced employment with Durham but who currently live outside of the UK.

EU/EEA staff that have left the UK to work remotely during the pandemic

If you were resident in the UK before the Covid-19 pandemic, but have been working outside the UK during the pandemic, this information is important to ensure you do not encounter any issues when you return:

The EU Settlement Scheme is the mechanism by which EU citizens may continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. Pre-Settled status is granted to those who have been living in the UK for less than five years, Settled status is for those who have lived in the UK for five years or more.

If you have not yet applied for Settled or Pre-Settled status, you should apply as soon as possible and before 1 July 2021, at the latest. There are exceptions as to who needs to apply which are outlined in the guidance. It might be possible to make the application from outside the UK, as explained in Home Office guidance.

It should only be by exception that any colleague who works for the University does not live in Durham as their default residence. We would expect all colleagues to be living within a reasonable distance of the University.

EU/EEA staff who have commenced employment outside of the UK.

If you have been engaged by the university but have not yet started work in Durham due to the Covid-19 pandemic (working instead outside the UK since the start of your employment) you must start living in the UK on or before 31st December 2020 or you and your family will require a work visa and be required to pay the appropriate Immigration Health Surcharge.

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 before the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Any staff who have not been in the UK should therefore make arrangements to move to the UK. Where this is genuinely not feasible, due to the pandemic, they must understand that they will be subject to visa requirements and the appropriate costs.

We will, in due course, need to contact people directly to confirm that they have made arrangements

Please see the Home Office guidance for further information.

Our UKVI team within Human Resources are on hand to assist our colleagues with any questions you may have regarding the Settlement Scheme. 

You may also find our FAQ's helpful. If you need assistance please get in touch at

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