International Applicants

Impact of Brexit on EU applicants

The government has confirmed that there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK as a result of the referendum, and that it ‘recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK’. The UK remains a member of the EU for the time being and the government has confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to UK visa policies for those currently in, or contemplating coming to, the UK from the EU. In terms of recruiting EU staff in the longer term, any changes will depend on the kind of relationship the UK negotiates with the EU. However, we are committed to highlighting the value of all EU staff, including researchers and academics and the UK government is being urged to guarantee that those currently working at universities can continue to do so in the long term.

With over 200 non-UK EU staff currently working at our University, clarifying the impacts of the EU Referendum result and the triggering of article 50 is a key priority, our factsheet aims to answer any questions you may have and will provide useful updates as further information emerges.

Living and Working in the UK

This section provides some useful information to help you plan your time before you travel to the UK, and identifies the main things you need to consider once you arrive.

Working in the UK

If you’re a national from the EU or European Economic Area, a Swiss national, or a national of Bulgaria or Romania, visit the European Nationals section of the UK Visas and Immigration website for the latest information regarding your right to work in the UK.

For nationals from outside the European Economic Area, you’ll need to understand how to gain permission to work in the UK and to obtain a visa. This is a complex area, dependent on individual circumstances. The rules governing who has the right to work in the UK change frequently and there are also changing limits to the number of skilled workers who can enter the UK in any one year. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, see the UK Visas and Immigration website.

The UK operates a points-based system. Migrants must score the required number of points and in most circumstances have a job offer from a licensed sponsor (employer). Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website for the latest information and to access an interactive questionnaire to help you make sense of your visa requirements.

Arrange accommodation

Short-term accommodation

You may wish to book short-term accommodation in a local hotel or guest house before travelling to the UK. There are several advantages to pre-booking accommodation in this way. You know exactly where you’ll be staying and can plan your journey from the airport or train station before you leave your home country. You may also wish to get to know the area around our University better to enable you to make a more informed choice when choosing permanent accommodation.

Alternatively you may wish to take a short-term let (a rented property) once you arrive in the UK to allow you to familiarise yourself with the area before entering into a long-term agreement. You may wish to employ the services of a property search specialist to assist you with your move, although this can be very expensive. Popular national websites for finding accommodation include: Rightmove, Gumtree, Zoopla and Spareroom.

Monthly rental costs will vary depending on the size, condition and location of the property. The rent will be higher for properties that include all bills and are furnished.

Buying a property

Buying a house can be a complex procedure in the UK and you’ll need to hire a solicitor. There are many online sites available to search for a suitable property in your area including Rightmove, Zoopla, and Your Move.

UK house prices can be high compared to other countries. It is advisable to live in and research the area you’ll be living in for at least six months before you buy. Visit local estate agents and ask for prices of recent house sales in your area.

Open a bank account with a UK bank

The rules and regulations for opening a bank account in the UK are very strict. Please do take as much documentation with you as you can and note that banks require original documents and not copies. You’ll need to have secured accommodation at a UK address before you can open a bank account, and you need a UK bank account in order to be enrolled onto our payroll in your first month of employment. The documents you’ll need to take to the bank will depend on which bank you choose and what type of account you open. These identification documents include:

  • Passport.
  • National identity card.
  • Residence permit issued by the Home Office to EU nationals.
  • National driving licence.
  • Tenancy agreement.
  • A letter from your employer in the UK confirming your address.
  • The bank may also want to see proof of your previous or permanent address in the country that you come from.

Income tax

All workers in the UK must pay income tax. The amount you pay depends on how much you earn. If you’re employed your tax will be taken via PAYE (pay as you earn) and will be deducted each month from your gross salary. The government’s website has detailed information on a beginner's guide to tax and working and paying tax. The UK has double taxation treaties, that is, an individual may receive income from one source but be resident in another and may be liable to pay tax in both countries under their tax laws. The UK has negotiated with more than 100 countries so tax doesn’t have to be paid twice. Individuals must apply for the right to do this (it is not automatic).

National Insurance Number

All workers in the UK must pay National Insurance contributions if their earnings are more than a certain level and they are under State Pension age. Your contributions are deducted from your salary before it’s paid to you. Your entitlement to certain state benefits and the amount you can claim under these benefits depends on how much National Insurance you’ve paid. These benefits include the State Pension.

To pay National Insurance, you need a National Insurance number. This is your own personal account number and it never changes even if you go abroad, marry, register as a civil partner, change your name etc. Please visit the Gov.uk website for further information.

If you don’t have a National Insurance number you’ll need to obtain one. To do so contact Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643. You may need to attend a local interview to obtain a National Insurance number. Waiting times for appointments may be several weeks. Your personal number will be issued to you a few weeks after the interview.

Register with a doctor

As soon as you arrive in the UK and find temporary accommodation it’s very important to register with a doctor in the area where you live. Don’t wait until you are ill. The NHS (National Health Service) covers England.

In the UK Doctors are often referred to as ‘GPs’ which stands for ‘General Practitioner’ so expect to hear both terms used.

Once you’ve registered you’ll receive a personal NHS number on a card. This isn’t the same as a National Insurance number. You need to keep this number safe. You’ll need it when you visit the doctor or dentist.