EU Citizens Rights in the UK After Brexit | Public Services

Policy Paper | Post-Brexit Rights of EU Citizens in the UK

BREXIT EU Citizens in UK Public Services, Healthcare, Education

EU Citizens Rights in the UK After Brexit- Public Services

Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU | British Government Policy Paper June 26, 2017, Paragraphs 45-54 of 59

Public Services

45) Currently EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals residing in the EU enjoy access to public services such as healthcare, education and social housing. Our clear intention during negotiations is to ensure that these individuals continue to enjoy these entitlements and healthcare arrangements.

46) The UK fully recognises that those EU citizens resident in the UK before the specified date, and UK nationals resident in EU member states, are beneficiaries of these services and we would want this to continue by agreement with the EU. UK nationals resident in the EU before a specified date will benefit in the same way from such an agreement.


47) EU healthcare arrangements are set out in the same Regulations as rules on exportability of benefits, pensions and protection of worker contributions to ensure coordination between member states allowing individuals to move within the EU. These Regulations enable those who have moved to the EU and continue to receive a UK benefit or draw a UK state pension to receive healthcare cover by the UK (reciprocal healthcare arrangements) in their country of residence. The Regulations also enable UK-insured residents to obtain a European Health Insurance Card, allowing them to benefit from free, or reduced cost, needs-arising healthcare while on a temporary stay in the EU.

48) EU citizens currently in the UK are eligible for NHS-funded healthcare in the same way as a UK national who is resident in the UK, if they can show they are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK. In addition, those who present valid documentation (for example, a tourist or student who presents an EHIC) receive treatment on the NHS, the cost of which is reimbursed to the UK by the member state which provides the individual’s insurance.

49) During negotiations, the UK will seek to protect the healthcare arrangements currently set out in EU Regulations and domestic UK law for UK nationals and EU citizens who benefit from these arrangements before the specified date. We will also seek to protect the right of UK nationals and EU citizens to obtain and benefit from the European Health Insurance Card scheme. This will ensure that EU citizens are still eligible for NHS funded healthcare in the UK and vice versa for UK nationals in the EU.

Example case study: UK nationals currently residing in another EU Member State with UK-insured healthcare

Sarah is a UK national who retired to Spain in 2005. She is drawing a UK state pension and has a UK S1 form registered in Spain. The S1 form is a standard EU certificate which demonstrates an individual’s entitlement to healthcare in their country of residence. Individuals are required to register the S1 document in their new EU Member State of residence. This means that the UK reimburses Spain the cost of providing medical treatment to her.

Sarah has a UK issued EHIC, which she can use if needed during temporary visits to another EU country (not the UK).

After the UK leaves the EU, we want to secure Sarah’s current healthcare entitlements so that they will continue on the same basis.


50) EU citizens are able to apply for a place to study on higher education and further education courses in other member states. If successful, they currently enjoy access to higher education and further education courses on broadly the same terms as nationals of that member state.

51) EU citizens who meet the current eligibility requirements and study at UK universities are eligible for ‘home feestatus on the same basis as those with settled status. They are also able to apply for higher education and further education tuition fee loans as well as grants and maintenance support. The precise entitlement to student support differs across the different parts of the UK.

52) We want existing rights and arrangements for qualifying EU citizens who arrived in the UK before the specified date and who will study here to be respected and maintained across the whole of the UK. For example, in England, this means they will continue to be eligible for tuition fee loans and home fee status, as well as being eligible to apply for maintenance support on the same basis as they can now.

53) The UK’s world-class universities attract many EU and international students alike. We want to encourage this and ensure EU students continue choosing UK universities.

54) To help provide certainty for EU students starting courses as we implement the UK’s exit, we have already confirmed that current EU students and those starting courses at an English university or further education institution in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years will continue to be eligible for student support and home fee status for the duration of their course. We have also confirmed that EU citizens will also remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. We will also ensure that these students have a parallel right to remain in the UK to complete their course.

Example case study: EU citizens intending to study in UK universities

Agnieszka is a Polish national who has lived in England since February 2017 and is intending to stay here and apply to study at an English university after the UK has left the EU. Prior to arriving in the UK, Agnieszka had lived in Poland for her entire life.

Under existing student finance rules (and assuming she meets relevant eligibility requirements), Agnieszka will be awarded home fee status and will be able to access a fee loan both of which will continue for the duration of her course. Under the relevant eligibility requirements, Agnieszka needs to have lived in the EU for three years prior to study to qualify for a tuition fee loan and home fee status.

The UK intends to maintain Agnieszka’s entitlements to student support and home fee status once we leave the EU, in line with persons settled in the UK.

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