Advice

EU Migrant Workers

EU/ EEA/Swiss Migrant Workers.

The EU includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland ,Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

The EEA is made up of all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.  Nationals of Switzerland also qualify under this category.

You may qualify for home fee status and the full student finance package (i,e funding towards living costs as well as tuition fees) if you are an EEA/Swiss Migrant Worker, or you are an eligible family member of an EEA/Swiss Migrant Worker. 

To qualify as an EEA/Swiss Migrant worker you must meet the following criteria:

  • be a national of a (non-UK) EEA country, or Switzerland; and
  • have been ordinarily resident in the EEA, or Switzerland, for the 3 years immediately before 1st September 2020 for purposes other than mainly for full-time education; and
  • be ordinarily resident in England and Wales on the first day of the first academic year of the course (1st September for courses commencing in Autumn); and
  • have taken up work since moving to the UK; and
  • continue to work whilst studying

“Work” must be ‘effective and genuine’ and involve performing services in return for pay.  There are no set rules on the length of time you need to have been working or the number of hours you must work. However you must be able to demonstrate that you came into the UK with the express intention of employment in the UK, rather than an intention to study and have decided to work on top of this. You will also need to demonstrate that you can support yourself on your earnings and that you are not reliant on student finance.

You will not necessarily lose your Migrant Worker status if you become ‘involuntarily unemployed’ (for example, if you were made redundant, but not if you lost your job through misconduct), as long as you can demonstrate that you are actively seeking work.  This means that you should register with the Job Centre as a work seeker and retain copies of job applications as evidence of your attempts to find work.  You will also retain your Migrant Worker status if you are unable to work because of ill health.

There are some exceptions to the type of work which qualifies for funding as a Migrant Worker, e.g employment with the University or Students’ Union

As well as a Tuition Fee Loan, EEA/Swiss Migrant Workers are eligible for a Maintenance Loan and Grants for Dependants, both of which are means tested.

If you think that you may qualify as an EEA migrant worker, you should apply through:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance