EU Settlement Scheme (Settled and Pre-Settled Status)
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You may be able to stay in the UK without applying – for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
Who should apply?
Except in a few cases, you will need to apply if:
- You’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- You’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, but your family member is
You need to apply even if you:
- Were born in the UK but are not a British citizen – you can check if you’re a British citizen if you’re not sure
- Have a UK ‘permanent residence document’
- Are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply – including if they’re from Ireland
- Are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member
Who else can apply?
You may be able to apply if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but:
- You used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK (but you’ve separated, or they’ve died)
- You’re the family member of a British citizen and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together
- You’re the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
- You’re the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- You’re the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, or the child’s primary carer
Who does not need to apply?
You do not need to apply if you have:
- Indefinite leave to enter the UK
- Indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- British or Irish citizenship (including ‘dual citizenship’)
- If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you moved to the UK before it joined the EU
What you’ll get if your application is successful
The rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021. If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021. You’ll be given either:
- settled status
- pre-settled status
You will not be asked to choose which you’re applying for. Which status you get depends on how long you’ve been living in the UK when you apply. Your rights will be different depending on which status you get.
You’ll usually get settled status if you’ve:
- Started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- Lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)
- Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12-month period
The exceptions are:
- One period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
- Compulsory military service of any length
- Time you spent abroad as a Crown servant, or as the family member of a Crown servant
- Time you spent abroad in the armed forces, or as the family member of someone in the armed forces
You can stay in the UK as long as you like if you get settled status. You’ll also be able to apply for British citizenship if you’re eligible.
If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you’ll usually be granted pre-settled status. To be eligible for this, you must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. You can then apply to change this to settled status once you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before your pre-settled status expires. If you’ll reach 5 years’ continuous residence at some point by 31 December 2020, you can choose to wait to apply until you reach 5 years’ continuous residence. This means that if your application is successful, you’ll get settled status without having to apply for pre-settled status first.
Your rights with settled or pre-settled status
Once this has been granted, you’ll be able to:
- Work in the UK
- Use the NHS for free as you do now
- Enrol in education or continue studying
- Access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
- Travel in and out of the UK
If you want to spend time outside the UK
If you have settled status, you can spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to four years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status. If you have pre-settled status, you can spend up to two years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. You will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.
If you have children after applying
If you get settled status, any children born in the UK while you’re living here will automatically be British citizens. If you get pre-settled status, any children born in the UK will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status. They will only be a British citizen if they qualify for it through their other parent.
If you want to bring family members to the UK
Your close family members can join you in the UK before 31 December 2020 (or before 31 December 2025 for spouses and civil partners of Swiss citizens). They will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once they’re here. If you cannot bring your family member into the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme, they may still be able to come here in a different way, for example on a family visa.
Bring family members to the UK after 31 December 2020
If you’re a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you’ll be able to bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2020 if both of the following apply:
- Your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020
- You are still in the relationship when they apply to join you
If you’re a Swiss citizen, you’ll also be able to bring your spouse or civil partner to the UK until 31 December 2025 if both of the following apply:
- Your relationship with them began between 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2025
- You are still in the relationship when they apply to join you
Proof of continuous residence
To be eligible for settled status, you usually need to have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least six months in any 12-month period for five years in a row. You need to provide proof of this when you apply. If you’ve not lived here for five years in a row, then you may still be eligible for pre-settled status.
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