The EU Settlement Scheme
The EU Settlement Scheme allows you and your non-EU/EEA family members to apply for either settled or pre-settled status depending on your circumstances.
You will be eligible to apply for limited leave to remain in the UK (known as pre-settled status) if you arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, but have not yet been continuously living in the UK for 5 years. This will enable you to stay for 5 years, after which time you may be eligible to apply for settled status.
Your pre-settled status will allow you to live, work, and study in the UK without restriction.
You must apply for pre-settled status before 30 June 2021.
You will be eligible to apply to stay in the UK indefinitely (known as settled status) if you had been living in the UK prior to 31 December 2020, and you have now been living here continuously for 5 years. If, during the relative 5-year period, you have had absences from the UK of up to 6 months, or one period of up to 12 months in specific circumstances including serious illness or study, you can still apply for the scheme.
You must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.
Your rights under the EU Settlement Scheme
- You can travel in and out of the UK as normal if you have pre-settled or settled status
- If you have been granted settled status, EEA nationals will be able to spend up to 5 continuous years outside of the UK without losing the status. Swiss nationals can spend up to 4 continuous years outside the UK without losing the status.
- If you have been granted pre-settled status, and you wish to ultimately qualify and apply for settled status once you reach the 5-year threshold, then you must not break the continuity of your residence by being outside the UK for more than 6 months in any 12-month (unless it is for one period of up to 12 months in specific circumstances including serious illness or study)
- If you have either settled or pre-settled status, you will be able to study and work in the UK and are eligible to use the National Health Service
- If you have been granted settled status, you will be able to apply for British citizenship after holding this status for at least a year (or immediately if married to a British citizen).*
*Please note, we cannot advise on naturalisation applications, as this is outside our remit of expertise.
Applying for the EU Settlement Scheme
Most applicants can submit their application for settled or pre-settled status online.
If you make a mistake on your EU settlement application or further information is required, the Home Office will contact you before making a decision on your application, so you can correct the error or provide further information.
If your application is successful, you will not receive a physical document unless you are a non-EEA family member and do not already have a biometric residence card. Instead, you’ll be able to get proof of your status through an online service.
Your identity and nationality
You will need to upload a passport or valid national identity card through an app on an Android phone or tablet with OS 6.0 or above (you can use someone else's phone to do this). Please note that this process will only work if your document has a biometric chip. If your document does not have a biometric chip, you will be able to send your documents by post instead.
Alternatively, you can also make an appointment to scan your ID document at a number of service locations across the UK.
Proof of continuous residence in the UK
If you are eligible for and applying for settled status, you will need to demonstrate that you have been living in the UK for 5 continuous years. If you have a National Insurance number and have worked in the UK, your application will automatically link to HMRC UK tax records to establish the duration of your residency.
If you are eligible and applying for pre-settled status, you can upload your student status letter to show that you are currently living in the UK.
You must provide official documents to prove your residence.
You will be asked to upload a recent digital photo of your face. You can do this using your phone.
Information about criminal convictions
If applicable, you will be asked to provide any information about criminal convictions and these will be checked against UK databases.
UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Brexit: EU Settlement Scheme
Home Office: EU Settlement Guidance