Travelling and absences from the UK
Information about travelling and absences under the EU Settlement Scheme
Once you have obtained your pre-settled status, you will be able to travel freely.
You may be absent from the UK for up to two years, and your pre-settled status will remain valid. However, to qualify for settled status after five years, you must not be absent for more than six months in any 12 month period, with some exceptions - for example, if you are seriously ill, or wish to study a year abroad, you may be absent for up to 12 months.
This means that you must be able to pick any two dates that are 12 months apart during the 5 year qualifying period, and you must not have been absent for more than 6 months (counting all absences in that time). An absence of up to 12 months for an important reason will not be counted for purposes of calculating residency.
It can be very difficult to keep track of this, and even one extra day outside the UK can mean you will no longer be eligible for settled status, so we recommend that you keep a track of all your absences. There is a very useful spreadsheet designed by The 3 Million to help you track and calculate absences, which you can find at the link below. We recommend that you save a copy and fill it in throughout your 5 year qualifying period.
Once you have obtained settled status, you may travel freely. You can be absent from the UK for up to five years, and your settled status will remain valid.
For further infromation, see our FAQs.