Settled status

Sign up for site updates

UKCEN Articles

July 2018 Newsletter – EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office has released a useful set of resources aimed at employers regarding the new settlement scheme for... read more

Settled Status is law, deal or no deal

Today, changes to the immigration rules were laid before parliament. They introduce appendix EU, which governs the rights of... read more

June 2018 Newsletter

Notes from the Home Office User Group – 25th June 2018 The meeting was dedicated to discussing the recently published... read more

May 2018 Newsletter

UKCEN attended the Home Office Users representative Group on 23rd May 2018. Home Office officials provided updates on the... read more

April 2018 Newsletter

Updates on the settled status application system UKCEN attended the Home Office Users representative Group on 27th April 2018. Home... read more

Settled status and citizens’ rights – what has been agreed?

Freemovement have published an article entitled: Brexit: Settled status and citizens’ rights – what has been agreed? There is... read more

March 2018 Newsletter

The Settled Status application process and criteria: updates Over the last month, we have seen progress being made in preparation... read more

Islington in Europe LONDON

Wednesday 7 March 2018 19:00 – 21:00 GMT Council Chamber Islington Town Hall, Upper Street London N1 2UD https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eu-nationals-understand-your-options-post-brexit-tickets-42314073533 Islington In Europe, in conjunction... read more

Official Government Information

Updated after the release of the Statement of Intent on 21 June 2018

Below is the updated information from the government, broken down by relevant headings, followed by Frequently Asked Questions about settled status which have been answered in the statement of intent.

If you’re a European Union (EU) citizen living in the UK, you and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ if you want to continue living here after June 2021.

You will not need to apply if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain, but your family members from outside the UK and Ireland will.

The scheme will open fully by March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you’re joining a family member in the UK.

Getting settled status means you can continue to live and work in the UK for as long as you like. It will mean you’re eligible for:

  • public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you meet the requirements

To be eligible for settled status, you’ll need to:

  • be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen
  • have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years (‘continuous residence’)
  • have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020

If you’ve lived in the UK for less than 5 years, you’ll generally be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ instead.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, you will need to show your relationship to an EU citizen living here.

‘Continuous residence’

Continuous residence means you’ve been in the UK for at least 6 months in each of those 5 years, except for:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, to work or study)
  • compulsory military service

If you will not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply

You’ll generally get ‘pre-settled status’ instead.

Pre-settled status means you can stay in the UK for a further 5 years. You can live and work here, and will have access to public funds and services on the same basis as you do now.

Once you have 5 years’ continuous residence you can apply for settled status.

Settled status for your child

You’ll need to apply on behalf of your child so they can get settled status, unless they’re a British citizen.

If you’re eligible to apply, any children you have aged under 21 will also be eligible, even if they arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020.

If you have a child after getting settled status

Your child will automatically be a British citizen if they’re born in the UK. You will not need to apply for settled status on their behalf

If you’re overseas and a family member of an EU citizen living in the UK

If you’re not living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you’ll be able to apply to join your family member here after that date if both:

  • your family member is eligible to apply and your relationship existed by 31 December 2020
  • you’re a close family member, for example a spouse, civil partner, a dependent child or grandchild, or a dependent parent or grandparent

The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you’re joining a family member in the UK.

The application form will be online. You’ll be able to get support over the phone or in person if you need help doing things online.

What you’ll need

When you apply, you’ll need proof of:

  • your identity
  • your residence in the UK, unless you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain
  • your relationship to a family member from the EU living in the UK, if you’re from outside the EU

Proof of identity

You’ll need a valid passport or national identity card. If you’re from outside the EU, you can use a valid passport or biometric residence card.

When you apply, you’ll be able to either:

  • scan your identity document using an Android mobile phone or tablet
  • send your document by post

You’ll also need to upload a recent digital photo of your face.

Proof of residence

You can give the Home Office permission to check HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data that may show how long you’ve lived in the UK.

You may need to provide evidence to prove your residence, for example:

  • P60s
  • bank statements
  • utility bills

You’ll be able to submit scans of these documents through the online application form.

You will not need to provide evidence of your entire residence in the UK, only for the period that proves you’re eligible for settled or pre-settled status.

If you have criminal convictions

If you’re over 18 you’ll be asked about your criminal history in the UK and overseas. You’ll also be checked against the UK’s crime databases.

You may still get settled or pre-settled status even if you do have convictions. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re from outside the EU

You’ll need to provide proof of your relationship to your EU citizen family member (for example, a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate). You’ll be able to scan and submit this through the online application form. You’ll also need to provide evidence of your family member’s identity and residence.

You’ll need to provide your fingerprints and a photo of your face at an application centre in the UK. You will not need to do this if you already have a biometric residence card.

The fee to apply (subject to approval by Parliament) will be:

  • £65 if you’re 16 or over
  • £32.50 if you’re under 16

It’ll be free to apply if:

  • you already have valid indefinite leave to remain or a valid permanent residence document
  • you’re applying to move from pre-settled status to settled status
  • you’re a child in local authority care

If you make a mistake in your application

The Home Office will contact you before making a decision on your application, so you can correct the error.

They’ll also tell you if you need to provide more evidence before they can make a decision.

Successful application

If your application is successful, you’ll be able to get proof of your status through an online service. You will not get a physical document unless you’re from outside the EU and do not already have a biometric residence card.

You will not lose your settled status unless you leave the UK for a period of more than 5 years.

Unsuccessful application

If your application is unsuccessful, you can reapply if you do so by 30 June 2021. You can also appeal the decision if you apply from 30 March 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

People considered to be ‘resident in the UK’ will include those here before midnight on 31 December 2020. It will also include those previously resident in the UK who are outside the UK on that date but who have maintained continuity of residence here, generally as set out in current free movement rules for those who have not already acquired EU permanent residence rights, and up to five years’ absence for those who have (see paragraph 3.4, below). So, for example, those who are continuously resident in the UK but who happen to be abroad on business or holiday or living overseas temporarily on 31 December 2020 will still be protected.

Otherwise, those applying under the EU Settlement Scheme will not be required to show that they meet all the requirements of current free movement rules, such as any requirement to have held comprehensive sickness insurance or generally to detail the exercise of specific rights (e.g. the right to work) under EU law. The UK has decided, as a matter of domestic policy, that the main requirement for eligibility under the settlement scheme will be continuous residence in the UK.

The process will be particularly straightforward for those EU citizens and their family members who have previously been issued a permanent residence document (that is a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card, issued by the UK under the EEA Regulations). They will be able to exchange this free of charge for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) under the scheme, subject only to criminality and security checks and to confirming that this status has not lapsed or has done so through absence from the UK for more than two consecutive years (as set out in the Free Movement Directive) but not more than five consecutive years (as set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement: see paragraph 3.4, above). The assessment of their previous UK residence which we will have done before issuing their permanent residence document will not be repeated.

Otherwise, where the applicant is an EU citizen and the automated checks of HMRC and DWP data indicate that they have been continuously resident in the UK for a period of five years, they will be granted settled status (indefinite leave to remain), subject to criminality and security checks. We expect that, for the majority of EU citizens who are
or have been working, we will be able to help them confirm their residence in this way.

Where the automated checks of HMRC and DWP data do not indicate that the EU citizen has been continuously resident in the UK, or indicate that they have been continuously resident here for a period of less than five years, the applicant will then be able to upload documentary evidence of their continuous residence (or evidence that they are in one of the categories eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence, as described in paragraph 3.7, above). Where appropriate, they will be granted settled status (indefinite leave to remain), subject to criminality and security checks.

Otherwise, where the HMRC and DWP data and/or their documentary evidence establish that they have been continuously resident here for a period of less than five years, they will be granted five years’ pre-settled status (limited leave to remain), subject to criminality and security checks.

Table 1: preferred evidence.

The documents listed below are preferred evidence because a single document may cover a significant period. Where an applicant submits evidence from this list, a single piece of evidence is likely o be sufficient for the period it covers.

  • An annual bank statement, or an account summary covering a 12-month period, showing payments received or spending in the UK in at least six months of that year.
  • Annual business accounts of a self-employed person.
  • A dated and signed letter from an employer, confirming the duration of a period of UK-based employment which has been undertaken, and confirmation of the employer’s status (such as registration with HMRC or Companies House). This will be considered evidence of residence for the period of that employment.
  • A P60 for a 12-month period (the caseworker may request additional evidence to confirm that the person has been resident in the UK for at least six months of that period).
  • A dated and signed letter from an accredited organisation in the UK confirming physical attendance at a course and its duration, or confirming enrolment on a course accompanied by dated and signed evidence of completion (such as a qualification certificate). This will be treated as evidence of residence for the duration of the course.
  • A dated and signed letter from a registered care home confirming the period of residence in the home. This will be treated as evidence of residence for that period.
  • A dated, addressed invoice from an accredited organisation for school, college or university fees for education requiring physical attendance in the UK, which includes the name of the student, and accompanying evidence of payment. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the relevant academic term(s) or year.
  • Documentation issued by the student finance body for England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or the Student Loans Company that shows a UK address, such as an entitlement notification or repayment statement. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the relevant academic term(s) or year.
  • A residential mortgage statement or tenancy agreement, and accompanying evidence of the mortgage or rent being paid (e.g.confirmation from the lender or landlord), will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the statement or agreement.
  • A dated, addressed council tax bill will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the bill.
  • Evidence of an employer making pension contributions will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the contributions where the employment requires physical presence in the UK.

Table 2: alternative evidence.

Because the documents listed below cover a shorter period, the applicant will need to submit more of them to evidence that they meet the residence requirement. Where an applicant submits evidence
from this list, a single piece of evidence is likely to be sufficient for the period it covers.

  • A dated payslip for a UK-based job will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by that payslip.
  • A dated bank statement showing payments received or spending in the UK. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the bank statement.
  • A dated invoice for work physically done in the UK. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the month in which it is dated.
  • A dated, UK-addressed domestic utility bill featuring the applicant’s name will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the bill.
  • A dated, UK-addressed domestic bill or contract for a fixed line telephone or for a TV or internet service featuring the applicant’s name will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the bill or contract.
  • A dated letter from a UK GP or other healthcare professional confirming the applicant’s attendance at appointment(s), or a card issued by the healthcare professional confirming those appointment(s). This will be treated as evidence of residence for the period covered by the appointments (or for the month in which a single appointment occurred).
  • A dated letter from a UK government department, another UK public body or a UK charity confirming the applicant’s physical interaction with them, e.g. Job Centre Plus or Citizens’ Advice. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the month in which it is dated, unless it explicitly confirms interactions over a longer period.
  • Other dated, UK-addressed domestic bills, e.g. for insurance or home services/repairs, featuring the applicant’s name and accompanying evidence of payment will be treated as evidence of residence for the month in which the bill is dated.
  • A passport stamp confirming entry at the UK border. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the month of entry.
  • A used travel ticket confirming previous inbound travel to the UK. This will be treated as evidence of residence for the month of entry.

Holders of settled status (indefinite leave to remain) under the scheme will be able to apply for British citizenship if they wish and otherwise meet the requirements for this:

  • Immediately, if they are the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen (and they have been lawfully resident here for at least three years), or if they were granted indefinite leave to remain in another capacity more than 12 months previously (and this has not lapsed or been revoked or invalidated); or
  • 12 months after the date on which they acquired the right of permanent residence under the Free Movement Directive, as evidenced by a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card, issued by the UK under the EEA Regulations; or
  • Otherwise, 12 months after the date on which they were granted indefinite leave to remain under the scheme.

Family members who are living with, or join, an EU citizen resident in the UK by the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme. They will be able to apply under the scheme on their own account, but non-EU citizen family members may prefer, where possible, to apply once the relevant EU citizen has done so and been granted status as this is likely to make it easier and quicker for the family member to demonstrate their eligibility (see paragraph 5.9, above). Applications made by families at the same time will be considered together.

In addition, the scheme will be open to EU citizen and non-EU citizen close family members resident overseas on 31 December 2020. Under the agreement on citizens’ rights reached with the EU, an EU citizen resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to be joined at any point thereafter by close family members15 resident overseas, if the relationship existed on 31 December 2020 and it continues to exist when the family member applies to come to the UK. The scheme will also be open in certain circumstances to a non-British citizen child born in the UK or overseas after 31 December 2020 to (or adopted by) a parent or parents eligible for status under the scheme.

 

 

As agreed with the EU in the deal on citizens’ rights, criminality and security checks will be carried out on all applications for status under the scheme. In line with the draft text of the Withdrawal Agreement, conduct (including any criminal convictions relating to it) before the end of the implementation period (31 December 2020) by a person protected by the agreement will be assessed according to the current EU public policy tests for deportation, as set out in the EEA Regulations, while their conduct (including any criminal convictions relating to it) after that period will be considered against UK deportation thresholds. This is a sensible approach to ensure that we identify any serious or persistent criminals, or anyone who poses a security threat, to protect everyone who lives in the UK; we are not concerned here with minor offences, such as a parking fine. It will not affect the overwhelming majority of EU citizens and their family members.

Third, the applicant will need to provide the required proof of their identity and nationality. For an EU citizen, this will be a valid passport or a valid national identity card. For a non-EU citizen family member, this will be a valid passport, a valid biometric residence card issued under the EEA Regulations or a valid biometric immigration document, commonly known as a biometric residence permit. The Home Office may accept alternative evidence of identity and nationality where the applicant is unable to obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond their control or to compelling practical or compassionate reasons.

The means by which the applicant will be able to provide the required proof of their identity and nationality will include:

  • As part of the digital application process (through a smartphone app which facilitates the reading of the chip in a biometric document), either using a personal device or at a location established to enable the applicant to use the app or be helped to do so; or
  • By a secure postal route in the UK, by which we will aim to return the document to them as soon as we can, to minimise delays if other aspects of the application need further consideration.

Fourth, the applicant will need to enrol their facial image so that we can compare this with the photograph in their identity document and be satisfied that they are one and the same person. An EU citizen will be able to upload a passport-style photograph of themselves as part of the digital application process (but this should not be the same photograph as appears in their passport). So too will a non-EU citizen family member previously issued a biometric residence card under the EEA Regulations. A non-EU citizen family member who has not already done so for the purposes of being issued a biometric residence card under the EEA Regulations will need to attend one of our application centres in the UK to enrol their fingerprints and their facial image (to the technical standard required for the image to be reproduced on a biometric residence
document: see section 7).

If the person is an EU citizen continuously resident in the UK, they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence, if they:

(a) were a worker or self-employed person in the UK and then terminated that activity, having reached the age of entitlement to a state pension (or having been a worker, having taken early retirement), and, immediately before that, they had been a worker or self-employed person in the UK for at least the preceding 12 months and had been continuously resident in the UK for more than the preceding three years; or

(b) stopped being a worker or self-employed person owing to permanent incapacity to work, having been continuously resident in the UK for more than the preceding two years or the incapacity having resulted from an accident at  work or an occupational disease that entitles the person to a pension payable in full or in part by an institution in the UK; or

(c) were continuously resident in the UK for at least three years as a worker or self-employed person, immediately before becoming a worker or self-employed person in another EU country, while retaining a place of residence in the UK to which they return, as a rule, at least once a week.

The conditions as to length of residence and of employment in (a) and (b), above, do not apply where the EU citizen is the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen.

If the person is a is a family member of an EU citizen granted settled status as described above in this table, they will also be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if they:

  • were that person’s family member at the point that person met the conditions in (a), (b) or (c), above; and
  • are continuously resident in the UK.

If the person is a family member of an EU citizen who has died and the EU citizen was resident in the UK as a worker or self-employed person at the time of their death, they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if:

  • the EU citizen was continuously resident in the UK for at least two years before their death, or their death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease; and
  • the family member was resident in the UK with the EU citizen immediately before their death, and is continuously resident in the UK.

If the person is a child under the age of 21 years of an EU citizen (or of their spouse or civil partner) who is continuously resident in the UK, they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if:

  • the relevant EU citizen (or their spouse or civil partner) has been or is being granted settled status under the scheme (or, in the case of an Irish citizen, they would be so if they made a valid application under the scheme).

If the person has been continuously resident in the UK for less than five years, it generally means that they have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in total in any 12-month period. There is no restriction on the number of absences permitted, provided that the total period of absence does not exceed six months in any 12-month period.

There are some exceptions:

  • A single period of absence of more than six months but which does not exceed 12 months is permitted, where this is for an important reason, such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.
  • Any period of absence on compulsory military service is permitted.

Continuity of residence is broken (and restarts from scratch on release, where this is before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020) where the person served or is serving a sentence of imprisonment of any length in the UK, unless:

  • The person has resided in the UK continuously for at least 10 years (and has the right of permanent residence in the UK under the EEA Regulations) and the Home Office considers that they had forged integrating links with the UK which were not broken by imprisonment and
    that, overall, it would not be appropriate to treat imprisonment as breaking continuity of residence.

Continuity of residence is likewise broken if for example a deportation order, exclusion order or exclusion decision is made, or the person is removed from the UK under the EEA Regulations, unless this has been set aside or no longer has effect.

Once the person has been continuously resident in the UK for five years, this means that they will be eligible for settled status where, since completing that period, they have not been absent from the UK for more than five consecutive years (as set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, rather than for more than two consecutive years as set out in the Free Movement Directive) when they apply under the scheme.

It also means for example that, since completing that five-year period, a deportation order, exclusion order or exclusion decision has not been made against them and they have not been removed from the UK under the EEA Regulations, unless this has been set aside or no longer has effect.

Otherwise, where the EU citizen or their family member has been continuously resident in the UK for five years (less in some particular circumstances: see paragraph 3.7, below), they will be eligible under the scheme for settled status under UK immigration law, which is referred to under the Immigration Act 1971 as indefinite leave to remain or ILR (and which will be granted under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules: see Annex B).