Settled status

On 21 January the Prime Minister announced that there will be no fee when the scheme opens fully on 30 March 2019. Anyone who has applied already, or who applies and pays a fee during the test phases, will have their fee refunded. Details of the refunds process will be published shortly.

PLEASE NOTEIf you wish to apply during the test phase you will need to pay the fee, unless it is not required because you have PR or ILR. You may wish to apply once the scheme is fully open to avoid the hassle of payment and refunds.

EU citizens and their family members have to apply for either settled or pre-settled status to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. The deadline to apply will be 30 June 2021, but they can be joined by family members living abroad after this date, if the family relationship existed before the end of December 2020.

People living in the UK less than 5 years will get pre-settled status, which will allow them to live here another 5 years, when they can apply for settled status, provided they meet the residence requirements during those 5 years.

People living in the UK 5 years or longer will get settled status.

Nationals of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland have now been included in the Settlement Scheme following agreements with those countries. Please refer to our December Newsletter for more information.

Fees during the test phase (refundable)

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

Free if:

The criteria

All EU nationals and their family members living in the UK will need to apply under the scheme except:

  • EU citizens who are also British citizens (dual nationals)
  • Irish citizens
  • People who have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

You need to:

  • be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen; and
  • have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

Yes, everyone will have to apply, unless you are already a British citizen or have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). See PR and ILR holders for more detail. This includes people who were born here but have not been registered as British as well as those who are married to a British citizen, regardless of length of residence.

Yes, PR documents will stop being valid after the end of 2020. However, if you have a PR document, the application will be free of charge and you will not need to provide evidence of residence. See PR and ILR holders for more detail.

No, British citizens, including dual nationals, cannot apply under the scheme, however, in accordance with the Lounes judgment, dual British-EU citizens can still be joined by their family members as if they had successfully applied under the scheme. See family members for more information.

The status

Getting settled status or pre-settled status under the scheme means you can continue to live and work in the UK after 31 December 2020. Settled or pre-settled status will give you the right to:

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS
  • 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.

Settled status means:

  • you can live in the UK for as long as you like;
  • you can apply for British citizenship, if you meet the other requirements;
  • you should be able to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status, although this is still subject to approval from Parliament;
  • any children born in the UK once you have settled status will be automatically be British from birth.

Pre-settled status means:

  • you can live in the UK for 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status;
  • you can apply for settled status as soon as you have lived in the UK for 5 years, provided you spent at least 6 months of each year in the UK, without having to pay a fee.
  • you can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your pre-settled status, but you will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.
  • any children born in the UK once you have pre-settled status will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status, if they are not British. See children.

You will be able to view, manage and get proof of your status online. See proving your rights and status. You will not get a physical document unless both of the following apply:

Settled status is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Pre-settled status is Limited Leave to Remain (LTR). Both are issued under Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules.

Yes, since settled status is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Para 7.7. of the Statement of Intent says:

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.

The above also means you can still use your PR card to apply for citizenship for yourself or your UK born children, based on an earlier PR acquired date, even if you also have obtained settled status, until the end of 2020, when PR cards cease to be valid.

The application

  • There is a phased pilot scheme restricted to applicants who meet certain criteria, see Pilot applicant eligibility for full details.
  • For everyone else, the scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.
  • The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021.
  • Family members joining EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status in the UK can apply after this date.

You will need evidence of:

No, you can apply using the online form, the Android device is only required to read the data off your ID document. If you do not own an Android device, you can:

You can check if your Android device is suitable here: Using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app.

You need a valid passport or ID card. If you are from outside the EU, you can use a valid passport or biometric residence card.

You can apply by either:

You can check if your Android device is suitable here: Using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app.

If using the Android app, the app will also scan your face, otherwise, you’ll also need to upload a recent digital photo of your face.

You can provide your National Insurance number when you apply to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records. If this check is successful, you will not need to provide any documents as proof of residence. You will only need to send documents if there is not enough data to confirm you’ve been here for 5 years in a row and you will be told immediately after you apply if you need to provide any documents. If required, you will be able to submit photos or scans of your documents through the online application form and only need to provide one piece of evidence for each period you are required to provide further evidence for. See proving residence and evidence for more details.

You’ll need to prove you have lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period over a total of 5 years to be eligible for settled status. See also residence requirements.

Applicants aged 18 or over will be asked about their criminal history in the UK and overseas and will also be checked against the UK’s crime databases.

If you have only been convicted of a minor crime, for example you’ve had a speeding fine, you are still be eligible for settled or pre-settled status. You may still get settled or pre-settled status even if you have other convictions. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

If you’ve been to prison, you’ll usually need at least 5 years’ continuous residence from the day you were released to be considered for settled status. See criminality and suitability for more information.

Non EU nationals will need to provide:

  • proof of relationship to their EU citizen family member, such as a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate. These can be scans submitted through the online form;
  • evidence is the family members’ identity and residence in the UK;
  • fingerprints and a photo of their face, at an application centre in the UK, unless they already have a biometric residence card or a biometric residence permit.

The above will not be required for those who have a valid permanent residence document.

You’ll probably get a decision more quickly if you apply at the same time as or after your family member.

If you expect to qualify for settled status with 5 years’ continuous residence before 30 June 2021, you should consider applying on or after the date that you qualify, so you only need to apply once.

If you do not expect to qualify for settled status before 30 June 2021, you must apply for pre-settled status, which will allow you to live here for 5 years or until you qualify for settled status.

If your application is missing one of the elements required for it to be valid, you will be prompted or contacted and given a reasonable opportunity to provide what is required to validate the application. The application will only be rejected after you have been prompted or contacted and given a reasonable opportunity to provide what is needed to validate the application. Where an application is rejected as invalid, the application fee, if paid in full or in part, will be retained.

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

A digital certificate of application under the scheme will be issued to confirm that the applicant has submitted a valid application under the scheme. It does not confirm their immigration status in the UK.

You can reapply as many times as you want to before 30 June 2021, but you’ll have to pay the fee each time you apply. If you think the HO made a mistake, you may be to apply for an administrative review of the decision.

Further information

More info about the EU settlement scheme in our newsletters