Apply for Settled Status in the UK as an EU Citizen

This page answers some common questions about (Pre-)Settled Status and the EU Settlement Scheme application process.

What is Brexit banner

What is Brexit?

On 31st December 2020 the UK left the EU (so-called Brexit).

New arrangements have to be put in place, including those that cover the right of EU citizens to freely live and work in the UK for those already here.

EU citizens affected are the nationals of the 27 EU countries (Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Malta, Ireland) plus EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland.

For simplicity, we refer to EU citizens across this website, but unless specified, we actually mean the nationals of the 31 countries in the paragraph above.

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What does this mean for me?

If you are an EU citizen, and live in the UK, the treaty that protects your rights to live and work here will no longer apply here.

To allow you and your family to stay and work here, and retain your rights to services, benefits and healthcare, the EU and the UK have agreed on certain terms and protections for EU citizens in the UK.

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What should I do?

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

 

The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and secure your rights to continue to live, work, study and access benefits and services, such as healthcare in the UK was June 30th 2021. To secure your immigration status under the EUSS, you had to be resident in the UK before December 31 2020.

However, you can still apply to the scheme if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but did not make an application to the EUSS by the deadline of 30 June 2021. You may need to show ‘reasonable grounds’ for why you did not apply by the deadline that applies to you. 

Until you secure Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, your rights in UK law are not protected. If you have not yet applied to the EU Settlement Scheme and wish to remain in the UK, do not delay applying any further.

The steps you need to take

Make sure that you have all the relevant documents required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before you begin:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of continuous residence in the UK and (unless you’re applying to join a family member) that it started by 31 December 2020
  • Proof of your relationship to a family member, and their eligibility or status under the EU Settlement Scheme, if you’re applying to join or remain with them in the UK

Begin the application process from this web page: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status

Advice – hints or tips

The UK Government Home Office has said that it will take a ‘flexible and pragmatic approach’ to accepting late applications and will look for reasons to grant applications, not to refuse them.

If you did not apply by 30 June 2021, you may need to show ‘reasonable grounds’ for why you did not apply by the deadline.

Some reasonable grounds stated by the home office are (source https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/eligibility):

  • you’re a child, or applying for your child, and you did not know you needed to apply
  • your parent, guardian or local authority did not apply for you when you were a child
  • you have, or had, a medical condition which prevented you from applying
  • you lacked the physical or mental capacity to apply
  • you have care or support needs, or those caring for you were unaware of the deadline
  • you’ve been the victim of modern slavery
  • you’ve been in an abusive or controlling relationship
  • you did not have internet access, or access to relevant documents
  • you came to the UK on a work or study visa and became eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme while you were here, but did not know you could apply
  • you already have indefinite leave to enter or remain, and you did not know you could apply to the scheme
  • you had permanent residence status or a residence document that stopped being valid after 30 June 2021, and you did not know you needed to apply to the scheme
  • you had difficulty accessing support to apply because of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions
  • another compelling practical or compassionate reason prevented you applying

It is free to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. You should never be charged for any services related to your EUSS application.

Where to get help if you get stuck

The UK government runs the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre, which can help you with your EUSS application.

You can contact them online here: https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/

Alternatively you can call the EUSS Resolution Centre on the following numbers:

From within the UK: 0300 123 7379

Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), 8am to 8pm

Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am to 4:30pm

You can find out more about call charges here: https://www.gov.uk/call-charges

From outside the UK: +44 (0)203 080 0010

Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), 8am to 8pm

Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am to 4:30pm

Settled is here for you if you require further help with your EU Settlement Scheme issue.

You can call us on 0330 223 5336.

Or email advice@settled.org.uk 

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Can everyone in my family apply?

Yes. EU citizens and their family members, including children, must apply.

If your family includes nationals from outside the EU, they must apply too if they are:

  • your spouse, civil partner or durable partner;
  • your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren (under 21 years old);
  • Your dependent children over the age of 21;
  • your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.

What do I need to apply banner

I already have some immigration documents banner

I already have some immigration documents!

If you have a Registration Certificate or were registered under the Workers Registration Scheme you must apply.

If you have a Permanent Residence document, you must still apply. This document will become invalid on 31 December 2020. However, it will count as evidence of residence during your Settled Status application.

Non-EU citizens with a residence permit can apply if they can provide evidence of their relationship to an EU citizen, as well as their biometric residence permit.

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) you don’t have to apply. Settled Status is a form of Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, applying for Settled Status might give you extra rights and more protection. If you do apply, you can skip the proof of residence stage, as you have already qualified for that.

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What will I get and what will my rights be?

You will get Indefinite Leave to Remain, which is a UK immigration status that will give you the right to carry on living and working in the UK.

Depending on the length of time you have lived in the UK at the time of your application, or the proof of this time that you have, there are two categories:

  1. Pre-Settled Status will be offered if you have lived in the UK for less than five years when you apply, or if you cannot provide evidence that you have lived in the UK for more than five years. It is valid for five years only and you will need to apply for Settled Status when this runs out, or when you reach five years of residence in the UK. You can work, rent or buy accommodation and have access to the health care from the NHS, but some benefits may be restricted due to the additional conditions that apply.
  2. Settled Status will be offered if you can show you have lived in the UK for five years or more when you apply. This gives you a version of Indefinite Leave to Remain, with the right to work, rent or buy accommodation, access to healthcare and other social security provisions such as benefits and access to education on the same conditions as UK citizens.

You will have the right to leave and enter the country, however, you will lose your status if you stay out of the country for five years or more continuously.

You will also have the right to family reunification, which means close family members (children and parents, and their children and parents) can join you at a later date.

If you want to, you can apply for British Citizenship one year after you have received your Settled Status, if you meet the criteria for this. If you are married to a British Citizen, you can apply immediately on receiving Settled Status.

 


This page was last updated on Wednesday 13-01-2020. Settled will make every effort to update this information to reflect the current situation.

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