Settled status and pre-settled status in the UK

Settled Status UK

You’ll usually get settled status if you’ve:

  • started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by the date the UK leaves the EU without a deal)
  • lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)

Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. The exceptions are:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
  • compulsory military service of any length
  • time you spent abroad as a Crown servant, or as the family member of a Crown servant
  • time you spent abroad in the armed forces, or as the family member of someone in the armed forces

You can stay in the UK as long as you like if you get settled status. You’ll also be able to apply for British citizenship if you’re eligible.

Pre-settled status

If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you’ll usually get pre-settled status. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by the date the UK leaves the EU without a deal).

You can then apply to change this to settled status once you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence.

If you’ll reach 5 years’ continuous residence at some point before 30 December 2020, you can choose to wait to apply until you reach 5 years’ continuous residence. This means that if your application is successful, you’ll get settled status without having to apply for pre-settled status first.

You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status.

 


 

Your rights with settled or pre-settled status

You’ll be able 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

If you want to spend time outside the UK

If you have settled status, you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status.

If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.

If you have pre-settled status, you can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. You will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.

 


 

If you have children after applying

If you get settled status, any children born in the UK while you’re living here will automatically be British citizens.

If you get pre-settled status, any children born in the UK will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status. They will only be a British citizen if they qualify for it through their other parent.

If you want to bring family members to the UK

Your close family members can join you in the UK before 31 December 2020 (or before 31 December 2025 if you’re a Swiss citizen). They’ll need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once they’re here.

You may still be able to bring family members after 31 December 2020. It will depend on where you’re from, when your relationship with your family member started, and whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.

If you cannot bring your family member under the EU Settlement Scheme, they may still be able to come here in a different way, for example on a family visa.

 


 

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal

If you’re a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you’ll be able to bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2020 if both of the following apply:

  • your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you

If you’re a Swiss citizen, you’ll be able to bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2025 if both of the following apply:

  • your relationship with them began before 31 December 2025
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you

 


 

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If you’re an EU citizen, the deadline for close family members joining you in the UK is 29 March 2022. You’ll only be able to bring them here if:

  • your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you

If you’re a citizen of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you’ll be able to bring close family members after the UK leaves the EU if both the following apply:

  • your relationship with them began before the UK left the EU
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you