Settled is Registered with the Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, number 1184580. Settled CIO N201900057). This suggests a more relaxed approach to absences than the Home Office adopts in other types of settlement. In other words, the Home Office will not just be looking at travel during a calendar year. If you return on 4 March instead, it would be one day’s absence only. Frankly, I’m not sure what the right answer is when it comes to the Settlement Scheme. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 to 17:00. Once a person gets settled status, they can be away from the UK for a total of five consecutive years. I am a citizen of an EU country and have lived in the UK previously but left again. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person. If you don’t have pre-settled or settled status, you’ll need a passport to visit the UK from 1 October 2021. However, the Government has stated that: The EUSS means citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will be able to stay and continue to work, study and access benefits and services broadly on the same basis as they currently do.’ https://www.gov.uk/guidance/studying-in-the-uk-guidance-for-eu-students, If you’re starting a course on or after 1 August 2021, you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get student finance. There is simply no generic allowance for “compelling occupational reasons” or travel that is an “unavoidable consequence” of the applicant’s career (as permitted in naturalisation applications, for example). Opening Times: You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser. You could check with the Home Office if your case meets this scenario. Settled status is the grant of indefinite leave to EU nationals who can evidence continuous UK residence for at least 5 years. But please note that during the five year of pre-settled status, the Home Office allows an absence of up to 12 months “for an important reason”. Helping EU citizens to stay in the UK after Brexit, Frequently Asked Questions about Settled Status, Leaflets: Applying & After you have applied, Universal Credits and Welfare Entitlement, Update applicants’ EU Settlement Scheme details, https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/what-settled-and-presettled-status-means, https://gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=67&id2=627DF7″, https://www.gov.uk/assisted-digital-help-online-applications, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-id-document-scanner-locations, https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-residence-card, https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/biometric-residence-permit-replacement-service?_ga=2.9880885.1408909759.1597665806-1939459641.1592321380, https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status, https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status, https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/immigration/, https://www.forum.ukcen.com/forum/uk-nationality-questions, https://www.gov.uk/find-an-immigration-adviser, https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/start, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-kno, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/studying-in-the-uk-guidance-for-eu-students, https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/eu-students, https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/information–advice/fees-and-money/scotland-fee-status, https://www.gov.uk/masters-loan/eligibility, https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/brexit/Pages/brexit-and-universities.aspx, https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/International/Documents/FINAL%20Settlement%20scheme%20FAQs%20for%20Students%20Feb%2019.pdf, Statement of trafficking and modern slavery. The EU Settled Status Scheme opened to all applicants on 30 March 2019. When an applicant applies for Settled Status, therefore, the caseworker will contact them directly if further information is required, so as to give them every opportunity to demonstrate their eligibility, with a view to ensuring that they can be granted the status to which they are entitled. A “continuous qualifying period” is defined in Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules (the legal source of the Settlement Scheme) as being a period of residence that began before 11pm on 31 December 2020 and which has not been broken by one of the following: I’m going to take a look at the absences issue, as this is the question I’m most often asked about in practice. You can live outside the UK for up to 2 years without losing pre-settled status, but if you want to get settled status, you must live in the UK for at least 6 months each year … Robert M. fro… This is of course slightly less than half a year, which would be 182.5 days exactly. If someone with pre-settled status exceeds the permitted absences and returns to the UK after 31 December 2020, they will be unable to restart the settled status clock at all. 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. But it might take a while before the new data appear online. The starting point is that EU citizens and their family members will qualify for settled status after completing “a continuous qualifying period of five years of residence” in the UK. Proving how long you’ve lived in the UK If you give a National Insurance number, your records will be automatically checked during your application to work out how long you’ve lived in … If you already have either pre-Settled or Settled Status you can view your status, amend your contact details and prove your status using the link below: https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status. What do I do if I have to post my documents? If you continue to have problems, place the phone on the reverse cover or the photo page of your passport or ID document. This means that six months equals 180 days (the same limit applied to indefinite leave applications in the Tier 2 (General) and Tier 1 (Investor) categories). Under the Windrush scheme people, who arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988 and are settled in the UK, can be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. You can find more information on biometric residence cards (BRC) here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-residence-card, If you have pre-Settled or Settled Status you should use the following link to upgrade your BRC issued under the EEA regulations to a BRC issued under the EU Settlement Scheme: https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/biometric-residence-permit-replacement-service?_ga=2.9880885.1408909759.1597665806-1939459641.1592321380. You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status. The applicant simply needs to self-certify they’ve spent no more than six months outside the UK in any 12-month period. These include periods of absence on compulsory military service, a Crown service posting (or as a partner or child accompanying such a person) or time “spent working in the UK marine area”. Karma Hickman is an Associate Solicitor at Bishop & Sewell. The system does not send a reminder if an identity document has expired, so it is up to users to remember to update the details. If they are outside the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period during the five years it takes to qualify for full settled status, they will generally have to start the five years all over again. If their application is linked to a parent, proof of the relationship will need to be provided in the form of a birth certificate. It also applies to multiple trips totalling six months together. In March 2020, Mika happens to be in Finland on a visit home and decides to ride out the coronavirus pandemic there. For most people, the EU Settlement Scheme has largely lived up to its government billing as generous and straightforward, but confusion over permitted absences is likely to cause some European residents trouble down the line. I’m afraid I can’t see how this falls within one of the permitted exceptions as it’s repeat travel rather than “a single period of absence”. If your intention is to apply for Settled Status you should not be outside the UK for more than six months in every 12 months period, within the five years before your Settled Status application. If you have problems, try any of the following: If none of this works for you, please contact Settled on advice@settled.org.uk for further guidance. Firstly, it’s worth noting that the six-month cap is not limited to a single lengthy period outside the UK. However, if you left the UK for more than 6 months in a 12 months period, during your residence here, you cannot claim continuous residence and you will have to come back to the UK and apply for pre-Settled Status. If their answer is not clear or your application is not successful, or the status offered not what you expected, do get in touch via advice@settled.org.uk and we will try and help. That is because pre-settled status can’t be renewed or extended, so an interruption will leave the person short of the five years they need to qualify with no way of making up the time. In addition, applicants are permitted “a single period of absence” that does not exceed 12 months and which is “for an important reason, such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting”. How long can I leave the UK with pre-Settled Status? However, the Home Office has yet to confirm this in published guidance. Evidence of any regular communications that they may have had with the airline, demonstrating that they are unable to return to the UK on a pre-booked return flight date, for example, could also be provided, as could proof of any future necessary arrangements they may have made as a consequence of this, and so on. What is less straightforward is how exactly such absences are calculated. To be granted settled status you must have lived continuously in the UK for the last five years, otherwise you will be granted what’s known as pre-settled status. As Mika has been out of the UK for more than six months, he now can’t qualify for settled status until November 2025, after completing a continuous residence period of five years. Until 31 December 2020, you can still apply for universal credit without having settled status if you’re an EU national and meet the criteria. Can I apply for the Windrush Scheme? There is some allowance for periods longer than six months in very narrowly defined circumstances. First, a person who has broken their continuous residence period will still need to reapply for pre-settled status when they return to ensure that they can ultimately upgrade to settled status. But that pre-settled status will expire in March 2024, five years after it was granted. Sorry, the details you entered weren't correct, please try again, Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law, EU Settlement Scheme course now available FREE to members. If you are waiting for a decision on pre-Settled or Settled Status, you can amend your contact details using this link: https://www .gov.uk/update-eu-settlement-scheme-details. If you would like to remain in the UK indefinitely, you would need to reapply under the scheme for settled status. This means applicants who travel frequently will need to keep a very close eye on their travel. Remove any cases or covers from your document and phone and slowly move your phone around the document until the app recognises it. They have informed us that they will take a flexible approach to absences caused by COVID-19. If you do not have evidence of your ILR status or have evidence in the form of a letter, passport stamp or vignette, you may wish to consider any of the applications below. But, if you want to apply for settled status later, you need to: She undertakes a broad range of immigration work for individuals. Anyone with Settled Status can continue to live in the UK with the same rights as someone with indefinite leave to remain. I have received Pre-Settled Status. If you applied to the EU Settlement Scheme after 11pm on 31 January 2020, you can appeal the Home Office's decision to give you pre-settled status instead of settled status. You can provide evidence for a different 5-year period - as long as you haven’t lived outside the UK for 5 years in a row since then. If you have any problem with your second application contact us via advice@settled.org.uk. 13. You may be asked to provide evidence of your continuous residence. I’d advise anyone who’s not yet reached 180 days to play it safe and avoid exceeding that limit. Click on ‘Update or Replace your biometric residence card (BRC)’ to find out more and you can fill the application form by clicking Apply Now. How long can I stay outside the UK? This means that the person has to begin a new five-year continuous qualifying period from the date they return to the UK to get settled status. This allows you to stay in the UK for up to 5 years and then you can apply for ‘settled status’ once you’ve been here for 5 years, including the time before you applied. How long I can be outside the UK with pre-Settled Status and not lose my status or opportunity to apply for Settled Status? You can then apply to change this to settled status once you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. In fact, pre-settled status only lapses through two years of absence from the UK. That said, the Home Office will have a record of travel where eGates have been used at airports and where travel has been stamped in a passport, meaning that honesty is always the best policy. The applicant will be asked to upload evidence of the relationship. Mika can’t extend his existing pre-settled status beyond March 2024, so would be unable to reach November 2025. As many of us know, the UK will officially leave the European Union on the 31st December 2020. info@settled.org.uk, © 2019 Settled • All rights reserved • Disclaimer and copyright • Privacy policy • Statement of trafficking and modern slavery. Therefore, if you have documents that prove your continuous residence for 5 consecutive years, you will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Can I apply for pre-Settled or Settled Status, using those years against my application? You can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. You can do this via this page: You can check your status here, if you think it has been granted: You can contact the resolution centre to see if they have a record of your application and, if so, what the status of this is: Applications for non-EU family members or paper applications do take longer to process and the COVID-19 restrictions have added further delays. It is possible that Home Office caseworkers will be sympathetic to absences related to coronavirus, or that it will make a new general exception making allowances for the pandemic. For expert advice in relation to EU Settled Status contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173. They can then apply for the EU Settled Status once they have got 5 years of lawful residence in the UK. Home Office website: But there are two very important caveats. If you applied before this time, you can’t appeal but you can apply again or ask for an … My thanks to Chris Benn and Chris Desira of Seraphus Solicitors for their comments on a draft of this article. If you are not sure, do call the resolution centre for advice: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status. But, for the moment at least, it does not mean the applicant needs to leave the UK or that the person’s pre-settled status comes to an end. Thirdly, such absences are only relevant to the “qualifying period” relied upon. You should be able to spend up to 5 years outside the UK without losing your settled status. If you hold pre-settled status, the period of absence is 2 years, at which point your status is lost. Absence(s) of more than six months that don’t fall within one of the exceptions will break a person’s “continuous qualifying period”. The Home Office should already have an email and phone number for you (make sure you update these as soon as there is any change) from your previous application, but apart form that everything will need to be resubmitted. This is according to the EU Settlement Scheme website, probably reflecting section 13(4)(a) of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000: where the holder has stayed outside the United Kingdom for a continuous period of more than two years… any leave then remaining (where the leave is limited) shall thereupon lapse. If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. As before, you start with the App and then go to the online form. However, the British Parliament has yet to decide how long you’ll be allowed to live outside the UK without compromising your settled status. and contact the Windrush Helpline to receive information/ instructions: Receive the latest news on Settled Status direct to your email inbox. If you are unable to scan your ID documents, you may need to post your documents to the Home Office. How do I upgrade a BRC issued under the EEA regulations to a BRC issued under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)? Can they join their parents after the 31 December 2020 and 30 June 2021 deadlines? I have been unable to return to the UK due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, will I lose my pre-Settled Status? This means that you will NOT qualify for Settled Status at the end of your 5-year period. Settled status means they can live for up to five years in a row outside of the UK and still return, compared to two years in a row with indefinite leave … As he has been out of the UK for less than two years, he still has pre-settled status. Immigration law changes very rapidly, though. The above seems clear. Absence(s) from the UK exceeding a total of six months in any 12-month period, subject to some exceptions discussed below, A deportation, exclusion or removal decision or order (in very general terms), EU citizens and their family member qualify for settled status after a “continuous qualifying period” of five years’ UK residence, A “continuous qualifying period” is broken by absence(s) of more than six months in any rolling 12-month period (unless that absence falls within one of the above exceptions), Pre-settled status lasts for five years max. There are two types of status - settled, and pre-settled (Image: Getty Images Europe). Close family members that meet the following criteria can join EU/EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK anytime. Appealing the decision to give you pre-settled status. I have (pre-)Settled Status, but can’t access the account to update details. But I can’t really imagine an application failing at 182 days, subject to any further clarification on this point. Can I apply for the EU settlement scheme for my children in absentia  as their EU passport and birth certificate are with me in the UK? How do I change status from Pre-Settled to Settled status? If you get Settled Status, you can stay in the UK for as long as you wish and even apply for British Citizenship. The older the blog post on this site, the more likely it is that there have been legal developments since it was published. If people arrive in the UK on or after 1 April 2021, they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of the date they arrive in the UK. 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