EU Settlement Scheme

Get In Touch

EU Settlement Scheme

ON THIS PAGE

What is EU settlement scheme

EU Settlement scheme is a rule allowing EEA nationals and their families to protect their right to live and work in the UK after Brexit. EU nationals who were resident in the UK on 31 December 2020 are covered by the settlement scheme.

There are two types of permits – settled status and pre-settled status.  

Settled status is for EEA nationals and their family members who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years. It is an equivalent of indefinite leave to remain and allows you to stay in the UK permanently. Settled status is lost if you have left the UK for a continuous period of five years.

Pre-settled status is for those who have not completed five years of continuous residence. It protects the rights acquired before 31 December 2020 and will allow you to get permanent status once you have lived in the UK continuous for five years.

Pre-settled status is lost if you have been out of the UK for two years continuously.

Deadline for the initial application under the EU Settlement scheme

For EU nationals and their family members resident in the UK before Brexit (or on 31 December 2020) the deadline for the initial application for a settled or pre-settled status was 30 June 2021.

If you missed the deadline and there were reasonable grounds for the delay, the application can be made out of time. You will need to explain the reason for the delay and show that you were resident in the UK at the relevant time and thus qualify for either temporary or a permanent status under the scheme.

If you missed the deadline while you had leave to remain in another immigration category, the current policy allows you to make an application under the EU settlement scheme out of time before expiry of your current visa.

How long a pre-settled status is for

Pre-settled status (temporary permission) is granted for a period of five years.

It is lost automatically if you are absent from the UK for two years. If you are not living in the UK but visiting the country at least once in two years, your pre-settled status is not affected and you continue to enjoy the right to work in the UK.

Absences from the UK will bear on your right to apply for a settled status.

When does one qualify for a settled status

You may qualify for a settled status under EU settlement scheme once you have been resident in the UK continuously for five years.

Continuously means having not left the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period.

The time starts counting from when you initially arrived in the UK. But if you left for more than six months, or your cumulative absences reached more than 180 days in any 12 months, your time starts counting afresh.

Excessive absences with a pre-settled status

In some circumstances an absence of up to 12 months would not break the continuity of residence. If your residence period started before 31 December 2020, but you stayed out of the country due to COVID, for example caring for a family member affected by COVID or having been advised by your employer not to return to the UK and continue working remotely, your absence of up to 12 months will count as a period of continuous residence.

Absence beyond 12 months will not be credited toward a period of continuous residence, but where you can demonstrate that the absence was for a serious reason you may be able to extend your pre-settled status to reach the qualifying five year period for indefinite leave to remain. According to the current guidance, the qualifying period in this case will be assessed cumulatively – up to the date when your absence stopped being credited toward continuous residence and from the date you returned to the UK.

In case of more than one absence for a serious reason, the guidance allows a second period of absence of more than six months (but not exceeding 12 months) where this absence was for an important reason and if one of the two prolonged absences was for a reason related to COVID. The first six months of the second period of absence will count toward continuous residence. After that he qualifying period will be paused but not interrupted and you may be able to extend your pre-settled status to reach the qualifying five years for the settled status.

Get expert help with EU Settlement Application

What happens if an application under the EU Settlement Scheme is refused

You can apply for an administrative review of the decision under the EU Settlement Scheme if the application was refused or you were wrongly granted pre-settled rather than a settled status. The right to apply for an administrative review will depend on the grounds for refusal.

If your application has been refused because the decision-maker incorrectly applied the Immigration Rules or a published policy or if you have new evidence that would better prove your case, administrative review may be your remedy.

An application for administrative review can be made within 28 days of receipt of the decision.

It costs £80 which are refunded to you if administrative review confirms that the decision-maker made a mistake in refusing your application. If the original decision is overturned because of the new information you have provided with the application for administrative review, you will not get a refund.

In addition, you may have the right to appeal to an immigration tribunal.  You have 14 days to file an appeal if you are in the UK or 28 days if you are outside the UK.

You can appeal and apply for administrative review at the same time. Alternatively, you can wait for an outcome of the administrative review application and if you are not happy with it, appeal the original decision in an immigration tribunal.

Share on facebook
Share
Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on email
Email
Share on linkedin
Share

Last updated on 21 December, 2022

Share on facebook
Share
Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on email
Email
Share on linkedin
Share

Last updated on  21 December, 2022