If you are a national of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and currently hold a valid Pre-Settled Status, you and your family members will be eligible for Settled Status after completing 5 continuous years in the UK. Settled Status gives you the right to reside in the UK permanently and the right to apply for Naturalisation after 12 months of obtaining Settled Status.
With Settled Status, you can have the right to live and work without immigration control checks and access to public funds and NHS for free without a time limit.
Requirements for Settled Status
To meet the requirements for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, applicants must fulfil two fundamental conditions.
Firstly, they are required to provide evidence of their residency in the UK before the 30th of December 2020, unless they qualify as joining family members.
Secondly, they must substantiate their continuous residence in the UK for an uninterrupted span of 5 years, commonly referred to as the “continuous qualifying period.”
These two criteria are key to a successful application under the scheme.
When to Apply for Settled Status?
You can apply for Settled Status once you meet the eligibility criteria, typically after maintaining residence in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man for a consecutive period of 5 years. It’s essential to note that this 5-year period is calculated from the start of your continuous residence, not from the date you were granted pre-settled status.
However, it’s important to be aware that if you spent more than 6 months outside the UK within any 12-month period during these 5 years, you may not qualify for settled status.
Automatic Extension of Pre-Settled Status
Your Pre-Settled Status will automatically receive a 2-year extension shortly before its expiration date if you haven’t already applied for Settled Status. If you had broken your continuous residence in the first two years of your pre-settled status, this 2-year extension will give you the opportunity to compensate for it.
However, if you do not meet the criteria, e.g. not living in the UK, the Home Office cancels this extension.
Automatic Confirmation of Settled Status
The Home Office is also planning to implement a process for the automatic conversion of eligible pre-settled status holders to settled status once they meet the eligibility criteria. This is to ensure that the pre-settled status holders do not lose their rights and eliminates the need for submitting a new application.
In 2024, automated assessments of pre-settled status will be conducted to verify the Pre-Settled Status holders’ continuous residence in the UK. However, if the case is not straightforward to conclude via automatic assessment for the Home Office, you might get a 2-year extension instead and need to apply yourself.
If you do not receive an automatic grant of Settled Status after completing 5-year stay in the UK, contact us to request a free 15 mins consultation.