Insights

Rights under Pre-Settled Status and Settled Status

23/02/2021

A reminder what rights EU citizens and their family members have under the EUSS (European Union Settled Scheme). The procedure and rights are now contained in Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules (previously Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016). Confusingly, Pre-settled status and Settled status are referred to as Limited Leave or Indefinite Leave within Appendix EU.  

An Overview:

Process: An EU citizen or their family members may be granted right to reside in the UK under the EUSS if  the following conditions are met:

1.The EU citizen and/or family member lived in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020;
2.The applicant has the acceptable document for proof of identity and nationality;
3.The applicant provides their biometrics (via the smart phone app, by post or attending a UKVCAS service centre)
4.Provides proof entitlement (e.g. proof of residence, exercising Treaty Rights and proof of family relation)
5.The applicant meets the suitability requirement

Outcome: EU citizens and their family members who are residing or were resident in the UK by 11pm on 31 December 2021:

Pre-settled status (i.e. limited leave to remain or enter):
If the applicant has resided in the UK less than  5 years, they will get Pre-settled status. Pre-settled status allows the applicant:

•the right to live and work in the UK for 5 years
•to apply for their family members/dependants to join them in the UK
•can spend up to 2 years living outside the UK without losing their pre-settled status
•The applicant can apply for Settled status or Indefinite Leave once they have lived in the UK for 5 years or more and their continuous residence was maintained (exceptions do apply)  

Settled status (i.e. Indefinite Leave to remain or enter):

The applicant may be granted Settled status in two ways:

1.If the applicant has already acquired permanent residence under Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 and have not been absent from the UK for more than 5 years; or
2.has completed a continuous qualifying period of five years from the date after the grant of Pre-Settled status and still meets the requirements under Appendix EU at the date of application

Having Settled status allows the applicant to:

•be absent from the UK for up to 5 years without losing the status
•apply for their family members/dependants to join them in the UK  
•children born after being granted Settled status will automatically be British
•Apply for British citizenship after 1 year of being granted Settled status

Applicants who have pre-settled or settled status and join their EU family members in the UK after 31 December 2021 cannot bring their own family members under the EUSS.

The EUSS is only open for EU citizens and their family members living or had lived in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020. They have until 30 June 2021 to apply or risk of losing their right to stay in the UK and face the hostile immigration actions. EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020, will need to apply under other routes available within the Immigration Rules.  


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