Home Office update – Settled status for EU citizens and their families


If you’re a European Union (EU) citizen living in the UK, you and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ if you want to continue living here after June 2021.

You will not need to apply if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain, but your family members from outside the UK and Ireland will.

The scheme will open fully by March 2019 and the deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021.

Getting settled status means you can continue to live and work in the UK for as long as you like. It will mean you’re eligible for:

  • public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you meet the requirements

To be eligible for settled status, you’ll need to:

  • be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen
  • have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years (‘continuous residence’)
  • have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020

If you’ve lived in the UK for less than 5 years, you’ll generally be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ instead.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, you will need to show your relationship to an EU citizen living here.

Full details of the scheme are still subject to approval by Parliament.

‘Continuous residence’
Continuous residence means you’ve been in the UK for at least 6 months in each of those 5 years, except for:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, to work or study)
  • compulsory military service

If you will not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply you’ll generally get ‘pre-settled status’ instead.
Pre-settled status means you can stay in the UK for a further 5 years. You can live and work here and will have access to public funds and services on the same basis as you do now.

Once you have 5 years’ continuous residence you can apply for settled status.

If you’re not living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you’ll be able to apply to join your family member here after that date if both:

  • your family member is eligible to apply and your relationship existed by 31 December 2020
  • you’re a close family member, for example a spouse, civil partner, a dependent child or grandchild, or a dependent parent or grandparent.

Applying for settled status
The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you’re joining a family member in the UK.

If you are eligible to apply for a Document Certifying Permanent residence now, the Government have said that those holding such documents can exchange them for “settled status” when the time comes for free.

Once you have held permanent residence for 12 months you can apply immediately for British citizenship and a British passport.


Nick Bennett