Should I Apply for Settled Status?

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Settled statusSettled status – how it works, who’s eligible and when you should apply

The EU settlement scheme to obtain ‘settled status’ is the new residence system has been implemented as the UK has left the EU. It has replaced the permanent residence system under the EU regulations; however, the settlement scheme is also open to those with indefinite leave to remain (ILR), although it is not a compulsion for ILR holders.

As the UK has left the EU with a deal: the deadline for applying for the settlement scheme will be 30 June 2021.

All EU citizens and their families that wish to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 will have to apply through the EU settlement scheme to obtain settled status – however, the process for applying is different depending on your circumstance:

If you’re an EU citizen with a permanent residence document:

If you have a document certifying permanent residence it means you will have already proven that you have been lawfully exercising your Treaty rights in the UK. In this case, you can simply apply to exchange your permanent residence document for a settled status confirmation. This exchange is free of charge and you will not be asked to further prove your continuous residence.

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK for 5 or more years but don’t have permanent residence document:

You’ll need to prove the following:

  • Proof of identity – valid passport, national identity card or biometric residence permit
  • Proof of continuous residence – this can be done by proving your national insurance number so that the Home Office can check for residence based on your tax. If this check is deemed satisfactory for the Home Office, you will not need to send any further documents. If the Home Office is not satisfied with the tax check, you will need to provide further documents in order to satisfy them of your continuous residence.

What will settled status enable me to do?

  • Apply for British citizenship (with further eligibility criteria)
  • Work and study in the UK
  • Use the NHS
  • Access public funding (with further eligibility criteria)
  • Travel from and back to the UK freely – you will be able to spend 5 years outside the UK (this may change) without losing your settled status
  • Bring close family members to the UK

Any children you will have after obtaining settled status will automatically be eligible for British citizenship.

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK but you haven’t been here for 5 years continuously already:

You can apply for pre-settled-status – this means that you will be able to live in the UK for 5 years if granted. If you wish to continue living in the UK after your pre settled status expires, you will have to apply for settled status. By that time you will be eligible for settled status since you will have been in the UK for 5 years.


Switching from pre-settled status to settled status will be free of charge and can be done as soon as you have reached 5 years of continuous residence.

What will pre-settled status enable me to do?

  • Work and study in the UK
  • Use the NHS
  • Access public funding (with further eligibility criteria)
  • Travel from and to the UK freely

Any children you will have after obtaining pre-settled status will automatically be eligible for pre-settled status. They will not automatically be eligible for British citizenship unless their other parent qualifies for British citizenship.

How can NA Law Solicitors help?

If you have any questions about eligibility for permanent residence, settled or pre-settled status or what it means for yourself or your family member(s), give us a call and we’ll advise you on your legal issue.

Alternatively, for more information, visit the links below:

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