Why and how do I apply for settled status?

Why and how do I apply for settled status?

The settled status is the permanent resident status offered - since March 30, 2019 - to all European nationals * who wish to remain living in the United Kingdom after Brexit. This status guarantees the same rights as a British citizen in relation to health, work, education, social benefits and pensions.

* members of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizens - not having British nationality.

Pre-settled status or settled status?

There are 2 statuses:

  • Pre-settled status: accessible to EU nationals living in the UK for less than 5 years.
  • Settled status: accessible to European nationals who have lived in the UK for at least 5 years.

The request for pre-settled status or settled status is free.

To apply for settled status or pre-settled status, you must be able to prove that you have lived in the United Kingdom for at least 6 months - and have arrived by December 31, 2020 at the latest. The deadline to submit an application is June 30, 2021.

Any European national living in the United Kingdom who has not obtained pre-settled status or settled status before June 30, 2021 will no longer be allowed to live or work in the UK. This applies to any EU citizen, even married to a UK citizen or with UK children.

You must / can also apply for pre-settled status or settled status if:

  • You already have a UK permanent resident document or are married to a UK citizen.
  • You are not a member of the EU or the EAA, but a relative is.

Pre-settled status: you have been living in the UK for less than 5 years

If you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years as of June 30, 2021, you can apply for pre-settled status. This status is valid for 5 years and allows you to leave the UK for a maximum of 2 years, without losing your rights.

Once the 5 years of continuous residence has been reached, you can then apply for settled status.

The transformation of your pre-settled status into settled status is not automatic.

Settled status: you have lived in the UK for at least 5 years

If you can prove your continued presence in the country for 5 years or more as of June 30, 2021, you can apply for settled status. This status allows you to leave the UK for up to 5 years without losing your rights - and gives you the opportunity to apply for UK citizenship after one year.

An absence of one year (maximum) for compelling reasons (childbirth, serious illness, professional training, etc.) - over your last 5 years of residence - is tolerated.

Documents to provide

To make your request for pre-settled status or settled status, you must be in possession of:

  • Your valid biometric passport.
  • If your passport is not biometric, it must be sent by post.
  • Your National Insurance Number or proof of residence of at least 6 months for the past 5 years.
  • Favor documents covering long periods (annual bank statements, Council Tax, university certificates, etc. - indeed, a document with a single date will justify your residence for the month mentioned only.

A criminal record check will also be performed.

Apply for pre-settled status or settled status

For minors, the request must be made - on their behalf - by an adult.

The process is completely paperless - if you do have a biometric passport, you will not be required to send it by post.

If your application is rejected, you can appeal this decision: the government grants an administrative appeal of 28 days.

From the dedicated mobile application

The mobile app EU Exit: ID document check - available at Google Play and the App Store - allows you to make your request directly from your smartphone - in just a few clicks!

If your request is accepted, you will receive your certificate by e-mail.

In addition to the documents mentioned above, you will be asked to take a selfie with your smartphone.

Allow about 15 minutes to finalize your request.

On the Internet

Go to the official UK government website - and click on 'Start now'.

If your request is accepted, you will receive your certificate by e-mail.

Allow around 30 minutes to finalize your request.

By phone

In case of difficulty, do not hesitate to contact the services of the Home Office at +44 30 0123 7379.

Modification or update of your request

If needed, you can update the following information on the official UK government site:

  • phone number
  • e-mail
  • name
  • identity document
  • address of residence

In order to benefit from your rights, the information related to your settled status must always be up to date.

Need help?

You can find more information on the official website of the British government.

But also on:

Several municipalities in London - like Kensington and Chelsea or Greenwich - offer to accompany you in your steps (free or paid service depending on the district).