Who should apply

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

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

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

You’ll need to apply even if you’re an EU citizen married to a British citizen.

‘Continuous residence’

Continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period, except for:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
  • compulsory military service of any length

If you will not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply

You’ll generally get ‘pre-settled status’ instead.

This means you can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status. Once you have 5 years’ continuous residence you can apply for settled status.

You can get settled status in less than 5 years in certain situations.

If you’re from outside the EU

You must be in a relationship with an EU citizen as their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner.

You’ll need a residence card to prove your relationship if you’re unmarried.

You can also be related to an EU citizen, their spouse or civil partner as their:

  • child, grandchild or great-grandchild under 21 years old
  • dependent child over the age of 21
  • dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent
  • dependent relative with a residence card to prove your relationship

If you have a valid permanent residence document

You can change your permanent residence document to settled status by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. You will not have to pay or prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.

If you’re overseas and a family member of an EU citizen living in the UK

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 all of the following apply:

  • your family member is eligible to apply
  • your relationship began before 31 December 2020
  • you’re a close family member when you apply, for example a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, a dependent child or grandchild, or a dependent parent or grandparent

If you have indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK

You can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.

However, you can choose to change your indefinite leave to remain to settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

This means should be able to spend 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status (instead of 2 years with indefinite leave to remain or enter).

How long you can live outside the UK is still subject to approval by Parliament.

You will not have to pay or prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.