If you have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain
The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in most cases was 30 June 2021. In some cases, you can still apply after the deadline.
If you have indefinite leave to enter (ILE) or indefinite leave to remain (ILR), you do not need settled or pre-settled status to continue living in the UK. This means you did not need to apply to the scheme in the first place, but you can choose to apply.
What you’ll get
If you have ILE or ILR, and you successfully apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll get indefinite leave to enter or remain under the EU Settlement Scheme - also known as settled status. You will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.
This means you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man without losing your settled status (instead of 2 years with the ILE or ILR you have now).
If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man without losing your settled status. Your family members do not have to be Swiss citizens.
If you did not know you could apply to the scheme while having ILE or ILR, this counts as ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying by the deadline.
If you spend too much time outside the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
If you spend more than 5 years in a row outside the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (4 years if you’re a Swiss citizen or their family member) you’ll lose your settled status. You’ll usually need to apply for a visa to live and work in the UK.
You can only reapply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you’re eligible as a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
If you moved to the UK before it joined the EU on 1 January 1973
You may have been given ILR automatically if you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein and you lived in the UK before 1973. If you were, you do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK, but you can choose to apply.
If you do not have a document confirming your ILR status, you can either:
- apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to get settled or pre-settled status
- apply to the Windrush scheme to get proof of your ILR status
If you’re from Malta or Cyprus, you could also apply for British citizenship through the Windrush scheme.
Applications for either scheme are free of charge.