Your rights and status

The rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021.

If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.

You’ll be given either:

  • settled status
  • pre-settled status

You will not be asked to choose which you’re applying for.

Settled status

You’ll usually get settled status if you’ve:

  • started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (‘continuous residence’)

Five years’ 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

You will only need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once if you get settled status.

Your rights with settled status

If you have settled status you can stay in the UK as long as you like.

You can also:

  • apply for British citizenship, if you’re eligible
  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS
  • enrol in education or continue studying
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
  • travel in and out of the UK

You can also bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2020 if both of the following apply:

  • your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you

If your relationship with them began after 31 December 2020, your family member will be able to come here on a family visa.

Any children born in the UK while you’re living here will automatically be British citizens.

You should be able to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.

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

Pre-settled status

If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence, you’ll usually get ‘pre-settled status’ instead.

You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status, but you must apply again and get settled status if you want to stay here for longer than that.

Changing your pre-settled status to settled status

You can apply to change your status as soon as you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. If you apply after April 2019, it will be free.

Your rights with pre-settled status

You can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your pre-settled status, but you will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.

You will be able to:

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS
  • enrol in education or continue studying
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
  • travel in and out of the UK

Any children born in the UK after you’ve got pre-settled status will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status. They will only be a British citizen if they qualify for it through their other parent.

Viewing and proving your status

If you successfully apply, the Home Office will email you a link to an online service that you can use to view and prove your status.

You will not get a physical document unless both of the following apply:

You can read more information about how to view and prove your status.

If you’re an EU citizen, you’ll still be able to use your passport or identity card to enter the UK once you get settled or pre-settled status.

  1. Step 1 Find out about the EU Settlement Scheme

    You can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. You’ll get settled or pre-settled status if your application is successful.

    1. Find out what the EU Settlement Scheme is
    2. You are currently viewing: Check what your rights are with settled and pre-settled status
  2. Step 2 Check if you can apply

  3. Step 3 Find out when to apply

    The scheme is open to some EU citizens and their family members now. It will open fully by 30 March 2019.

    Which status you get will depend on how long you’ve been living in the UK. This might affect when you choose to apply.

    1. Find out when to apply
  4. Step 4 Apply

    You'll have until 30 June 2021 to apply, or until 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

    1. What you'll need to do when you apply

    You can apply in a different way if you're under 21.

    1. How to apply if you're under 21
    1. Apply to the test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme
  5. Step 5 After you've applied