When to apply
The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The test phase of the scheme is open now - you can apply if you’re eligible.
If you apply before you have 5 years’ ‘continuous residence’, you’ll usually get pre-settled status rather than settled status.
When you’ll have 5 years’ 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
If you’ll have 5 years’ continuous residence by 30 June 2021
If you apply once you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence (and you meet all the eligibility criteria), you’ll get settled status.
If you apply before you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence, you’ll only get pre-settled status. You’ll then need to apply again later to get settled status if you want to stay in the UK permanently.
If you will not have 5 years’ continuous residence by 30 June 2021
You will not be eligible for settled status before the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme. However if you meet all the eligibility criteria, you’ll get pre-settled status if you apply anytime before 30 June 2021.
You can then change your pre-settled status to settled status as soon as you have 5 years’ continuous residence.
You may get settled status before you have 5 years’ continuous residence if you had to stop working early, or start working in another EU country.
If you’re applying as a family member of an EU citizen
You’ll probably get a decision more quickly if you apply at the same time or after your family member applies.
Your family member will be given an application number when they apply. You can use this to ‘link’ your application to theirs, so that your applications are considered together.
If your family member is an Irish citizen
Your Irish family member does not need to apply.
If you’re the family member of an EU citizen who has died
You might be eligible for settled status before you’ve been living in the UK for 5 years.
Your family member must have been working or self-employed in the UK at the time of their death. You must also have been living with them just before their death and either:
- they lived continuously in the UK for at least 2 years before their death
- their death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease
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 has either settled or pre-settled status
- your relationship began before 31 December 2020
- you remain a close family member, for example a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, a dependent child or grandchild, or a dependent parent or grandparent