Check your eligibility for Settled Status

If you've already read our guidance for EU Londoners looking towards Brexit, you may be aware that you'll have to apply for Settled Status.

We can help you check your eligibility for Settled Status by clicking on the button below and answering a few simple questions. Your answers will help us direct you to further information and, if appropriate, the Settled Status application page. If you think you know your eligibility already, you can go directly to the application page.

What else do I need to know about applying for Settled Status?

Below you will find answers to some of the questions you may have about applying for Settled or pre-Settled Status. Please also read our Settled Status checklist of useful documents and information so you're prepared for when you complete the application.

The application process opened to all applicants at the end of March 2019, until the end of the grace period (six months after 31 December 2020), which is 30 June 2021. A third trial of the scheme commenced on 21 January 2019 and was open to resident EU citizens with a valid EU passport and non-EU citizen family members of an EU citizen who have a biometric residence card. Citizens of EEA countries and Switzerland were excluded from this trial, but can now apply, as the scheme was fully opened to all applicants on 30 March 2019.

The following guidance will help you find out about your status and what you and your family members will need to complete an application.

Can I apply for Settled Status or pre-Settled Status?

If you have lived in the UK continuously for five years or more (and at least six months in each of the five years), you can apply for Settled Status. In the application process you will be asked to confirm your identity, provide evidence of the length of your stay in the UK and be asked to declare any criminal convictions.

If you have lived in the UK for less than five years by the end of December 2020, you will be able to apply for pre-Settled Status. Once you reach five years of continuous residence, you will then be able to apply for Settled Status.

What if I already have Permanent Residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter status?

Settled Status is in effect Indefinite Leave to Remain. People who have Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK have already the right to remain in the UK. However, they might wish to apply for Settled Status to obtain the additional rights agreed under the Withdrawal Agreement, such as the right to a five-year absence and the right to be joined by eligible family members. Some people might also find it easier to demonstrate your right of residence with Settled Status than with ILR.

People who hold a valid Permanent Residence document will have to apply for Settled Status, as the Permanent Residence status will become invalid on 31 December 2020. The document however may still be relevant, as evidence of the nationality of British born children, for instance, so needs to be retained by you. During the application process you can indicate whether you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence.

If you held Indefinite Leave to Remain and cannot provide proof of this, for instance you have lost your documents or they have been destroyed for some reason, and you arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988, you may also be able to apply under the Windrush Scheme.

You will need to declare that you have not been absent from the UK for any periods of more than 2 years (Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter) or 5 years (Permanent Residence). However, you will not need to provide evidence of the length of your stay in the UK.

If you are uncertain about your rights, always seek independent legal advice. Resources available to you in London can be found on our support services page.

Does this also apply to Irish citizens?

Irish citizens have a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU and are considered ‘settled’ from the moment they took residence in the UK. They will therefore not be required to apply for the new status under the scheme, although they are not excluded from doing so if they so wish. Family members of Irish citizens who are resident under freedom of movement rights will need to apply for Settled Status.

Eligible family members of Irish Citizens living in the UK will be able to obtain Settled Status under the scheme without the Irish citizen doing so.

Do children need to apply?

All family members will need to apply individually, although parents or guardians will need to complete the applications on behalf of children in their care. Children under the age of 21 of parents with Settled Status, will be eligible for Settled Status upon application, even if they have lived in the UK for less than five years. A full application is required, but if parents have proof of their continuous residence, it will be presumed that dependent children will have this too. This applies also to children who arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020.

Applications for looked after children will be submitted by the authorities in whose care they are placed.

Children born in the UK with one parent who is already a UK citizen, or has Permanent Residence or Settled Status when they were born, are British citizens and do not need to naturalise or register. Some exceptions may apply to this. You can find out more information about whether a child might already be British.

For children who have been adopted a legal adoption document that is recognised in the UK will have to be provided.  Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 will also be protected

Read examples of how Settled Status and pre-Settled Status applies to different families.

What about people who need more help?

The Home Office is aware that there are many reasons why people will not have easy access to information, or are not able to understand or navigate through the system without assistance. They may not have access to computers or know how to use one, they may have a limited understanding of the English language, they may have a disability or other health issues that prevent them from engaging with the application process easily or without support. For people who are unable to access online services, or find this difficult, an Assisted Digital service will be offered. Assisted digital support can include telephone support, face-to-face support at selected libraries or at home for anyone unable to access either of these services.

The Home Office has consulted with user groups that represent a variety of communities and is learning from a series of trial application processes in real situations. However, this remains an area of particular concern and individual conditions and circumstances of applicants may demand specific support. It is the intention to work with relevant organisations that can help in identifying and reaching out to those eligible to apply for Settled Status, as well as to put in place specific support to them with making their application. This could include people in care, people that are hospitalised for a longer period and elderly, as well as travelling communities (Roma) and those with no fixed address. The Mayor has already funded organisations to provide this support in London.

The Home Office have a dedicated help line and other services. Any questions about an application made during the pilot, the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre can be contacted via 0300 123 7379 (inside the UK) or +44 (0) 203 080 0010 (outside the UK). Details of charges can be found here www.gov.uk/call-charges. You can also ask a question using the online submissions form eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk.

We have identified independent support and advice services in London that may be able to assist.

What if you have Dual Citizenship?

For EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who also have a British passport nothing will change. As you are a British national, you will continue to be able to access the same rights as now without the need to apply for Settled Status. However, you may still retain the rights agreed in the draft Withdrawal Agreement although the UK Government has not yet provided details of how dual citizens will prove their entitlement. See the next section for more details.

Can I apply for British Citizenship?

If you hold a valid Permanent Residence (PR) document or have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you may also be able to apply for British Citizenship. You can also do this once you have been granted Settled Status, although you will have to wait 12 months before you can submit this. However, not all nations allow their citizens to hold a passport of another country, or only under specific circumstances, so you may have to lose your current nationality.

If you are eligible for British Citizenship and want to apply for this, it may be good to check first with your embassy whether you can retain the passport of your country of birth and under what conditions. Find out how to apply for British Citizenship and find contact details of the EU27 embassies in London.

What about non-EU, EEA or Swiss family members and dependants?

Proof of your relationship to your EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen family member (for example, a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate) can be scanned and submitted through the online application form. You will also need to provide evidence of your family member’s identity and residence, if they have not yet obtained Settled Status themselves, and your fingerprints and a photo of your face at an application centre in the UK, unless you already have a biometric residence card.

 

EU, EEA or Swiss Citizens who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, can be joined by current family members, even if these are not EU, EAA or Swiss citizens themselves. This is also the case for those who obtain of have obtained British citizenship in addition to the citizenship of the country of their origin. They will retain the rights that allow them to be joined automatically by a current non-EU, EEA or Swiss family member after 31 December 2020. Close family members are, in this case, dependent parents and grand parents, as well as children under 21 or dependent children over 21. This follows the judgment in the so-called Lounes case. UK citizens may not have this automatic right.

 

This does not apply to British Citizens who have obtained an EU, EEA or Swiss passport (including Irish), to enable them to retain the right to Freedom of Movement in the EU, but still reside in the UK.  As they did not immigrate into the UK and are not considered to have exercised their treaty rights and will be treated as a British citizen for this purpose.

 

If you are not certain about the status of dependents and family members, you may want to ask for independent advice. Organisations in London that you may want to ask for independent advice.

What about EU citizens temporarily living outside of the UK?

Currently you can live outside the UK for a maximum of two years, before you lose Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence. Under the draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the EU and the UK, this will be extended to five years for Settled Status.

If you are currently living abroad and intend to return, you may want to consider doing so before the cut-off date of 31 December 2020 to apply for Settled Status or pre-Settled Status.

There may be circumstances under which you cannot or need not return by that date, but are still be eligible to apply. You can now apply from abroad using the ID verification app. However, if you cannot use the app, it may be difficult or even impossible to send your documents securely from your country of residence, which will prevent you from making the application.

What happens if an EU citizen arrives after the cut-off date? (Post-Brexit immigration rules)

If you arrive after the cut-off date of 31 December 2020, your right to stay in the UK will be considered under any new immigration rules to be put in place after Brexit. So, unless anything else is agreed between the UK and EU and you are not a close relative of an EU, EEA or Swiss family member with Settled Status or pre-Settled Status in the UK, you will be treated like any other national arriving here and the immigration legislation relevant at that time will apply to you. An exception to this may be people who qualify for pre-Settled Status, but did not return before deadline to apply.

Nothing of what I've read so far fits with my particular family circumstances. Where can I find further information?

There are a number of other cases in which, for instance, children or carers can derive rights from EU citizens who reside or have resided in the UK, or where the non-EU carers of EU citizens in the UK can derive rights from those the care for. Free Movement has more information on both.

If any of this applies to you or you are in any way concerned your rights or the rights of your family members, it will be good to ask for independent advice.  We have compiled a list of accredited organisations and other resources in London that may be able to help.

How can I apply? (Mobile app, online, paper, library)

Applications can be completed on line and the Home Office has released a mobile phone app to support the application process. The app will be fully functional on smart phones with Android. You will be able to scan your passport and it can read the chip with biometric data. The iPhone app will not be able to scan your passport or biometric ID, but  ID document scanning services are available at a number of centres (charges may apply).

It is possible to submit paper applications in specific cases and after receiving approval and the required form from the Home Office.

For people who are unable to access online services, or find this difficult, an Assisted Digital service will be offered. Assisted digital support can include telephone support, face-to-face support at selected libraries or at home for anyone unable to access either of these services.

What documents and other information do I need?

You will need a valid passport or biometric national identity card. A biometric document contains a chip (like a bank card has a chip) that holds information on you.

You will need proof of residence in the UK, unless you already have a valid Permanent Residence document, or Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK. If you have paid tax through work or received benefits, you can use your National Insurance number to help confirm that you have been residing in the UK.

If there is not enough information held on national databases, such as HMRC or DWP, you will be asked for further evidence to prove your continuous residence. This could include:

  • P60s or P45s
  • payslips
  • bank statements
  • utility bills, Council Tax bills, phone bills (mobile and landline, as long as they have your name and address)
  • annual business accounts
  • employer contracts or letters confirming employment
  • letters, invoices or certificates from accredited educational organisations
  • passport stamps confirming entry at the UK border
  • airline or train tickets confirming travel into the UK
  • letters from care centres, GPs, or hospitals, as well as medical appointments 

There are currently limitations on the number of documents you can scan and upload. The Home Office will arrange for applicants to submit via other methods should they not be able to stick to the limit, however methods for this have been varied. You will not need to provide evidence of your entire residence in the UK, only for the period that proves you are eligible for Settled or pre-Settled Status.

If you are from outside the EU, any of the other three EEA countries or Switzerland you will need to provide evidence of your relationship to a family member from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland living in the UK.

If you are not able to provide any further information or proof of residence, the Home Office has stated it will engage with you further to help determine your residence in the UK.

There is a useful checklist of documents and information that you can use to help support your preparation to apply.

Criminality checks

You will be asked to declare any criminal convictions that appear in your criminal record in the UK and overseas, or that of any children between the ages of 18 to 21, who you are submitting an application for. These will be checked against the UK’s crime databases. You do not need to declare any of the following: convictions that do not need to be disclosed (‘spent convictions’), warnings (‘cautions’), alternatives to prosecution, for example speeding fines"

You may still be eligible to apply for Settled or pre-Settled Status if you have and convictions and they will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, it may well be a good idea to seek independent legal advice prior to making your application, especially if you have had more than one conviction or a custodial sentence of 12 months or more. We have provided a list of independent legal advisors.

Is there a cost?

It’s free to apply for the scheme.

Initially the Government announced that a fee would be charged (£65 for adults and £32.50 for children under 16). However, in a statement to the House of Commons on 21 January 2019 the Prime Minister announced that this fee requirement was withdrawn and that applications are now free of charge. Those that acquired status under the scheme prior to this announcement will get a refund.

Costs may still be attached to other parts of the process, such as the use of the document and ID checking service in dedicated centres, usually around £14 per applicant. Some applicants may also need to use the UKVCAS as well as immigration and legal advice, if your specific circumstances require this.

Applying from abroad

Applications can now be made from abroad, using the ID scanning app and on line application process. If you cannot scan your passport or ID card, you may be asked to send these to the Home Office. However do check whether local laws permit you to send ID documents by post and contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre if you are in any doubt.

Do I get proof of Settled Status/pre-Settled Status?

If you are granted Settled Status you will not get a document to prove this. However, if you are ever required to provide proof of your status, for instance for a new employer, landlord or other health practitioner, you can provide them with an access code and web link, so that they can confirm electronically your status. They will not have access to any other information about you through this link.

Appeal and oversight

Your decision letter will set out how you can apply for a review if you are unhappy with the decision and the status you have been offered. This is called an administrative review and a request must be submitted within 28 days of the date of the decision. A fee of £80 applies, but this will be refunded if the application is successful, or if the application is rejected because it is invalid. The fee will not be refunded if the review is successful because you submitted additional information. You can request a review through an application form.

The establishment of an independent authority to oversee the process has been agreed in the draft Withdrawal Agreement and during the Transition Period the European Commission continues to have oversight. We will update these pages as soon as further information emerges.

Conditions for retaining Settled Status once granted

To retain Settled Status you should not leave the UK for more than a continuous period of five years, or be convicted of a serious crime. Otherwise there are no barriers that we are aware of to retain your Settled Status and to remain in the UK as you are now.

Future rights

Much of this will depend on the final nature of the settlement between the UK and the EU and the arrangements for oversight that are agreed, but your rights will become part of UK law. The Withdrawal Agreement will form the basis of any challenges and events around this are developing. We will update this section when further information becomes available.

Share this page