Compare your rights: 'Pre-Settled' and 'Settled' Status

When you apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, it is important to make sure you are offered the right status.

If you've been given Pre-Settled Status but you expected to get Settled Status you need to contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre.

 

  Pre-Settled Status Settled Status
What is it? UK immigration status called Limited Leave to Remain UK immigration status called Indefinite Leave to Remain

Who is
it for?

EU, EEA, Swiss citizens and their family members who

  • reside in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • have no serious criminal record
  • have lived in the UK for less than five years 

EU, EEA, Swiss citizens and their family members who

  • reside in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • have no serious criminal record
  • have lived in the UK for at least five years, during which time they spent less than six months abroad in any 12-month period (unless for compulsory military service, a single absence of 6-12 months may be allowed for an "important reason"). This is called "continuous residence"
How long
is it granted
for?

For five years, but you will lose it if you leave the UK for a period of two consecutive years.

In addition, your period of "continuous residence" resets to 0 if you spend more than six months abroad in any 12-month period. This means you will start the clock again on changing your pre-settled status to settled status. It can also be revoked for subsequent criminal offending.

Forever, but you will lose it if you leave the UK for a period of five consecutive years (four years for Swiss citizens).

It can also be revoked for subsequent criminal offending. 

When do
I need to
re-apply?
You need to re-apply to change your pre-settled status to settled status before your pre-settled status expires. You will be able to do this as soon as you accrue five years of "continuous residence".

Never!

You do not need to re-apply,

What are my
employment
and welfare
rights?

You will enjoy the same rights to live, work and healthcare, but pre-settled status does not count as "right to reside" for the purposes of welfare benefits. 

You may be able to show your right to reside under EEA regulations by being a worker for example. However, it is unclear whether these regulations will apply following a no-deal. 

This may not matter now but if you need to access support because of ill health, unemployment or domestic abuse you will need to demonstrate your right to reside. 

You will enjoy the same rights to live, work, healthcare and welfare as UK citizens as your settled status is evidence that you have a right to reside in the UK.
Can I apply
for UK
citizenship?
No, you need to be settled in the UK before you can apply. Yes. But remember, you can only apply after holding settled status fora year - unless you are married to a British citizen.

Note: this is a simplified overview of the main differences. If you have concerns about your eligibility, you should seek advice - this is a good place to start.

This information is correct as of 30 August 2019.

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