Applying for settled or pre-settled status
Updated on 8 April 2021
EU Free Movement ended in the UK on 31 December 2020, find out about applying for settled or pre-settled status
Do EU / EEA students need a visa?
If you are an EEA student who does not have settled or pre-settled status on the EU Settlement Scheme, then you will need to apply to the student visa route from 1 January 2021.
Irish citizens do not need to apply and are protected under the Common Travel Area arrangements.
Applying from outside the UK
You must use the EU Exit: ID Document Check App to verify that you are eligible to apply from outside the UK. You must have been resident in the UK before the 31 December 2020. Additionally, evidence of that residency period must be from the past 6 months to be valid.
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you must use your current valid passport or national identity card with a biometric chip. If you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you must use your UK residence card with a biometric chip.
If you get settled and pre-settled status
Settled status means that you will be able to:
- stay in the UK as long as you like if you get settled status.
- apply for British citizenship if you’re eligible.
Pre-settled status means you will be able to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS for free
- 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
In order to apply under the EU settlement scheme you must have been in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020. There is no minimum period of time in the UK. Learn more from UKCISA.
All EEA and EEA member state citizens and Swiss nationals with a valid passport can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are a citizen of one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
EEA member states:
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Absence from the UK due to Covid-19 and its effect on settled or pre-settled eligibility
The Home Office has confirmed that Coronavirus-related absences up to 12 months will be regarded as acceptable for an ‘important reason’.
The list of acceptable absences is not exhaustive, so it is not limited to the examples in the guidance.
Making an application
National Insurance Number
You don't need a national insurance number to apply.
Government guidance for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme can be found on Gov.uk.
You can also apply via a smartphone app by downloading the EU Exit: ID Document Check App from the Google Play store on an Android device or the Apple App store or an iPhone 7 or later. The device you are using needs to be equipped with NFC (near field communication).
If your phone does not have NFC you can still use a friend or colleague's device to complete the application.
If you have no access to a suitable phone, you will need to send your documents and application by post.
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and cannot verify your passport or national identity card using the app, you may need to send it by post. You should consider whether local laws mean that you cannot post your identity document. Please follow government guidance.
You have until midnight on 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. You must have become resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.
Evidence needed for the application
Evidence used in applications for Pre-settled status (less than 5 years UK residency) must be dated within the last 6 months at the time of application.
Evidence used in applications for Settled status (over 5 years UK residency) must cover the full 5-year residency span.
Please see government guidance for acceptable forms of residency evidence.
You will receive a Certificate of Application in your registered email from Home Office. This confirms your application was submitted successfully.
Proving your settled or pre-settled status
You will not receive a physical document proving your status. Your immigration status will be stored in a secure digital registry instead.
Receiving a decision
The Home Office has stated that it takes around 5 working days to process, but anecdotal evidence from our students suggest it can take significantly longer. The Home Office has stated that an application can take up to one month to process under certain circumstances.
Spending time outside of the UK and your settled or pre-settled status
- Settled Status: You can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK before losing your status.
- Swiss Citizen: You can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK before losing your status.
- Pre-settled status: You can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK before losing your status.
When you obtain evidence of your pre-settled or settled status please forward it to email@example.com as evidence of your right to study.
International Advice Service
+44 (0)1382 385676