The EU Settlement Scheme is an immigration route that allows eligible EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members to live, work and study in the UK after Brexit.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen (or a family member of one) and entered the UK before 31 December 2020 you must make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline has passed but late applications are still being accepted.
There is an exception for Irish citizens who do not need to apply.
How to apply for pre-settled and settled status
Pre-settled and settled status
Once your application for the EUSS is approved, you will automatically be granted the status to which you are assessed as entitled. This will be either Settled status or Pre-settled status.
You will be eligible for pre-settled status if you have been resident in the UK for less than 5 years. If you are granted this, you have permission to stay in the UK for 5 years. You may lose your pre-settled status if you are outside the UK for more than 2 years after it has been granted.
You will be eligible for settled status if you have been resident in the UK for more than 5 continuous years and not absent from the UK for more than 6 months (in a single period or more than one) in any 12 month period. There are COVID-19 concessions for meeting this requirement mentioned below. If you are granted this, there will be no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK.
Switching from pre-settled to settled status
Those with pre-settled status will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme again once they have been living in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, in order to be granted settled status.
Absences from the UK: COVID-19 concessions
There is an exception permitting a single period of absence of more than 6 months but not exceeding 12 months for an ‘important reason’ and stated examples include overseas study or serious illness but the list is not exhaustive.
There is also specific provision relating to absences from the UK owing to coronavirus as outlined in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme guidance.
How do I apply?
- Download the EU Exit: ID Document Check app
- Open the app and verify your identity by scanning your passport bio page, EU national identity card or Biometric residence permit (BRP)
- Complete the short application form
Tip: when asked for an email address, use a personal address rather than your Bath Spa email address as you may need to access your account after you’ve graduated.
- Complete the criminality check
- Upload your evidence of residency
Processing times and receiving a result
It usually takes around 5 working days for complete applications to be processed if no further information is required, but it can take up to a month. The Home Office advise situations where it could take longer than 5 working days to process.
After making an application you will receive a Certificate of Application and this can be used to prove your immigration status whilst waiting for a result.
If your application is successful you will be able to prove your status digitally with a 'share code'.
All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who arrived to the UK before 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme in their own right.
Close family members (e.g. partners, dependent children) who themselves are not EU, EEA or Swiss nationals and are in the UK based on family connections to eligible EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, will need to make an application.
Family members who were not in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply as dependants, providing the relationship started before this date and still exists. They must apply before coming to the UK and after their eligible supporting family member has made their own application as the EUSS application number will be needed in the dependent application.
Decisions and applications after the deadline
If you have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30 June deadline, but have not had a decision yet, your rights are protected until your application is decided. That is the law.
It usually takes around five working days for complete applications to be processed if no further information is required. However, even if it takes longer a person’s rights are protected until the outcome of the application, including any appeal against refusal, if the application was made before the deadline.
You will have received a Certificate of Application and this can be used to prove your rights pending the outcome of your application. Those with a Certificate of Application can use the View and Prove service and the immigration status checks mentioned below.
From 1 July 2021, a person eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme will be able to make a late application where there are reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline.
The Home Office have published a non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late EUSS application (pages 27-44), and will take a pragmatic and flexible approach to considering these.
If this applies to you and you have realised you need to make an application, please contact the Immigration Advice Service by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proving your immigration status
Using the View and Prove service
If you made a successful application under the EUSS (or it is still pending) you can prove your rights in the UK digitally, by using the View and Prove service on GOV.UK.
You can use this to:
- View your eVisa and check what rights you have in the UK
- Prove your status to others, such as employers and landlords by generating a ‘share code’ which gives them time limited access to relevant data
- Update your passport details and email address (this will be important when travelling in and out of the UK)
Generating a share code
- Sign into the View and Prove service and then click ‘prove your status’.
- Choose the reason why you are sharing your information. This is so that the person or organisation checking your status sees the correct information. Selecting ‘to prove my right to work’ will only share the information that is relevant to confirm your right to work.
- You will then see a preview of your status information that will be shared.
- Click 'create share code’. You will be presented with a share code which will be valid for 30 days.
- The share code can be used as many times as needed within the 30 days; however each share code is unique – every time you generate a share code through the View and Prove service it will be new. Generating a new share code will not invalidate any existing valid codes. Also, each share code can only be used for the purpose requested.
- At the end of the 30 days, your code will no longer be valid, and the person will no longer be able to access your information unless you provide them with another code.
Sharing your code
You may need to share your code with an employer, landlord or other services to prove your immigration status. Other examples include accessing medical services under the NHS or making an application to open a UK bank account.
You will need to provide your share code, along with your date of birth, to the person or organisation with whom you wish to share your information.
You can choose how to share your share code, for example by email within the service, printing the screen, writing down the code or telling them the code.
The person checking your status will need to use the appropriate checking service on the UK government website:
Travelling in and out of the UK
Linking your travel document to your UKVI account
If you have been granted digital status or issued a Certificate of Application under the EUSS, you are not required to provide evidence of this to cross the border.
Provided that you travel using a travel document that you either used in applying to the EUSS or have added to your UKVI account, your status will be automatically recognised.
When entering the UK you can continue to use e-passport gates (if using a full biometric passport) and existing lanes.
EU, EEA and Swiss national identity cards
Those that have status under the EUSS will still be able to travel using their EU, EEA and Swiss national identity cards but it is recommended that these are linked to your UKVI account. They can be used for travel until 31 December 2025 at least.
Those without EUSS status will no longer be able to use these identity cards to travel to the UK from 1 October 2021.
Contact the Immigration Advice Service
You can send an email to email@example.com and we'll be happy to help.