EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If successful, applicants will get either settled or pre-settled status.
Applicants will usually get settled status if they:
- started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)
Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row they have been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12-month period. The exceptions are:
- 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
- time spent abroad as a Crown servant, or as the family member of a Crown servant
- time spent abroad in the armed forces, or as the family member of someone in the armed forces
If they have settled status, they can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing that status. If they are a Swiss citizen, they and their family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK without losing their settled status.
If applicants do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when they apply to the EU settlement scheme, they will usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
Those with pre-settled status will qualify as a home student if they have 3 years residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their course.
It is then possible to apply to change this to settled status once they have got 5 years’ continuous residence. They must do this before the pre-settled status expires. They can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date they get pre-settled status.
If they have pre-settled status, they can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status. They will need to maintain their continuous residence if they want to qualify for settled status.
Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or Indefinite leave to enter (ILE)
Indefinite leave to enter or remain (ILR) are types of immigration status.
It is possible to continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if they have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. However, if they choose to apply (and meet all the other conditions), they will get ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’ - also known as settled status.
They can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing their indefinite leave to enter or remain status.
If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.