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The EU Settlement Scheme

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser, please click for information more relevant to you.

All EEA citizens, their family members and others with an EU right to reside who were living in the UK before 1 January 2021 could apply to the EU Settlement Scheme between 30 March 2019 and 30 June 2021. Applications made after that date are only accepted if there is good reason for the delay. But no new applications as a Zambrano carer are accepted after 9 August 2023.

A person who did not apply by the 30 June 2021 should get immigration advice from an OISC registered adviser immediately. After 30 June 2021, late applications are only accepted if there is good reason for the delay. But no new applications as a Zambrano carer are accepted after 8 August 2023. For more information about Zambrano carers see here for England and here for Scotland. A person whose late application is accepted but which has not yet been finally decided is treated in the same way as a person with EU pre-settled status. A person whose late application has been accepted will have a Certificate of Application – this can be in a digital or non-digital format.

If you can prove that you have lived continuously in the UK for five years you get EU settled status which gives you the right to live in the UK indefinitely, and also makes you eligible for housing and homelessness services and benefits. EU settled status is a form of indefinite leave: see here for England and here for Scotland. EU settled status and pre-settled status are granted under the immigration rules, Appendix EU.

If you can prove you entered the UK before 1 January 2021 as an EEA national with a right to reside (or came to join a family member who had that right) but you do not have five years' continuous residence, you get EU pre-settled status which lasts for five years. EU pre-settled status is a form of limited leave. In September 2023, the Home Office started renewing people’s pre-settled status for a further two years. This is done automatically, and people will be notified when it is done. From some time in 2024, people with pre-settled status will automatically be given settled status when they have completed five years on pre-settled status.

Guidance for European nationals on the EU Settlement Scheme

There is a lot of guidance on how the EU Settlement Scheme works. Here are some of the best ones.

  • The AIRE Centre web app supports any EU citizen who is unsure about settled status and would like to know if they are eligible. A second app helps EU citizens understand their entitlement to permanent residence.
  • Settled offer help in different languages and have special pages for older people, disabled people, etc.
  • Here for Good has advice services for EUSS applicants.
  • Free Movement gives advice from expert lawyers.
  • The Roma Support Group offers help to Roma people who want to obtain settled or pre-settled status. Book an appointment on 07440 743866 or 07459 319706, Monday to Friday, 11am until 4pm.
  • For children, especially children leaving care, there is guidance from ADCS and from Settled on assisting children and care leavers.

There is government guidance on applying for settled status and a list of organisations that give help with making EU Settlement Scheme applications.