European Union (EU) Settled Status Scheme - What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settled Status scheme is the scheme to protect EEA citizens' rights in the UK now the UK has left the European Union.

Last reviewed 12 June 2023

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme is the immigration scheme under which European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who began living in the UK before the end of 2020, and their close family members, can get immigration leave to live in the UK. 

If you are eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme you will be granted: 

  • Settled status (indefinite leave) - after living in the UK for 5 years or more; or  

  • Pre-settled status (limited leave for 5 years) - after living in the UK for less than 5 years.   

In limited circumstances you can get settled status after living in the UK for less than 5 years. 

If you have pre-settled status you can apply for settled status once you have lived in the UK for 5 years - you do not need to wait until the end of your period of pre-settled status.   

If you are an Irish citizen, you have a right to live in the UK and you do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  

If you do not know whether you have applied for, or have been granted, leave to be in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme, or you are not sure if you may be eligible to do so, you need to get immigration advice before you claim any benefits, and before being included in someone else’s claim.


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