EU Settlement Scheme,
three days to go

The EU Settlement Scheme opens fully on Saturday. We encourage every EU national who wishes to remain living and working in the UK to apply as soon as possible. This article examines the rules for those who wish to spend time outside of the UK once they have acquired a decision via the EU Settlement Scheme on their immigration status.

Absence with settled status

Once you have acquired settled status, you will be able to spend up two years absent from the UK without losing your status.

A final agreement on EU citizen’s rights, so that you can be absent for up to five years before your settled status lapses, is still to be approved by Parliament.

However, if you leave the UK for more than two years and your settled status lapses, you will need to make a new application under one of the routes which may be available to you to return to the UK.

In your application, you will need to meet the requirements of the immigration rules in force at that time.

Absence with pre-settled status

If you have pre-settled status, you can spend up to two years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. You will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.

Confirming your status

Your settled status in the UK will be confirmed online through the Home Office online checking service:

With your permission, your employer can gain access to your status online that proves you have a right to work.


See also:

The Settlement Scheme: settled status

Pre-settled status: what you need to know


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