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What is Pre-Settled Status?

Certain EEA Nationals/'family members' can be granted 'Pre-Settled Status' under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The EUSS was introduced to ensure that those EEA Nationals/'family members' who were living in UK by 31st December 2020 could retain the rights they gained under EU law. This included having EEA Nationals have family members join them. Successful applicants are given Settled or Pre-Settled Status.

Pre-Settled Status will be given to:

  • An EEA National/'family member' who was living in the UK by 31st December 2020, but has not yet been continuously resident in the UK for 5 years by that date, and does not come under one of the circumstances to allow less than 5 years 'residence' - described on this page.
  • Most 'joining family members'.

The deadline to apply (apart from 'joining family members') was 30th June 2021 - but some may be able to apply late - see Time Limits.

Having Pre-Settled Status enables these EEA Nationals/'family members' and 'joining family members' to live, work, rent and claim benefits in the UK following the UK's departure from the EU. 


Having 'Pre-Settled Status' protects them from the new immigration rules introduced on 1st January 2021.

Pre-Settled Status expires after 5 years from being granted*, but after living in the UK for 5 years they will be able to apply to have their Pre-Settled Status converted to 'Settled Status' - they do not need to wait until it expires. In fact if their Pre-settled Status expires they will lose the opportunity to apply for Settled Status. (But they might be allowed an extension if they can show 'reasonable grounds' - see this page).


*Automatic extension of Pre-Settled Status / gaining Settled Status

The Home Office has said that people with Pre-Settled Status will automatically have their status extended by two years if they do not obtain Settled Status.

Plans are also underway to  automatically convert as many eligible Pre-Settled Status holders as possible to Settled Status once they are eligible for it - without them needing to make an application. 

Some time in 2024, automated checks of Pre-Settled Status will establish ongoing continuous residence in the UK for this purpose. 

For more information about these changes see EU Settlement Scheme enhancements confirmed.

Losing Pre-Settled Status

Pre-Settled Status will be lost where they are out of the UK for more than two years....

...But IMPORTANT: If they leave the UK for more than 6 months in a 12 month period this interrupts the 5 years' continuous residence required for Settled Status. This will mean the 5 years starts counting again, but as their Pre-settled status will expire before then, they will not get Settled status.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It appears that some people who should have been granted Settled Status are only being given Pre-Settled Status- perhaps because they have not been able to provide sufficient evidence of five years' continuous residence. They need to challenge any incorrect decision. Go to this page.





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