June 25, 2024

Lived in the UK before Brexit? You can claim residential rights (for you and direct family members).

If you have not applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or your application has been refused you may still have grounds to make a late application if your meet the historical residence criteria.


This also applies if you no longer live in the UK, but were a resident for at least six months during five consecutive years, and you have not been away from the country more than five years at any one time. You may still be able to apply for UK settlement based on your historical residence.

If your application is approved, you can pass these rights to your children, and in certain cases, spouses and parents.

Our expert Visa and Immigration lawyers answer some of the most common questions we hear and reveal a vital detail that may make the difference to your successful application.

What are the historic residence periods that can help me get EU Settled Status?

If you lived in the UK for five consecutive years in the past, and have not been absent for more than five years at any one point since, you would meet the residential requirements to apply for Indefinite Leave, also known as Settled Status.

In some instances, shorter periods can also be relied on, if the absence was due to an important reason such as work, studies, childbirth, military service or serious illness.

There are other concessions for excess absences during Covid.

You do not have to prove employment, only UK residence for at least six months in each twelve month period.

I used to live and work in the UK, can I recover my residence rights pre-Brexit?

If you lived in the UK before Brexit (31.12.2020 at 23hrs) and have evidence to confirm your presence at least six months in any twelve month period, you could still apply if there are reasonable grounds to justify the late application. You are encouraged to discuss your case with an expert to guide you on your case. Late applications, if rejected or refused, may be more difficult to overturn than a first  attempt correctly documented.

Is there a time limit to my EUSS application?

The deadline was 30 June 2021 but if you have reasonable grounds for a late application, there is no time limit. The longer it takes you to apply, the stronger these reasons will have to be.

Can my family join me on my EU settlement status application?

If your application is successful, you can sponsor your children of up to 21 years of age, including future ones born after your approval. They will receive the same rights as you. For adult children of 21 years or more, and parents, dependency (physical or financial) must be proved. If their application is successful, Presettled status for five years will be granted. They must then live in the UK for the required period to be eligible for settled status.
Partners can be sponsored under the EU settlement scheme, if the marriage or durable relationship existed by 31.12.2020.

If the relationship started after the UK left the EU, you will be able to sponsor you partner under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, subject to Home Office fees and meeting a more strict criteria.

Can I appeal against a refused EU Settlement Status application?

Your refusal letter will explain what actions you can take, and the deadlines for each action. You are encouraged to get in touch with an specialist before pursuing one of these options.

Can I appeal against rejected EU Settlement Status application?

You cannot appeal if the application has been rejected as invalid, but you can make a fresh application if you have reasonable grounds for a late application, and are able to document them in line with the current guidance.

Can I apply for EU settled status after the 5 year limitation?

If you have been outside the UK for more than five consecutive years you will no longer be eligible to reinstate your residence rights under the EU Settlement Scheme. You should speak to an advisor to find out what is the best alternative immigration route in your circumstances.

How long does it take to appeal a refusal of an application under the EU Settlement Scheme?

You will have a time limit from the date of your refusal, normally 14 days if you receive the decision in the UK, or 28 if your are abroad. After the appeal is lodged, the processing times vary greatly as the matter is transferred to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) where other factors will affect how quickly it is processed.

If you apply for an Administrative Review within the Home Office, it can take over two years to receive a decision. You will retain your existing rights while the application is reconsidered.

Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to remain or enter after EU Settlement Scheme?

If you are not eligible to apply for residence rights under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will have to find an alternative immigration path to come to the UK under the Immigration Rules at the time of your application. You will normally have to complete a residential period of five years before being eligible, depending on the visa path.

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