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I’ve Only Been in the UK for Three Years – Can I Stay?

The first bit of good news is that you only need to show you’ve lived in the UK for one day in the last six months to get Pre-Settled Status. So, ignore the headlines about Britain closing its doors to the world – the UK is very much open for business to anybody from the EU who still wants to come and build a life here!

There are currently around three million EU citizens living in the UK. Many thousands have been here for less than five years, which means that they are not eligible for Settled Status. However, Pre-Settled Status is available. Far from being an inferior version of Settled Status, Pre-Settled Status is otherwise known as ‘limited leave to remain’ and it allows you to live and work freely, After a total of five years, you can apply for Settled Status – that’s if you haven’t had enough of the weather by then.

Whilst there is no set duration of time in which an individual must have been residing in the UK prior to making an application, in order to be eligible under the scheme, an EU national must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (even if just for one day). Close family members of an EU national wishing to join them in the UK will still be able to do so after this date providing that the EU national lived in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 and the relationship existed prior to this date. Any family member arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will have three months in which to make an application under the scheme

Applying for pre-Settled Status is simple: either online through a computer or through an Android app, which can be downloaded from the Play Store. Simply search for EU Exit. The app is extremely easy – you register in only a few simple steps. And, like the Settled Status application, applying for Pre-Settled Status is free.

What else?

Gaining Pre-Settled Status is a really good idea, even if you’re not sure whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life in the UK. Once you have been granted the Status, you can live and work in the UK and continue to travel to and from your home country without hindrance – and as an EU citizen after Brexit, you will still be able to enjoy the EU’s Freedom of Movement policy: the best of all worlds if you’re a frequent European traveler!

The other good news is that once you have your Pre-Settled Status, you will be able to work and travel outside of the UK for up to two years and still retain your UK status – so you’re not tied to the UK for a fixed number of days or months over the year.

If you want to stay in the UK as long as you like you can:

  • Wait until you’ve lived in the UK for a total of 5 years and apply for settled status – but you must apply by 31 December 2020
  • Apply now for pre-settled status and apply again later for settled status when you’ve lived in the UK for a total of 5 years – this includes the time before you got pre-settled status

So, relax and enjoy the famous British weather!

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