What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme allows EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to continue to live in the UK after Brexit. There are two options; settled and pre-settled status, depending on how long you have lived in the UK.

Do I need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you need to apply for settled or pre-settled status to continue to live, study or work in the UK.

When do I have to apply?

This tool will help you work out when you should apply.

I do not plan to continue living in the UK after I complete my degree, do I still need to apply?

Yes, if your course finishes after the 31st December 2020 you must apply. If your course finishes before this date, you may still want to apply if you think you will want to study further in the UK or work here in the future.

 Do Irish citizens have to apply?

No, they do not as they are protected under the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area arrangements. This means that Irish citizens do not need to apply under the scheme. Nonetheless, Irish citizens can make an application under the scheme, should they wish to do so.

I already have (or have applied for) a permanent residence document – do I need to apply for settled status?

Permanent residence documents will not be a valid proof of residence after June 2021 so you will still need to apply for settled status even if you have previously applied for the permanent residence permit. You will not have to prove you have been resident in the UK for 5 years or more if you have a permanent residence document.

I have applied for citizenship/naturalisation – does that mean I do not need to go through the settlement scheme process?

If you have been awarded British citizenship, you are not required to apply for settled status.

I already have indefinite leave to remain. Do I need to apply for settled status?

No, your indefinite leave to remain will continue to be valid after the end of the transition period and there is no need for you to apply for settled status. However if you do apply for settled status it means you will be able to live outside the UK for periods of up to 5 years without your settled status lapsing (indefinite leave to remain lapses after an absence of 2 years or more).

How do I apply?

For information on how to apply please refer to the University’s webpage on the Settlement Scheme. The video linked on the right hand side of the page offers a full walkthrough of the application process.

Do I have to pay a fee?

No, the Government announced in January 2019 that the fee to apply for settled or pre-settled status would be scrapped. If you have applied while the scheme was in its test phase and paid a fee, you would have had this refunded.

How do I download the EU Exit: ID Document Check app?

The app needed to apply for settlement is available on iOS (iPhone model 7 and above) and Android devices. You can download the app by going to the Apple Store or Google Play store and searching ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’. Please note: the device you are using needs to be equipped with NFC (near field communication) for the app to work.

I do not have an iOS or android device – can I still apply?

Applicants must use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify their identity. You can use someone else’s device to complete this initial step of the application – the rest of the application can then be completed on that device or any smartphone, laptop or computer. If you cannot use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app it is possible to visit a centre that offers ID document scanning. The one closest to Bournemouth is in Southampton.

Can I do the application while overseas?

Yes, you can in most cases, please check here for further information.

I do not have a biometric passport (i.e. an e-Passport with a digital chip) – can I still apply?

Yes, you can send your documents by post.

How long do I need to live in the UK for to be eligible for settled status?

If you live in the UK for five years or more continuously* you should be eligible for settled status. If you have lived in the UK for less than five years, you should be eligible for pre-settled status, which you can then apply to have changed to settled status once you have hit the 5-year mark. You can read more about settled and pre-settled status here.

* Continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you have been in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12-month period, except for:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
  • compulsory military service of any length

If you have had an absence that has broken your continuous residence you can still apply for pre-settled status and after reaching 5 years of unbroken continuous residence you can then apply for settled status. If you have been resident here for 5 years continuously in the past you could rely on that historic period of residence in a settled status application, provided you have not been absent for a continuous period of 2 years since then.

If I have been resident for less than 5 years and I am granted pre-settled status, does this automatically change to settled status once I have 5 years’ continuous residence?

No, your status will not change automatically. You will need to apply for settled status once you become eligible to do so.

What happens if I live in the UK, but I am out of the country (holiday, study trip etc.) before I have a chance to apply for settled or pre-settled status? Will I be able to re-enter the UK?

Yes, you will. Based on the current Government proposal EU citizens who come in to the UK before midnight on 31 December 2020* will be able to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme.

If there is no deal then EEA/Swiss nationals who arrive after the date of the EU exit will be treated as visa nationals. However, because it will take months/years for the government to grant pre-/settled status to all the EEA nationals who are resident here before that date, they recognise that it will be impossible to distinguish between EEA nationals already resident here and those who arrive for the first time after Brexit. Therefore, there will be a transitional period until the deadline for submitting settled status applications (which will be 31 December 2020* in the event of no deal) meaning that pre- and post-Brexit EEA nationals will be treated the same and simply need to show their passport or national ID card.


After the 31st December 2020*, EEA nationals who moved to the UK after Brexit will need immigration permission in another category in order to remain or return to the UK. Those who were here before Brexit should have been granted pre- or settled status by this time.

*Subject to change

Do I need to apply for a British passport?

No, you do not.

Do I need medical insurance (EHIC)?

Yes, to cover the period until your settled or pre-settled status is confirmed. You can read more about your rights in the UK as a settled or pre-settled EU/EEA/Swiss citizen here.

I have submitted my application and it is telling me that I do not have 5 years records but I think I do. Can I upload documents to confirm how long I have been in the UK?

The Home Office will use your HMRC or DWP records (if applicable) to confirm how long you have been in the UK. If these records do not match the length of time you have actually lived in the UK, you will need to provide additional evidence of your residence. Photos or scans of documents can be uploaded as evidence of your UK residence. See here for information on the types of evidence that may be acceptable.

How will I prove that I have settled or pre-settled status in the UK?

You will be granted a digital status; the Home Office will store this electronically. Once you receive your status, details will be provided on how to access it on GOV.UK. This will enable you to prove your rights to others online, including the university, employers and landlords. Further information will be emailed to you, so it is important that you use an email address you will continue to have access to (NOT your university email).

I have had confirmation of my settled status – do I need to advise the University?

No, we will tell you when you need to evidence your status.

I have had confirmation of my settled or pre-settled status – is there a way this could lapse?

Yes, it will lapse if you are absent from the UK for five consecutive years. Pre-settled status will lapse after an absence of two consecutive years (similar to restrictions on indefinite leave to remain).