The following groups can apply under the settlement scheme (expected to be fully in place on 30 March 2019).
who are resident in the UK or arrive by 31 December 2020. The deadline to apply under the settlement scheme is 30 June 2021.
Eligible family members who are not in the UK by 31 December 2020 may still be eligible to apply under the scheme if the relationship with the EU/EEA citizen was formed before this date.
Once you have ‘settled status’ any children you have who are under 21 can also apply for ‘settled status’ (without needing to be in the UK for five years themselves).
Those who arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 will be expected to apply under a category of the Immigration Rules in place at that time - details of which have not yet been published.
If you have lived in the UK for five years (with permitted gaps of up to six months in any 12 month period, and/or one instance of up to 12 months absence for a specified reason, which includes study) you will be able to apply for ‘settled status’ under the scheme. This is also referred to as ‘indefinite leave to remain’. There are (limited) circumstances in which someone can obtain ‘settled status’ with less than five years’ residence.
If you have not been in the UK for five years, you can apply for ‘pre-settled status’ (a grant of five years’ permission), and after five years of living in the UK you can apply for settled status (the five years does not have to start from the point of the grant of pre-settled status - it will include all the time you have resided in the UK).You will need to do this if you intend to stay in the UK after the five year permission ends (unless you apply under another category of the immigration Rules).
There is no minimum time you need to have spent in the UK in order to apply for pre-settled status – you only need to show evidence that you currently live in the UK. The guidance for the pilot phase contains a helpful list at Annex A of evidence that the Home Office currently accept, although other evidence can be used.
Once you have ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status, there will be no restrictions on study (where you study or what you study).
‘Settled status’ will be lost after an absence of five years from the UK (this is still subject to approval from Parliament).
'Pre-settled' status can be lost after an absence of more than two years from the UK.
If status is lost and you are no longer eligible to apply under the settlement scheme, you will only be able to apply under any other category of the immigration Rules in place at the time you wish to come to the UK.