Permanent Residence vs Settled Status for EU Citizens

UK Permanent Residence
Permanent Residence in the UK

A number of our EU national clients are confused about the difference between Permanent Residence in the UK, and the new EU Settled Status. Although the two statuses are almost the same, there are important differences that clients must note.

EU Nationals can obtain the status of Permanent Residence under the EU legislation and the EEA Regulations 2016.  The UK equivalent for non-EU citizens is Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Under the new EU settlement scheme, which is regulated by the UK domestic immigration law, EU nationals and their family members have to apply for Settled Status.

Permanent Residence and the EU Settlement Scheme

EU Nationals and their family members who have Permanent Residence status under the old EU regulations have to apply for Settled status under EU Settlement Scheme. They need to do this if they wish to continue to live in the UK after 31 December 2020.

The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021. However, we recommend that clients apply sooner rather than later.

Pre-Settled and Settled and Status under the EU Settlement Scheme

In the above context, it is also important to note that EU Nationals and their family members who want to settle in the UK can apply for Pre-settled or Settled status.

Pre-settled Status

You will receive pre-settled status if you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before you have obtained five years’ continuous residence in the UK. Once you reach your five years residence in the UK, you will have to apply again and will then receive settled status. The status will allow you to stay in the UK permanently.

Settled Status

You will be able to get Settled Status If you have been resident in the UK for five years in a row. During these five years, you must have been in the UK for at least six months in any twelve months. The Home Office will allow some exceptions, such as serious illness, study, etc.

An EU citizen that has Permanent Residence in the UK, and has been outside the UK for more than two years, but less than five years, will be able to apply for the Settled status.

Biometric Residence Cards

EU nationals do not need to enroll their biometric details. Only non-EU nationals are issued with biometric documents when they apply for Permanent Residence or Settlement in the UK.

The reason as to why some EU nationals did not receive a new card is because they already had a valid Permanent Residence Biometric card. They will only receive electronic confirmation of their settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

How Breytenbachs can assist you

Clients who are unsure about the permanent residence vs. settled status issue, are more than welcome to contact us for assistance. We also assist persons with applying for both Pre-Settled and Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Please feel free to contact us today.