Don’t lose your Settled or Pre-settled status

If you have been granted Settled Status (also referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain), you can spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing your status unless you are a Swiss citizen or the family member of a Swiss citizen.

Note that if you’re a Swiss citizen or the family member of a Swiss citizen, you can only spend up to four years in a row outside the UK without losing your Settled Status.

If you spend over this amount of time outside the UK without returning, your Settled Status will lapse. If this does occur and you wish to return to live in the UK, you will need to make a new application under a different route. Please note that the new application will need to meet the Immigration Rules in force at the time and therefore it is possible that some people may not be eligible to apply to return to live in the UK if their settled status lapses.

The Home Office can revoke your status if:

  • You commit a serious criminal offence; or
  • The Home Office believes that you submitted false information as part of your application.

Pre-Settled Status (also referred to as Limited Leave to Remain) is a temporary status that is valid for five years. If you want to stay in the UK for longer than this, you must apply for Settled Status within that five-year period.

It is possible to spend up to 2 years outside the UK without losing your Pre-Settled Status. However, if, for example, you spend a continuous year and a half out of the UK, though you will retain your Pre-Settled Status, it is unlikely that you will qualify for Settled Status. This is because you will not be able to demonstrate the required ‘continuous residence’ in the UK for at least five years. At present, there is no provision to extend a grant of Pre-Settled Status and so if you are unable to qualify for Settled Status before the expiry of your ‘Pre-Settled Status’, you may have to apply to remain in the UK on another basis.

If you spend more than two years outside the UK, your Pre-Settled Status will lapse. Your pre-settled status can be revoked if you commit a serious criminal offence, or the Home Office believes you submitted false information with your application.