Moving from pre-settled status to settled status

If you have been granted pre-settled status, you will still need to apply for settled status or you will lose your legal right to stay in the UK. You do not have to wait until the expiry date of your Pre-Settled Status stated in your Home Office decision letter.

As soon as you have lived in the UK continuously for five years, you should apply for settled status.

You need to have spent 5 years in a row living in the UK to switch from pre-settled to settled status.

During these 5 years, you can spend up to 6 months outside the UK in any 12-month period.

You might not be able to get settled status if you spend more than 6 months outside the UK.

The day your 5 years starts depends on whether:

  • you’re from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
  • you’re from a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland

If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland

Your 5 years starting from the day you started living in the UK, not the day you got pre-settled status. You can apply for settled status before your pre-settled status expires – it’s a good idea to do this as soon as you have lived in the UK for 5 years.You don’t have to wait until your pre-settled status is about to expire to apply for settled status.

If you’re from a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland

The rules about when your 5 years of residence starts are different depending on if you’re a close family member or an extended family member.

You’re a close family member if you’re a:

  • husband, wife or civil partner
  • dependent parent or grandparent
  • child or grandchild under 21 years old
  • dependent child aged 21 or over

Your 5 years starts from either the day you arrived in the UK or the day you became a close family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, whichever was later. For example, if you came to the UK then married a German citizen, your 5 years starts on the day you got married. It doesn’t matter if the EU, EEA or Swiss citizen didn’t have settled or pre-settled status at the time.

You’re an extended family member if you’re a:

  • long-term partner who isn’t married or in a civil partnership
  • brother or sister
  • aunt or uncle
  • niece or nephew
  • cousin

If you had a family permit when you arrived in the UK, your 5 years starts on that day. If you didn’t have one of these, your 5 years starts the day you got a residence card.