Frequently Asked Questions

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How long can I be outside the UK with (pre-) settled status and not lose my status, or the opportunity to apply for settled status?

With pre-settled status, you lose your status if you leave the UK for a period of 2 consecutive years, whereas with settled status you can be away for 5 years. (See also this FAQ on settled status 5-year absences).


However, if you want to apply for settled status eventually (once you complete five years of residence), you will need to maintain your continuous residence in the UK. Usually, if you spend more than 6 months outside of the UK, you will lose your continuous residence. However, due to the pandemic, there are exceptions to how long you are allowed to stay outside of the UK without breaking your continuous residence. For more information on what the rules are, please read here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-eu-settlement-scheme-guidance-for-applicants#above1


To check whether you will still be eligible to apply for settled status in due course, read the ‘continuous residence’ FAQ.