I have pre-settled status but cannot return to the UK due to the pandemic. Will this have an impact on my 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, to be able to maintain your continuous residence in the UK and convert your pre-settled status to settled status once you complete five years of 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.