Can I reset the clock by extending pre-settled status after an absence of more than six months?
You can only apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme if you have ‘continuous residence’ which started before* 31 December 2020. Continuous residence is generally (there are some narrow exceptions) broken by absences totalling more than six months in any 12-month period**.
If continuous residence was broken before 31 December 2020, you may have a chance to reset the clock by applying for a fresh pre-settled status (as long as you returned to the UK before 31 December 2020 to ‘reset’ your residence, and you apply for the new pre-settled status before 30 June 2021).
However, if your continuous residence is broken after 1 January 2021, you will not be able to reset the clock, since you will not be eligible to apply for settled status, nor to apply for fresh pre-settled status in future.
If you are in any doubt about your absences, and whether you should return to the UK before 31 December 2020 or apply for a fresh Pre-Settled Status, use this simple form to answer some YES / NO questions to check your situation: https://t3m-settledstatus-absences.paperform.co/
* With some exceptions for certain family members who can come to the UK later and apply to the EU Settlement if their relative holds pre-settled or settled status.
** Calculating rolling absence in any 12-month period can be tricky - so we have created an ‘absence calculator’ for you. Clicking here will automatically download an Excel file. Open it and enter your absence dates. For best useability, we recommend you do this on a laptop/computer that has Excel installed. Please note the3million cannot be held responsible for any errors in this calculator, or any decisions taken as a result of using it. If you are in any doubt, please seek legal advice.