I am an EU student with pre-settled status who has been forced to study from home due to the pandemic. I was out of the UK for less than 6 months due to COVID-19 but if I add my previous absences, I break my continuous residence. Am I covered by the exemption released in December 2020?

If you are a student with pre-settled status who is studying outside the UK because of COVID-19, that absence will not cause you to break your continuous qualifying period as long as it is a single absence of over 6 months and no more than 12 months during your 5 year continuous qualifying period. To convert your pre-settled status to settled status, you will be able to stay outside the UK for up to 12 months. If you stay outside for more than 12 months, you will break your continuous residence period and will not be able to convert your pre-settled status to settled status. You will still be able to return to the UK and live in the UK until your pre-settled status period of 5 years expires.

More information about this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-eu-settlement-scheme-guidance-for-applicants

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