Frequently Asked Questions

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Rights when travelling in and out of the UK

If I travel, will I face any problems when coming back to the UK? I am outside the UK -  will I be allowed to enter the UK? What are my rights to enter the UK? What documents will I need to show at the border?

The rules around the right to enter the UK are very complex and depend on many different pieces of legislation. Factors such as your nationality, whether you were living in the UK before 31st December 2020, whether you put in an application to the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30th June 2021 deadline or not, all play a part.


See https://www.the3million.org.uk/rights-enter-uk for a comprehensive description of your rights to enter the UK.

Can I add multiple identification documents or passports to my online proof of settled or pre-settled status?

Yes. You can update your online account to include more than one identification document or passport. You might want to do this if you have more than one passport, or if you have both a passport and a national identity card, and you want the flexibility to travel with either.


IMPORTANT NOTE: When a user adds an additional identity document to their UVKI account, this automatically becomes their sign in document and only that document can be used to sign in. Any documents that have been registered to the account can be used for the purposes of travel, but users can’t currently see those previously registered documents in their account.

Where a user adds a document, the old document (or documents, if more than one was previously added) will still be registered to their account, even if it is no longer their sign in document or visible within the account.


The Home Office say that they are currently working through improvements to the UKVI account to make it easier for users to add, view and manage multiple identity documents.


See https://www.gov.uk/update-uk-visas-immigration-account-details

I have been unable to return to the UK due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, will I lose my pre-Settled Status?

You will not lose your pre-settled status if your absence is shorter than two years. However, you should be aware of how your absences may affect your ‘continuous residence’ and your eligibility to apply for settled status in future. The general rule is that you will break your continuous residence and so not be able to apply for settled status  if you are away for more than 6 months in any 12 month period with pre-settled status. But if your absence is related to Covid-19 you will not necessarily have broken your continuous residence.


To check whether you will still be eligible to apply for settled status in due course, read the ‘continuous residence’ FAQ. and our page on how absences affect your status.

I am a British-EU dual national, will I be able to use an EHIC card when I visit other EU countries?

It depends on whether you exercised treaty rights before naturalising to become British. If you have, then you and your family members (of any nationality including British), will be entitled to use an EHIC card since you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.


If you did not exercise treaty rights before naturalising to become British, you will still be able to use your existing EHIC card until it expires - after which you can apply for a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card).


For more details, and to apply for an EHIC or GHIC, see here.


If you are traveling, and you need treatment but have been unable to obtain an EHIC or GHIC card, you can contact Overseas Healthcare Services.


The Government has published staff guidance which gives helpful examples of EHIC entitlement.

Will I lose my pre-/settled status if I travel for holidays? Will a visa be required for me to return to the UK?

No, you will not lose your pre/settled-status if you travel for holidays.

With pre-settled status, you are able to stay outside the UK for up to 6 months in total in any 12-month period without breaking your continuous residence period in the UK. If you spend more than a total of 6 months in any 12-month period outside the UK, however, you will not be able to convert your pre-settled status to settled status (indefinite leave to remain). There are some exceptions to this, see our FAQ on continuous residence for more information.


If you already have settled status, you can stay outside the UK for a period of up to 5 years without losing your status. (See also this FAQ on settled status 5-year absences)

Can my British spouse only visit the EU for 90 days every 180 days now?

If you are an EU citizen, then your British spouse gets EU rights through you, as your family member. Therefore your spouse is not limited to the 90 days per 180 days rule, as long as they are accompanying you when travelling to the EU. 


See https://www.the3million.org.uk/travel-to-the-eu

What are the rules for UK nationals without residence in the EU to travel to the EU?

UK nationals can travel and stay in the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day period as tourists. You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for travelling for business.


At the border you may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. Moreover, you’ll need your passport to have at least 6 months left and be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left).


If you are the family member of an EU citizen, and are travelling with them, you will have EU rights as their family member. For more details see https://www.the3million.org.uk/travel-to-the-eu.

I have applied for (pre-) settled status but am still waiting for a decision. If I travel abroad, how will I prove my rights to UK Border control to come back to the UK?

We recommend that when you travel, you always keep the passport / identity document / residence card with you with which you applied to the EU Settlement Scheme. It would also be a good idea to print out the letter that was emailed to you when you applied, which has a title ‘Certificate of Application’. You should also carry some evidence that you were living in the UK before 31 December 2020.

For more information on the rights you have with a Certificate of Application, see https://www.the3million.org.uk/rights-enter-uk

I have (pre-)settled status and am worried about travel across the UK border. Will I need to create a share code to show to immigration officials?

When crossing the UK border, you can continue to use the eGates if traveling with a biometric passport. You might be asked about the reason for traveling to the UK.


Those with  (pre-)settled status will not routinely need to prove their status. Border Force staff can check whether you have status or have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by using your travel document if it is linked to your status, or conducting further checks if you travel on an alternative document.


However, it is recommended that citizens carry with them evidence of their successful grant of status (for example the decision letter, and a screenshot of their entry on the 'View and Prove' service.) It is also recommended to generate a share code in advance (choose ‘something else’ when asked for the reason for sharing your status) and carrying that with you on a piece of paper.


To prevent unnecessary delays at the border, it is important to ensure the document you travel on is registered to your account, which you can do by updating your details if you intend to travel on a different document (for example a new passport). You can have more than one travel document linked to your (pre-)settled status.


For more details see the section on ‘Travelling in and out of the UK’ in the Home Office guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/view-and-prove-your-immigration-status-evisa/your-immigration-status-an-introduction-for-eu-eea-and-swiss-citizens-accessible-version#travelling-in-and-out-of-the-uk

My non-EU partner has been told they need a visa to travel with me to the EU, even though they have settled status and a biometric card. That can’t be right can it?

Unfortunately, EEA Residence cards issued by the UK to non-EU family members of EU citizens are no longer valid. Since the UK left the EU, free movement rights no longer apply to the UK, and the EU does not accept these cards for travel anymore.


The new biometric residence cards issued to non-EU family members under the EU Settlement Scheme are proof of a UK immigration status. These cards are also not recognised for travel to the EU (though they are of course recognised for travel to the UK - being proof of UK immigration status).


Therefore if your partner is from a country that is a ‘visa-required’ nationality, unfortunately they will need a visa.


See our webpage https://www.the3million.org.uk/travel-to-the-eu for more information.


NOTE:  This was confirmed to us in a letter from the European Commission (see http://t3m.org.uk/EC_reply_t3m_TravelToEU) . the3million considers this loss of travel rights unfair, and advocated for the EU to change this (see http://t3m.org.uk/non_EU_familymembers_travelrights, and paragraph 2.2 of http://www.t3m.org.uk/t3m_BiE_SpecialisedCommitteeMeeting_May2020). Unfortunately this has not resulted in a change of policy.