Settled Status or Permanent Residence?

Settled Status

If you’re an EEA or Swiss national living in the UK, you and your family will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme to continue residing in the UK. If your application is successful, you will obtain either settled or pre-settled status.

You may be able to stay in the UK without applying – for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Permanent Residence card (PR)

An EU citizen who has resided in the UK as a ‘qualified person’ for 5 years can also decide to apply for a Permanent Residence card.

Who is a ‘qualified person’?

A qualified person is someone who is in the UK and one of the following applies:

  • They are working;
  • They are self-employed;
  • They are self-sufficient;
  • They are studying;
  • They are looking for work (only if they meet certain conditions).


What is the difference between the above?

One of the most important differences is that the applicant must show that they have exercised Treaty Rights if they intend to apply for Permanent Residence card. However, this requirement does not apply to a Settled Status application.

In addition, EU nationals can rely on any qualified continuous period of 5 years to apply for PR or Settled Status. However, migrants who are applying for PR can have their status ‘back-dated’ to cover any 5 years period following their initial entry in the UK having exercised Treaty Rights. EU nationals who have had PR status ‘back-dated’ for 12 months or more can apply for British citizenship immediately under British Nationality Act 1981, section 6(1) or 6(2).

However, Permanent Residence status will need to be converted into Settled Status prior to 31 December 2020.

Moreover, Permanent Residence will be lost through an absence from the UK of more than 2 consecutive years whilst Settled Status will be revoked if the applicant were to be absent for a continuous period of 5 years.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of Settled Status or PR card application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

We remain open for business and can arrange meetings by phone call or video conferencing to advise and assist with any UK immigration matters.
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