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Applying for pre-settled and settled status

Mae’r cyngor hwn yn berthnasol i Cymru

You usually have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme online. There are a few situations when you must use a paper form.

You don't need to be in the UK to apply.

Before you start, gather everything you need to apply

If you have problems understanding English

You can get help with your application from local community groups and centres. If you need help finding a centre, contact your nearest Citizens Advice

Check how you should apply

You usually have to apply online. Some people must use a paper form. 

You must apply on a paper form if you don’t have or can’t get hold of your passport or national identity card.

You must also apply on a paper form if you’re not an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen and you’re:

  • a family member of a British citizen and you lived with them outside the UK in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland
  • a family member of an EEA citizen who's become a British citizen
  • a carer for a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

If you are none of these, you must apply online.

The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you think you need to apply on a paper form.

Starting the online application

First, you have to prove your identity using your identity document.

Your identity document is your:

  • passport or national identity card if you're an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • passport, 'biometric residence card' or 'biometric residence permit' if you're from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland

Find out which document you should use depending on your circumstances.

The easiest way to do this is to scan your identity document. This means that you will not have to send it to the Home Office.

Your document must have a biometric chip to scan it. If it has a chip, it will have this symbol on it:

biometric chip symbol

If your identity document doesn’t have a biometric chip you’ll have to start your application online and send your document to the Home Office.

If you’re applying from outside the UK

You must use the Home Office’s ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app to scan your document on an Android phone or an iPhone 7 or above. You can’t send in your identity document.

Scanning your identity document

You can scan your identity document:

  • using an Android phone
  • using an iPhone 7 or above
  • at a document scanning centre

Scanning your document on an Android phone or an iPhone

You can use your phone or someone else’s. The phone doesn’t store the details of your identity document. 

Use the Home Office’s ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app to scan your document. 

After you’ve scanned the document you’ll be taken to the online application form to continue your application. You can continue on your phone or a computer.

Check if the app will work on your phone

Your phone needs to have ‘near field communication’ (‘NFC’) to read the biometric chip in your identity document.

Find out more about checking if your phone has NFC on GOV.UK.

If the app doesn’t scan your identity document

Phone the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre if you can’t get the app to scan your identity document. They can talk you through how to do it. 

EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
From outside the UK: +44 203 080 0100
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.

If you can't use an Android phone or an iPhone

If you don’t have an Android phone or an iPhone 7 or above and you can’t borrow someone else’s, you have 2 options: 

  1. Go to a document scanning centre - you usually have to pay for this service
  2. Start the application online and fill in the details of your identity document. You have to upload a digital photo of yourself and post your identity document to the Home Office at the end of the application

Start your application online on GOV.UK.

If you have problems using the internet

You can get help from the Home Office's assisted digital service if you aren't confident using the internet. The service is provided by We Are Digital.

They can help you over the phone. You might be able to visit someone or they might be able to visit you at home - this will depend on where you live. Find out more about how to get help from We Are Digital on GOV.UK.

We Are Digital
Tel: 0333 344 5675 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday from 9.00am to 4.00pm)
Text: 07537 416 944 - text the word VISA
Textphone (using Next Generation Text): 18001 0333 344 5675

Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.

If you don't have internet access

You can use the internet free of charge at:

Filling in the online application form

You don’t have to do the online application in one go - you can save your answers and come back later. You have 70 days to fill in your application. If you don’t finish it in that time, it will be withdrawn and you’ll have to apply again. Your application will not be considered until you’ve finished it.

Proving how long you’ve lived in the UK

If you give a National Insurance number, your records will be automatically checked during your application to work out how long you’ve lived in the UK.  

You’ll be told the result of the check immediately. 

If you don't get the result you're expecting

You might not get the result you were expecting if:

  • the automatic check can't find your record
  • you have gaps in your National Insurance record - for example if you didn't work for some time

The check could say you've lived in the UK for less than 5 years. If this isn't true, check the screen carefully. Then select the option that says you've lived in the UK for more than 5 years.

You'll then be asked to upload documents to prove how long you've lived in the UK. You can do that straight away or you can save your application and return to it later when you've found the documents.

Find out what documents you can use to prove how long you've lived in the UK.

Booking a biometric appointment

When you apply for pre-settled or settled status, you’ll be asked for your fingerprints and photo if both of the following apply:

  • you’re from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • you don’t already have a biometric residence card or biometric residence permit

You’ll be asked to go to one of the following places:

  • a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point
  • a service and support centre
  • a visa application centre - if you’re applying from overseas

If you need to go to a UKVCAS service point, there are free appointments. If you can’t see a free appointment, check just after 11pm every day. That’s when new appointments are made available 2 weeks in advance.

Find out more about giving your fingerprints and photo on GOV.UK.

If you’re having problems finishing your application

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re worried about:

  • answering questions on the application form
  • what evidence you should upload

If you’re having problems uploading documents

You can upload a maximum of 10 documents during the online application. The size of each document must be 6MB or less. 

Contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre if you need to submit  more or larger documents.

EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
From outside the UK: +44 203 080 0100
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.

If you can’t log in to your application

Contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre if you’re having trouble logging back in to your application.

EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
From outside the UK: +44 203 080 0100
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.

If you’re having problems with your paper form

It might take a few weeks for the Home Office to send out a paper form after you’ve asked for one. If it has not arrived, contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre. 

It will arrive with some of your details already filled in. You can correct mistakes on the form - for example if your name is spelled wrong. You should contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre to tell them what changes you’ve made.

EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
From outside the UK: +44 203 080 0100
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.

Changing your application after you submit it

Contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre to:  

  • correct mistakes - for example if you think you applied for pre-settled status and you want settled status
  • change any of your details - for example, your home address

You can change your email address and phone number online on GOV.UK.

EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
From outside the UK: +44 203 080 0100
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

Calls usually cost up to 40p a minute from mobiles and up to 10p a minute from landlines. It should be free if you have a contract that includes calls to landlines - check with your supplier if you’re not sure.

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