Updating and proving your pre-settled or settled status
After you’ve applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office will email you a letter to tell you what status they’ve given you. This is known as your decision letter.
If you're waiting for a decision on your application to the EU Settlement Scheme
If you've applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you still have the right to live and work in the UK while waiting for a decision. You can prove your rights in the UK using both:
- your passport or national ID card
- your EU Settlement Scheme application certificate
Your application certificate might have been emailed to you when you applied, or it might be on your online account - it depends when you applied. If your certificate is online, you can get a share code on GOV.UK.
Your employer will need to use the Employer Checking Service to confirm your right to work.
If you leave the UK, you can prove your right to enter the country again using an identity document linked to your EU Settlement Scheme application - for example, your passport or national identity card.
Viewing your status
After you get your decision letter, you can view your pre-settled or settled status online on GOV.UK.
If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will not get a card showing your pre-settled or settled status - your status is only online.
Viewing your child’s status
Your child will have their own online status. To view your child’s status on GOV.UK, you’ll need the email address or phone number you used when you did their application.
Proving your right to work
If you want to show someone your status, you can get a share code on GOV.UK. It's a good idea to print or write down the code when you get it.
You can give your share code to someone who needs to check your status - for example, an employer.
This code is only valid for 30 days - if it isn’t used within the 30 days you will need to get a new one. Your decision letter is not proof of your status.
Employers and local councils can check your status online if you give them a share code.
If your employer checked your status before 1 July 2021 and they want to do it again, this could be discrimination - unless they’re checking every employee. Talk to an adviser if you think you’ve been discriminated against.
If you think the Home Office made a mistake about your immigration status
You can fill in a form to tell them they’ve got the wrong information - for example if it’s out of date. Find out how to tell the Home Office they’ve got the wrong information about your status on GOV.UK.
Proving your right to enter the UK
What you need to show depends on what citizenship you have.
If you're an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen
When you enter the UK, you'll need to show an identity document linked to your online status - for example your passport or national identity card.
If you enter the UK using your passport, you can scan it yourself using the ‘eGates’ at airports. If you use your identity card, you’ll need to show it to an immigration officer.
If you’re a citizen of a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland
You might have got an EU Settlement Scheme biometric residence card when you were given pre-settled or settled status. If you have one, make sure you take it with you when you travel - you need it to enter the UK.
If you don’t have an EU Settlement Scheme biometric residence card, the rules depend on whether you have:
an EEA biometric residence card
a biometric residence permit
If you have an EEA biometric residence card
If you have pre-settled or settled status, you can still use your EEA biometric residence card to enter the UK until it expires. However, EEA residence cards are being replaced by EU Settlement Scheme residence cards.
It's a good idea to swap your EEA residence card for an EU Settlement Scheme residence card. You can swap your original card for an EU Settlement Scheme residence card on GOV.UK.
Make sure you choose ‘biometric residence card’ and not ‘biometric residence permit’ when you apply.
You can’t use your original EEA biometric residence card to enter your EU, EEA or Swiss family member’s country anymore - you’ll need to check if you need a visa.
Biometric residence cards
A biometric card is a credit-card sized document. It'll have the title 'residence card'.
If you have a biometric residence permit
If you have a permit to stay in the UK for a reason not related to the EU or EEA, for example as a student or skilled worker, you can still use your permit to enter the UK.
If you have pre-settled status or settled status, you can swap your permit for an EU Settlement Scheme biometric residence card on GOV.UK.
You might want to swap your permit for a residence card if:
- your original permit doesn’t show you have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or ‘settlement’
- your original permit says you have 'no recourse to public funds'
- your original permit is about to expire
The EU Settlement Scheme biometric residence card will make it easier for you to enter the UK when you travel. If you have settled status it will also show you have the right to claim benefits.
Biometric residence permits
A biometric residence card is a credit-card sized document. It’ll have the title ‘residence permit’.
Proving your right to claim benefits
What you need to do depends on whether you have settled or pre-settled status.
If you have settled status
You have settled status, you have the same right to claim benefits as UK citizens - this is called your 'right to reside'.
When you go for your interview at the Jobcentre you’ll need to prove your right to reside. You can do this by either:
- printing a copy of your settled status decision letter
- giving the Jobcentre a share code so they can view your settled status online - you can get a share code on GOV.UK
If the Jobcentre asks you for more evidence or says they can’t verify your settled status, talk to an adviser.
If your client needs more supporting evidence
The DMG originally said the DWP should accept your client’s settled status decision letter as supporting evidence and verify their status with the Home Office.
This guidance has been withdrawn. Jobcentres are now asking claimants for their settled status share code. They should add the code to your client’s Universal Credit online account.
If you have pre-settled status
You don’t automatically have the ‘right to reside’ to claim benefits. You might have the right to reside for different reasons - for example, because of things like your work or your family. Check if you have the right to reside.
When you go for your interview at the Jobcentre you’ll need to prove your pre-settled status and your right to reside.
You can prove you have pre-settled status by either:
printing a copy of your pre-settled status decision letter
giving the Jobcentre a share code so they can view your pre-settled status online - you can get a share code on GOV.UK
You'll also need to give the Jobcentre evidence that you have a right to reside. If you’re working, your evidence could be your payslips and contract of employment.
If the Jobcentre say they can’t verify your pre-settled status, talk to an adviser.
If you get Universal Credit
The DWP might ask for proof of your pre-settled status or settled status by adding a message to the journal section of your online account. You should check your journal regularly to make sure you don’t miss any messages.
You can give the DWP your share code as evidence - you can get a share code on GOV.UK.
If the DWP ask for proof of your status, you must give it to them within 1 month. Your payments might be stopped if you miss the 1 month deadline.
If your payments are stopped and you still don’t give the DWP proof of your status, you might have to reapply for Universal Credit.
Keeping your status up to date
You will need to update your online status if:
- you renew or replace the identity document you used to apply - for example, if your passport expires
- you change your name - for example, if you get married
- you change your address, phone number or email address - your contact details need to be up to date so you can view or share your status
- you want to change your identity document or add another one
You might want to add another identity document so you can use it to travel - for example, if you applied using your national ID card but want to travel using your passport.
To add or change your identity document, you'll need to upload a picture of it when you update your status online. It will be a number of weeks before you can log in with your new identity document details - make sure you keep the details of your old one until then.
When you add a new identity document to your online status, you’ll need to sign in using that identity document in the future.
Don’t worry if you can’t see your old identity document on your account. It’s still there, but the system might only show the most recent one you’ve added.
You can update your online status on GOV.UK.
If you don’t get confirmation after you've updated your online status, or you’ve been waiting longer than 4 weeks, contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre.
Switching from pre-settled to settled status
You can apply to change from pre-settled status to settled status when you're eligible. Find out how to switch to settled status.
If you can’t access your online status
You might not be able to access your online status if you:
- can’t access the email address or phone number you used to set up the account any more
- changed the passport or identity document you use in your account
You can contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre and they will be able to recover your account and share your status for you.