Bhavini BhattPosted on Thu Sep 14
On 17 July 2023, the Home Office announced that those who have not yet qualified for Settled Status before the expiry of their Pre-Settled Status will automatically have their Pre-Settled Status extended by another two years from September 2023.
Following the announcement, several EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status holders are now receiving updates from the Home Office on what will happen to their status when it is due to expire.
Some important points to consider:
1. Pre-Settled status will automatically be extended by two years before it is due to expire.
To ensure that no current pre-settled status holders lose their immigration status, the Home Office is making new arrangements to extend the pre-settled status automatically for two years, even if a second application for extension is not made separately.
If you are a pre-settled status holder, you do not need to contact the Home Office about your extension, as the additional two years will be applied automatically to your digital status and you will be notified (usually via email) once this has happened.
The Home Office update also confirms that if you have made a second application for extension of your pre-settled status under the EUSS and you are awaiting a decision, you will still retain your current pre-settled status beyond the expiry date.
This is a delightful update for all pre-settled status holders who do not currently qualify to switch to settled status.
However, if you have already become a British citizen or have obtained settled status, you will not be affected by this update.
2. Plans for pre-settled status holders to have their status switched to settled status automatically where the Home Office holds the information to do this.
It is useful to know that the Home Office also has plans in 2024 to take steps to start automatically switching eligible pre-settled status holders to settled status without the need to make an application in this regard.
In order to assess the eligibility to switch to a settled status, the Home Office proposes to conduct automated checks of pre-settled status holders against the government-held information. For example, by checking if you have ongoing continuous residence in the UK as a pre-settled status holder.
A more detailed update is expected to be provided by the Home Office before the automatic switch to the settled status process is launched.
The current position is that if you have lived in the UK continuously for at least five years, you can apply to switch to a settled status.
Although the Home Office plans to implement an automatic switch from pre-settled to settled status for those who are eligible in 2024, it is currently encouraging people to submit an application to switch to settled status as soon they are eligible.
Since settled status is the easiest means of demonstrating the right to live in the UK indefinitely, if you are eligible to switch, it is important that you submit an application in the first instance.
3. Updating the UKVI account
You will be notified by the Home Office once the automatic extension of two years of your current pre-settled status is applied, as stated above.
It is therefore extremely important that you keep your contact information, such as your email address, up to date, to ensure that you receive any updates or information on your EUSS status. This can be done easily:
- By using the ‘Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details’ service at https://www.gov.uk/update-uk-visas-immigration-account-details or
- By signing in and using the ‘update details’ function of the View and Prove service at https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status
Updating the UKVI account on any new passports or national identity cards (for EU, other EEA or Swiss citizens) can also be done using the above links. When travelling to or from the UK, it is important that you carry the relevant document with which you applied to the EUSS, or the document that has been successfully linked to and updated on your account, to avoid unnecessary delays at the border.