EU Settled Status & ILR: How Long Can I Spend Away From The UK?

11 Mar 2020, 20 mins ago

In the wake of Brexit, a new immigration route called the EU Settlement Scheme was introduced to provide a status for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their respective family members in the UK. Applicants who acquire Settled Status under this route will be considered free of immigration restrictions in the same way as any person who has acquired Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (“ILR”).

ILR status is automatically lost if the holder spends two consecutive years outside of the UK. In contrast, the holder of Settled Status can spend up to five consecutive years outside of the UK without losing their status. (Note that for Swiss citizens, however, the limit is four consecutive years).

In order to apply for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you must show that you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national (or the family member of such a national), that you have been living in the UK for five consecutive years, and that you entered the UK before 31 December 2020.

It is important to note that Settled Status can be withdrawn on a discretionary basis in the same way as ILR if you are not actually settled and living in the UK.

If you are considering applying for Settled Status or ILR, or if you have already acquired this status and have been absent from the UK for long periods please do not hesitate to contact Gherson for further advice.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2020


Navka Raja 

  Navka Raja

  Immigration Consultant and Trainee Solicitor in our Private Client department