It is free to apply. Most applicants are required to complete an online application form using a computer, tablet or smartphone. There are paper forms available from the Home Office if you are unable to complete the online form. It does not matter whether you use the online form or the paper form, either way the Home Office application checks three or four things: (1) your identity, (2) your residence in the UK and (3) any criminal record you may have (4) your relationship to an EU citizen if you are not from an EU country.
The application asks for your basic information (name, nationality, contact details, national insurance number) and you have to confirm your identity and nationality using your passport (for applicants of all nationalities) or national ID card (if you are an EEA / Swiss applicant). To do this you have the following options:
- If you have a valid passport or national ID card with a biometric chip you are able to use the Home Office ID scanning App to send your identity information directly to the Home Office.
- If you do not have a passport and have a national ID card with no biometric chip, you will have to mail this to the Home Office for verification.
- If you have a passport or a national ID card with a biometric chip, but you do not have a newer Android or iPhone, you can go to one of the locations listed by the Home Office to scan your document.
As part of the application you have to upload a digital photo of yourself. There is a different process for non-EU applicants who do not hold a Biometric Residence Card as these applicants must attend a biometric appointment at a visa centre in the UK
after completing the online form.
Postal Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme
If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you meet any of the conditions listed below, then you cannot use the online application form and must make your application using a paper form:
- The family member of a British citizen you lived with in Switzerland or an EU or EEA country
- The family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK under EU law as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
- The primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- The child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, and the child is in education in the UK - or you are the primary carer of a child in this situation
- If you do not have a valid passport or biometric identity document
Residence in the UK
You have to prove your residence in the UK and the simplest way for many people to do so will be by providing your National Insurance Number (‘NiNo’). The application will check your NiNo against the HMRC and DWP government department databases to see if you have been resident in the UK. These checks will only cover the past 7 years and so if there are gaps in NiNo records or you do not have a NiNo (for example if you are under 16 years old), you may need to provide additional documents (such as utility bills, bank statements or confirmation of studying at school or university), to show that you are living in the UK. You can scan and upload your supporting documents during your online application. If you are applying for pre-settled status because you have not lived in the UK for 5 years, then your ‘NiNo’ or documentary evidence must show that you have been living in the UK at some point in the last 6 months.
You will be asked about your criminal record. If you have only been convicted of a minor crime you will still be eligible for settled status or pre-settled status. Any dishonest answer could have a negative impact on your application.
If your application is approved, you will be granted settled status or pre-settled status depending how long you have lived in the UK. There will be a confirmation email from the Home Office telling stating which status has been granted but the actual proof of status is held as digital status profile which can be accessed through the view and prove your immigration status
page on the gov.uk website. This means EU citizens will not be given a physical ID document to show their settled status or pre- settled status. Holders of settled status or pre-settled status will need to familiarise themselves with how to access the digital status.
Until 30 June 2021 an EU citizen can still rely on their passport or national ID card to evidence their right to live in the UK. From 01 July 2021 employers, landlords, the NHS and the DWP can ask to see the online digital status. The status holder can generate a share code through their digital status profile which can be given to the person requesting proof of settled status or pre-settled status.