The scheme

Senior couple dancing at beach

Retirement and incapacity

Currently, the EEA Regulations make provision for certain groups of people to acquire PR status in less than five years, through retirement or incapacity. These provisions will be echoed under the scheme as below.

If the person is an EU citizen continuously resident in the UK, they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence, if they:

  1. were a worker or self-employed person in the UK within the meaning of the EEA Regulations, and then terminated activity having reached state pension age or, in the case of workers, having taken early retirement and, immediately before retiring, they had been a worker or self-employed person in the UK for at least the preceding 12 months and had been continuously resident in the UK for more than the preceding three years; or
  2. stopped being a worker or self-employed person owing to permanent incapacity to work, having been continuously resident in the UK for more than the preceding two years or the incapacity having resulted from an accident at work or an occupational disease that entitles the person to a pension payable in full or in part by an institution in the UK; or
  3. were continuously resident in the UK for at least three years as a worker or self-employed person, immediately before becoming a worker or self- employed person in another EU country, while retaining a place of residence in the UK to which they return, as a rule, at least once a week.

Spouses and civil partners of British citizens

The conditions as to length of residence and of employment in 1 and 2, above, do not apply where the EU citizen is the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen.

Family members

If the person is a family member of an EU citizen granted settled status as described above, they will also be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if they:

  • were that person’s family member at the point that person met the conditions in 1, 2 or 3, above; and
  • are continuously resident in the UK.

Family members of EU citizens who have died

Family members of an EU citizen who has died where the EU citizen was resident in the UK as a worker or self-employed person at the time of their death will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if:

  • the EU citizen was continuously resident in the UK for at least two years before their death, or their death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease; and
  • the family member was resident in the UK with the EU citizen immediately before their death, and is continuously resident in the UK.

Children of EU citizens granted settled status

Children under the age of 21 years of an EU citizen or of their spouse or civil partner who is continuously resident in the UK will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if:

  • the relevant EU citizen or their spouse or civil partner has been, or is being granted, settled status under the scheme (or, in the case of an Irish citizen, they would be so if they made a valid application under the scheme).

Irish Flag

Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU. They will not be required to apply for status under the scheme but may do so if they wish. Any eligible family members who are not Irish citizens or British citizens will be able to obtain status under the scheme without the Irish citizen doing so.