EU Settlement Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:39 pm on 29th June 2021.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 2:39 pm, 29th June 2021

I can reassure my hon. Friend that we have already published some quite significant guidance on the exact position for people who have had to go home to their country. To be clear, if someone has settled status, they can actually be outside the UK for up to five years without losing that status. For those with pre-settled status, there are provisions that allow them to be outside the UK for an important reason during the qualification period. Reports that people would lose that entitlement if they were out of the country for more than six months during the pandemic were not correct; we have published guidance on that. If someone has gone home to be with their family, having been resident in the UK before 31 December, there are a number of provisions in place to ensure that they can still secure the status they deserve under the European settlement scheme.