Immigration: EU Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons), Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to his Department's policy paper, EU Settlement Scheme: statement of intent, published on 21 June 2018, whether the continuous qualifying period would apply to a person who was absent from the UK for (a) eight months and (b) 13 months for the purposes of scientific research.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons), Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the EU Settlement Scheme: Statement of Intent published on 21 June 2018, whether the continuous qualifying period would apply to an individual who was absent from the UK for (a) eight months, and (b) 13 months for the purposes of research collaboration.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

To obtain settled status, EU citizens and their family members will generally need to have lived continuously in the UK for five years (the continuous qualifying period). Those with less than five years’ continuous residence will be eligible to apply for pre-settled status.

For those in the continuous qualifying period for settled status, “continuously resident” means that a person has not been absent from the UK for more than six months in total in any 12-month period. There is no restriction on the number of absences permitted, provided that the total period of absence does not exceed six months in any 12-month period.

There are some exceptions to this; one instance of 12-month absence in a five-year period is permitted for an important reason such as work, study, serious illness or pregnancy. We will be pragmatic about what activity constitutes an important reason. Any period of absence for compulsory military service is also permitted.

However, for applicants who have been continuously resident in the UK for five years, and are therefore eligible for settled status, “continuously resident” means that since completing that period they have not been absent from the UK for more than five consecutive years.

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