The UK has decided, as a matter of domestic policy, that the main requirement for eligibility under the EU Settlement Scheme will be continuous residence in the UK.
We will accept a wide range of documentation as proof of residence. Where possible, the application process will help the applicant to establish their continuous residence and whether it amounts to five years, on an automated basis using data held by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and in due course also the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The latter may include data on receipt of state retirement pension.
Being in receipt of a state retirement pension may help the applicant to prove their residency, but receipt of public funds in any form will not affect the applicant’s eligibility for the EU Settlement Scheme.
The requirement for five years’ continuous residence can be satisfied by any such period of time during an applicant’s life in the UK rather than the most recent five years, provided it began before 31 December 2020. However, the applicant must not have been absent from the UK for more than five continuous years since that period ended.
EU citizens and their family members who obtain settled status will be granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. This status will provide the holder with the same access to benefits, education and healthcare as those who acquire permanent residence under EU law.