Covid-related absences from the UK affect EU settled status

Absences from the UK can be important to someone with less than five years of residence: those with pre-settled status (or who qualify for it). If they are absent from the UK for more than six months, they may lose the right to upgrade to settled status if they don’t return to the UK before 31 December 2020. And even if they do return before that date, their continuous qualifying period of five years needed for settled status would be broken — they would need to start a new qualifying period and wait a full five years before being able to upgrade. An absence that exceeds 12 months will always break the citizen’s continuous qualifying period irrespective of COVID-19.

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