7.What will status under the EU Settlement Scheme provide?
7.1.The status granted to EU citizens and their family members under the EU Settlement Scheme – settled status (indefinite leave to remain) or
7.2.Evidence of this status will be given to EU citizens in digital form; no physical document will be issued to them. They will control who they wish to share this with and will be able to continue to use their passport or national identity card as proof of their identity and nationality and, until the end of the implementation period, of their right to live and work in the UK. We have started the
7.3.As well as this digital means of evidencing their status,
7.4.Settled status (indefinite leave to remain) under the EU Settlement Scheme will reflect some provisions under the Withdrawal Agreement which are more favourable than those which apply to other forms of indefinite leave to remain:
•The process of obtaining it will be through the streamlined process of the scheme and will not involve meeting the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement which otherwise generally applies to applications for indefinite leave to remain.
•Holders of settled status (indefinite leave to remain) under the scheme will be able to be absent from the UK for any reason for a period of five consecutive years before their status lapses and they cannot use it to return to the UK. This compares with the absence from the UK of two consecutive years before indefinite leave to
remain generally lapses, under the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000.33
•EU citizens with settled status (indefinite leave to remain), or
7.6.EU citizens granted status under the scheme will be able to travel to and from the UK using a valid passport or (at least until 31 December 2025) a valid national identity card.36
7.7.Holders of settled status (indefinite leave to remain) under the scheme will be able to apply for British citizenship if they wish and otherwise meet the requirements for this:37
•Immediately, if they are the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen (and they have been lawfully resident here for at least three years), or if they were granted
33Subject to Parliamentary approval, we will in due course seek to amend this secondary legislation in respect of indefinite leave to remain granted under the scheme.
34A spouse, civil partner, durable partner, dependent child or grandchild (including of the spouse or civil partner), or dependent parent or grandparent (including of the spouse or civil partner).
35They will continue to have to provide evidence that they meet the relevant eligibility requirements, e.g. in any benefit claim or application for social housing, supported housing or homelessness assistance.
36After 31 December 2025, the UK will be able to require that the national identity card is one with a biometric chip that conforms to international travel document security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. But the Government is considering a range of options for the future immigration system and no decisions have been taken.
37For example, the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement and the required period of lawful residence in the UK: five years if they are not the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen, the last with no time restriction on their stay in the UK.
indefinite leave to remain in another capacity more than 12 months previously (and this has not lapsed or been revoked or invalidated); or
•12 months after the date on which they acquired the right of permanent residence under the Free Movement Directive, as evidenced by a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card, issued by the UK under the EEA Regulations; or
•Otherwise, 12 months after the date on which they were granted indefinite leave to remain under the scheme.
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