Pre-Settled Status Improvements

Lewis Silkin


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The Home Office was successfully challenged last year on matters pertaining to pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
UK Immigration
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The Home Office has announced that pre-settled status will now only be lost after five years' absence from the UK and extensions will be in five-year blocks. Repeat right to work and right to rent checks will also be abolished.

What's the news?

The Home Office was successfully challenged last year on matters pertaining to pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. As a result, on 21 May 2024 the Home Office announced the following changes for holders of pre-settled status:

  • When the Home Office automatically extends pre-settled status, this will be for five years instead of two;
  • Pre-settled status will only lapse after an absence from the UK of five years (or four years, in the case of Swiss nationals and their family members), instead of two;
  • The expiry date will be removed from the digital status that employers, landlords and letting agents see when carrying out right to work and right to rent checks (noting that right to rent checks are required in England only); and
  • Employers, landlords and letting agents will no longer be required to carry out repeat right to work/right to rent checks for pre-settled status holders.

Why is this of interest to UK employers?

These changes will mean UK employers will not need to carry out a repeat right to work check for a holder of pre-settled status. However, if an employer comes to know an employee has lost their pre-settled status (for example if the employee confirms their pre-settled status has been cancelled, or it lapses), they will not be able to claim a statutory excuse against liability for an illegal working civil penalty.

What are the next steps?

The change to allow pre-settled status to lapse only after an absence of five years comes into effect on 21 May 2024.

The Home Office will need to make changes to its internal systems and underlying regulations to implement the changes to right to work and right to rent checks. Once this happens, the Employers' guide to right to work checks and the Landlord's guide to right to rent checks will be updated. Employers, landlords and letting agents should carry out online checks in line with the new guidance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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