I'm in kind of dilemma right now and confused.

So beginning of this November, 2018, I just completed my 5 years residency in the UK but my non-EEA family RC will expire in April 23rd. I'm married to an EEA member since 2013. Should I apply for my PR now or wait until end of March 2019 to apply for settled status? Also the future isn't clear as my EEA wife might be planning to initiate divorce procedure or move out of the house, however I can't tell when and how long it may take. If I wait until March and apply for settled status, should I still need to be member of EEA family to get the status? Also we have 2 kids and one has completed 5 years stay in November too. Please advise. Thanks

2 Answers 2


In short: if you can you should apply for a PR soon, and convert it to a settled status once it's available. However it's possible that you'll need the support of your partner both times.

Based on the current details on how the settled status will work, it will be easier to obtain that than the Permanent Residence document, and will also be valid after 31 December 2020, which is the current validity of the Permanent Residence documents. However things might still change - although politicians did promise the scheme will go ahead, it's not yet fully a law, and a no-deal Brexit could (although unlikely) still change the scheme. A no-deal Brexit might also mean that the validity of the PR documents will also be reduced to 31 March 2019.

However to be safe, and if you're already eligible for obtaining a PR document, you should apply for one as soon as possible. Converting it to a Settled status will be free, and it will likely be easier as well, although based on the government's website you still need to prove your relationship to your EEA partner when doing that.

If your partner is not eligible for the PR status - likely because they can't prove that they have worked for the past 5 years (or have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for the period where they haven't been working), then you'll need to wait until the Settled status scheme opens after March 2019, as it will drop this particular requirement.

In both cases it's likely that you'll need the support of your EEA partner, so if they are reluctant to help you now it's likely you won't be able to obtain either of the documents. If they are helpful now but are worried this won't last until the Settled status scheme opens, it's still better to obtain the PR document soon. Although currently the government's site says you'll still need to prove your relationship when you convert the PR to a Settled status this requirement might go away. Even if it's not you'll have a document that allows you to stay in the country until December 2020, until which time you might be able to get a different visa, or an ILR.

Also note that once either you or your partner obtains either the PR or the Settled status, your existing UK born children will be immediately eligible for registration as a British citizen. However it's not automatic, is fairly costly (£1012 per child as of November 2018), and it's only available if your children's other nationality permits dual citizenships, but it would make your children safe from the immigration aspects of Brexit. Also note that any new UK-born children after you obtain PR/Settled status will become British citizens immediately - no registration is needed - you can use your PR/Settled documents to prove their eligibility for citizenship.

  • "once either you or your partner obtains either the PR or the Settled status, your UK born children will be immediately eligible for registration as a British citizen": any child born afterward, by contrast, will automatically be a British citizen from birth.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 15:35
  • @phoog, true, made it more clear that I was talking about existing children, and added a note on future ones
    – SztupY
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 15:47
  • @SztupY Thanks for you input.There won't be an issue for the kids. One my kids has been in the UK for 5yrs already so she's qualified to get settled status and she is EEA Citizen as well. However as my RC actually expires in April 23rd, what if I want to wait until March 29 or beginning of April to apply as parent of the EEA children? By that time I don't know if my wife would cooperate with the paperwork. Also for example getting settled status as non-EEA, will I still depend on my wife status in the UK even if I get that status as family member and later divorce?
    – HMaster
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 19:59

You may already be able to apply under the pilot scheme: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status

It is significantly easier to apply for settled status than to go for the existing EEA permanent right of residence. If you do opt for the latter, you must later convert it to settled status to stay in the UK beyond December 2020.

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