Updated Absence Rule for EU Settled and Pre Settled Status Holders

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The Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) (Amendment) Order 2024 (SI 2024/663) simplifies the rules for how long certain EU citizens can stay outside the UK without their immigration permission expiring.


Updated Absence Rules for EUSS


Under the new rules, from 21 May 2024, those with either pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme have the right to be absent from the UK for up to five years before their status automatically lapses.

Prior to the change, EU citizens with pre-settled status (limited leave) could only be absent from the UK for a maximum of two years before their immigration permission lapsed. EU citizens with settled status (indefinite leave) had a longer absence allowance, typically five years.

With the new provisions now in effect, all EU citizens with leave granted under Appendix EU (both pre-settled and settled) can now be absent from the UK for up to five years before their immigration permission lapses.

This change affords those with pre settled status greater flexibility to travel outside the UK for extended periods without losing their immigration permission. It also simplifies the system by removing the need to distinguish between pre-settled and settled status for absence purposes.

EU citizens should, however, still check their specific visa grant for any variations in absence allowances.

Importantly, this change only applies to EU citizens with leave granted under Appendix EU, and does not affect the rules for other immigration categories.



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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