Habitual residence in the UK – as required for pre-settled and settled status

Oct 27, 2020

Habitual residence in the UK – evidence required to apply for settled & pre-settled status


In our article EU Settlement Scheme – updated tips for EEA citizens, we discussed the requirements to qualify for a status under the scheme, as well as absences that can break a person’s continuous residence. Migrate UK offer an explanation of what is meant by habitual residence in the UK and how to evidence this.

To qualify for settled or pre-settled status a person must be habitually living in the UK by 11pm on 31st December 2020.

‘Habitually living in the UK’ means that a person has entered the UK with the intention to make it their main home, plans to stay and has the right to reside in the UK.

Those who travel to the UK prior to the end of the year should keep evidence of their travel, such as travel tickets and boarding pass.

Habitual residence in the UK

Written by Judit Adorjan

What evidence can be used to prove ‘habitual residence’?

When a person applies to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) they do not need to provide evidence for their entire UK residence.

To obtain pre-settled status it is enough to submit one document dated in the last 6 months prior to the application. This can be a letter from the Department for Work & Pensions confirming the person’s National Insurance number.

A maximum of 10 documents can be uploaded to evidence UK residence and there is also a size limit of 6MB. Therefore, evidence submitted for settled status should cover longer periods of time, such as council tax bills, university letters, etc.

A document with a single date on will count as proof of residence for that month only (ex. utility bill, GP appointment card)

All documents submitted must be dated and have the applicant’s name on them.

Evidence that covers longer periods of time:

  • Annual bank statement or account summary showing at least 6 months of payments received or spending in the UK
  • Employer letter confirming employment and evidence that the employer is genuine, such as their Companies House number
  • Council tax bill
  • Letter or certificate from their school, college, university or other accredited educational or training organisation showing the dates when they enrolled, attended and completed their course
  • Invoice for fees from their school college, university or other accredited educational or training organisation and evidence of payment
  • Residential mortgage statement or rental agreement and evidence of payment
  • Employer pension contribution
  • A P60 for a 12-month period
  • A P45 showing the length of your previous employment


Evidence that covers shorter periods of time:

  • Bank statement showing payments received or spending in the UK
  • Pay slip for a UK based job
  • Utility bills showing a UK address
  • Telephone, TV or internet bill showing a UK address
  • Domestic bills for home repairs, services received and evidence of payment
  • GP, hospital letters or other healthcare professional confirming appointments made or attended
  • Letter from a government department, public service or charity that show you dealt with them on a particular date or for a particular period (for example Job Centre Plus or Citizens Advice)
  • Passport stamp confirming entry at the UK border
  • Used travel ticket confirming entry to the UK from another country
  • Invoice for work done in the UK and evidence of payment.

Documents such as letters and references from family and friends, postcards and greeting cards cannot be used as evidence to prove habitual residence as they are not from an official and impartial source.

In general, the above-mentioned documents only need to be provided if requested by the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) European Casework Team.

If the applicant has a National Insurance number, UKVI will perform verification checks based on that.

However, you may wish to upload documents with your application to prove residency or employment prior to making National Insurance contributions if these may affect the status you will be awarded (i.e. you have been resident for some time prior to making National Insurance contributions).

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Should you have any questions on habitual residence in the UK or would like to discuss specific matters related to your application with a member of our team, contact us on 01235 841 568 or email info@migrate-uk.com


Habitual residence in the UK

Migrate UK immigration lawyers