You follow the same process whether or not you are applying for settled or pre-settled status and the easiest way to apply is online, although those who can’t apply online can apply by post.
The application requires you to provide evidence of three things:
1.Your identity – to prove that you are an EU citizen or the family member of an EU citizen. This requires you to give your passport, national ID card or BRP.
If you’re submitting a digital application, you can upload copies of your documents electronically either online or via mobile app, alternatively the documents can be posted or local council offices can assist with scanning and certifying documents for you.
You also have to submit a photo of yourself and provide information such as name, address, National Insurance number and so on.
2. Residence in the UK – you have to provide evidence that you’ve been residing in the UK and how long for.
If you have given your National Insurance number, they will carry out an automated check of UK tax and benefit records and provide instant results. If you’ve been working and paying tax for the last 5 years you won’t need to provide any documents as this will be sufficient. However if there are gaps or insufficient data, you’ll need to provide copies of documents like P60’s, bank statements, council tax bills, university certificates and so on.
They look at the 5 years immediately prior to the application and you can spent up to 6 months in any 12 month period outside of the UK so you only need to provide evidence that you’ve been in the UK for at least 6 in every 12 months.
3. Criminal record – as part of the application you also undergo a criminal record check and have to disclose details of criminal convictions.