The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules Presented to Parliament on 7 December 2023

Date Legislation considered: 22 January 2024

Date Legislation in Force: 16 January 2024

Potential Right(s) Affected: Residence

What does the legislation do?

The Immigration Rules are statements by the Secretary of State as to how he will exercise his power to regulate immigration.

The Statement of Changes make several changes to the Immigration Rules, not all of which are relevant to the EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”).

The detailed rules for the EUSS are contained in Appendix EU.

The EUSS enables EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss citizens living in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and their family members, to obtain UK immigration status (either pre-settled status or settled status) to live in the UK.

The following changes are relevant to the EUSS:

• revised provision for returning residents whose settled status under the EUSS has lapsed because of their absence from the UK and who wish to resume residence here. They will now need to apply under Appendix Returning Resident. Consistent with the Withdrawal Agreement and EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, EU and EEA EFTA citizens can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK before their settled status lapses.
• provision preventing a person who entered the UK as an irregular arrival from making a valid application as a joining family member.
• provision requiring a person in the UK as a visitor to make any application as a joining family member within three months of their arrival, subject to reasonable grounds for any delay in applying.
• provision enabling the Secretary of State, where proportionate, to curtail pre-settled status granted under the EUSS, subject to a right of appeal, in circumstances where the citizen never met the requirements of the EUSS.

The totality of the changes made by the Statement of Changes is summarised in the explanatory memorandum presented to the UK Parliament alongside them.


The Statement of Changes does not appear to raise issues of compatibility with the Agreements.

However, any citizen experiencing difficulties in exercising their rights is encouraged to report a complaint through the IMA Portal.

Further information about the IMA and guidance on how to report complaints can also be found on the Website.