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A person with pre-Settled Status must be continuously resident in the UK for a 5-year period to be eligible for Settled Status. This means that within the 5-year qualifying period for Settled Status you must have been resident in the UK for at least 6 months in every 12-month rolling period.
So, you can be outside of the UK for a max period of 6 months in a 12 months rolling period.
One longer single absence of up to 12 months is permitted, but only for an important reason. Important reasons are listed as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting or, in some cases due to the global pandemic. When you apply for Settled Status the Home Office will ask to see documentary evidence to support your reason for having an absence of up to 12 months for an important reason. It is not enough to explain the important reason, your documentary evidence must support it. For example, your medical records/GP statement .
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