Tunnels constructed using New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) are always based on certain round (unsupported) advance lengths, after which, the temporary lining is placed. The settlement of the ground surface resulting from such construction is of high significance in design and practice. The existing data in this respect, however, is scarce. It is the aim of this paper to propose a semi-analytical procedure based on three-dimensional finite element analyses to predict the maximum surface settlement of the ground in NATM tunnels under different combinations of tunnel diameter, overburden depth, round length and soil and lining properties. The comparison of the results with three case histories of real tunnels reveals reasonable accuracy of the present solution. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.