BREXIT- British Nationalisation for EEA nationals
If you or a family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, have lived in the UK for 5 years and have acquired a permanent residence, you may be eligible to become a full British citizen through nationalisation. A successful naturalisation application gives you the option to apply for a British passport thereafter and you will no longer have to worry about immigration rules.
On 31st January 2020, the UK left the EU. Subsequently, Free movement with the EU ended on the 31st December 2020 and there are new arrangements now in place for EU citizens.
Prior to 31st December 2020, provided that all other requirements are established, a permanent residence document would enable EEA Nationals to obtain a British passport. The permanent residence status has become invalid since 31st December 2020. Application for a permanent residence document cannot be made. You would need to have a settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. To find out more about the EU settlement scheme click here for a consultation and we will guide you on your matter.
The permanent residence document will not be valid after 30th June 2021 (Also known as the ‘grace period’). This means, for those that hold a permanent residence card, they can use this until 30th June 2021 to apply for a British citizenship or sponsor your partner’s visa application if they’re applying for a visa based on your residence.
You apply for a British nationalisation if you:
- Are 18 or over; children under 18 will have to apply as dependants
- Are from the EEA
- Have held permanent residence in the form of a permanent residence card for at least 12 months. You do not need to have an additional settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (Up until 30th June).
- (After 30th June 2021) You must have held a ‘settled status’ under the ‘indefinite leave to remain’ for 12 months.
- Can prove you were in the UK at least 5 years before the day the Home Office receives your application
- Can demonstrate your knowledge of English, Welsh or Gaelic
- Are able to pass the Life in the UK test
- Intend to continue living in the UK
- Are of ‘good character’
Additionally, further requirements to obtain naturalisation as an EEA citizen involve proving you have adhered to the following rules of continuous residency. You should not have:
- Spent more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 or more years
- Spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
- Broken any UK immigration laws, e.g working illegally
Applications cost £1,330 and a further £19.20 is required to obtain your fingerprints and a photo biometrically.
Please note that if you are an EEA national seeking UK naturalisation and you are married to or are in a civil partnership with a British citizen, the requirements are different. The qualifying period is three years.
British Naturalisation application approval
If your application succeeds and you obtain British citizenship you must attend a citizenship ceremony. You will be able to apply for a British passport if you wish and you will have the full rights given to every other British citizen.
How can NA Law Solicitors help?
We are a specialist immigration law firm and we can help you gather the correct documentation to submit to the Home Office as well as ensure it is in the required format. You will be guided and fully briefed about your application, from the first consultation to the day your application is decided upon.
If you wish to obtain naturalisation and you are not an EEA national, please click here.