Naturalisation for EEA Nationals

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British Naturalisation for EEA Nationals


On 31st January 2020, the UK left the European Union (EU). Subsequently, free movement within the EU ended on 31st December 2020 and there are new arrangements now in place for EU citizens. 

Prior to 31st December 2020, provided that all other requirements were established, a permanent residence document would enable EEA Nationals to obtain a British passport. Applications for a permanent residence document can no longer be made. You would need to have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). 

Click here for a consultation, and we will inform and assist you regarding your options.

Applying for Naturalisation

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 British naturalisation. 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. 

You apply for a British naturalisation 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 2021). 
  • After 30th June 2021 you must have held ‘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.
  • Can pass the Life in the UK test.
  • Intend to continue living in the UK.
  • Are of ‘good character’.

Additional Requirements

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.

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 to gather the correct documentation to submit to the Home Office. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Home office application fee is currently £1,330.

There is no definition of ‘good character’. However, the Home Office does provide guidance on what factors will be considered. These factors are:

  • Criminality,
  • International crimes, terrorism and other non-conducive activity,
  • Financial soundness,
  • Notoriety,
  • Deception and dishonesty,
  • Immigration related matters,
  • Deprivation.

The Life in the United Kingdom test is a computer-based test. The test consists of 24 questions covering topics such as British values, history, traditions and everyday life. You must get 75% in order to pass. Therefore requiring you to achieve a mark of at least 18.

You can prove your knowledge of English by having either an English qualification or a degree taught or researched in English.

Decisions are usually made within 6 months of your application. However, some applications may take longer. Please note that due to coronavirus (COVID-19), decisions may take longer. Extra time can be provided for fingerprints, photos and additional information and booking a citizenship ceremony.

Yes. Until the 30th June 2021, you are able to apply for a British citizenship with a permanent residence document if you have lived in the UK for at least 5 years and have held that permanent residence card for 12 months.

Alternately, you can see if you are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by clicking here.

Contact us for more information and guidance on your application.

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