Are you an EEA National residing in the UK?
Following the vote for Britain to leave the EU, you may be concerned about your status here in the UK. Whilst it is clear that the vote to leave the EU may in due course have a major impact on Immigration to the UK, particularly for employers employing EU workers and for EU workers, it should be borne in mind that no changes will be made over night. EU citizens are to continue to have free movement rights until the UK formally leaves the EU and those already in the UK will more than likely be protected by transitional arrangements which should be put in place to enable them to remain in the UK under UK Immigration Rules.
What can you do now?
If you have been living in the UK for a number of years now, you may be interested in applying for British Citizenship. Prior to November 2015, you could apply for British Citizenship as an EEA National directly if you had been living in the UK and “exercising treaty rights” as an EEA National for a period of 5 years. However, the rules changed in November 2015 which now mean that you must first apply for Permanent Residence (settlement) in the UK before applying for British Citizenship, if you do not already have a document certifying Permanent Residence in the UK. You can only then apply for Citizenship once you have spent a period of 12 months in the UK.
In order to apply for Permanent Residence you must demonstrate that you have lived in the UK for a period 5 years exercising EC treaty rights continuously throughout the 5 year period in the capacity as a ‘worker’, ‘self-employed person’, ‘student’, ‘self-sufficient person’ or as a ‘Job-seeker’. You would also have to meet the residence requirements.
Please note that there are some exceptions to the above rule, for example, if you have ceased activity due to permanent incapacity from an illness. We would have to assess your case to see if any exceptions apply if you were unable to exercise treaty rights for any periods in the 5 years.
Further, for any period you wish to rely on as a self-sufficient person and/as a student, you must show that you have had Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover.
The Home Office fee currently for a Permanent Residence application is £65 per applicant. We would estimate at present the Home Office processing times for this type of application of between 3 to 6 months.
You can qualify for British Citizenship, if you have already obtained Permanent Residence in the UK, provided that you meet the requirements relating to good character, knowledge and Life in the UK Test, and the minimum residence requirements.
The Home Office fee currently for an application for Citizenship for adults is £1235. We would estimate at present the Home Office processing times for this type of application is between 3 to 6 months.
The above is only a very basic guidance, and we can provide you with more detailed advice as to the documents you would need to provide in support of either application.
- Appeals Against Decisions to Refuse Visas by Entry Clearance Officers or the UK Border Agency
- Applications for Indefinite Leave
- British Citizenship Advice
- Family Settlement Visas
- High-net-worth Individuals
- Humanitarian and Asylum applications
- Malta Golden Visa
- Next Steps
- Overseas Representative Visa
- Portugeuse Golden Visa
- Standard Visitor Visas
- Those Here in the UK Illegally
- Tier 4 Student Visas
- Tier 5 Visas
- Wider Employment Issues