New requirement
for EEA British
citizenship applicants

Are you an EEA national who has been living in the UK for six years and are thinking about applying for British nationality in the not-too-distant future?

As of 12 November 2015, any EEA nationals applying for British citizenship (also known as naturalisation) will need to meet a new requirement which will affect the planning and progression of their immigration status in the UK.

Currently, after five years of residing in the UK as a qualified person, EEA nationals are automatically granted the status of permanent residency. Following one further year of permanent residency, they can apply for British citizenship, providing they meet certain eligibility requirements. At moment, EEA nationals with permanent residency in the UK do not need to apply for proof of this permanent residency before beginning their application for British citizenship.

From the 12 November this year, however, this will change and any EEA citizen who wishes to apply for British nationality must be able to produce a document that confirms their permanent resident status in the UK.

This means that applying for a document certifying permanent residence will become a necessary requirement for any EEA national wishing to apply for British nationality.

It is important that anyone planning to apply for British nationality takes this into account, as these applications can take up to six months to complete. Those wishing to apply for British nationality will not be able to begin their application until their permanent residency is confirmed and they are in possession of a document certifying permanent residence.

If you are concerned about how best to apply for British citizenship, contact UK immigration practice Smith Stone Walters for friendly, professional and up to date advice.

Click here for more information about our services.

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