With the United Kingdom set to leave the European Union on the 31st of January 2020, EU nationals who have their home, employment, businesses and family in the UK may wish to consider the benefits of British citizenship by naturalisation if they wish to live in the UK in the long term.

Advantages of British citizenship over Permanent Residence or Settled Status

  • right to apply for a British passport and unrestricted entry to the UK and no longer be subject to immigration controls

  • the right to vote in general elections and referendums

  • standing for office- most citizens of the United Kingdom aged 18 or over can stand for public office. There are some exceptions including members of the armed forces, civil servants and people found guilty of certain criminal offences.

  • free from immigration controls-can leave and re-enter the UK even after 5 years of absence which is the current limit if you have EU’s settled status.

  • apply for British citizenship for your future children if they are born outside of the UK

Are you eligible to apply?

If you are from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland you might be eligible to apply for British citizenship if you currently hold one of the following:

  • ‘settled status’ from the EU Settlement Scheme

  • a ‘permanent residence’ document – you can only use this to apply for citizenship if you apply before 31 December 2020 after which this will not be valid.

To apply you will need to wait 12 months after getting settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. But you will not have to wait if your partner is a British citizen or you have a permanent residence document.

Other eligibility criteria

  • be over 18 years old

  • have been in the UK 5 years before the date of your application

  • prove you can speak and understand English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic

  • pass the Life in the UK Test

  • intend to continue living in the UK

  • be of good character

Residency requirements

You should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application.

You should not have:

  • spent more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years

  • spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

  • broken any UK immigration laws (for example living illegally in the UK)

How we can assist with your citizenship application

Applying to the UK Home Office and British nationality laws is a complex business. We can facilitate the process with our fixed fee service packages and ensure the best chance of success and getting your application right the first time around to save time, costs and stress.

  • A case assessment to establish the merits of your application and your eligibility;

  • Step by step advice, guidance and preparation of your application to the UK Home Office;

  • Advise you of the supporting documents and review the same for validity under the legal requirements; and

  • Ongoing representation to the UK Home Office to resolve queries on your application;

  • Offer competitive fixed fee packages

By Shamaila Khan, Business Immigration Solicitor at Philips Lewis Smith Solicitors

For further advice & assistance contact us at shamaila.khan@plslex.com or call us on +44 0207 925 2244