Brexit: Time to Apply for British Citizenship - | Hudson McKenzie

Brexit: Time to Apply for British Citizenship

March 2, 2016 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, News

For many EU nationals, moving to the UK probably required a few lifestyle adjustments: the infamous weather, the frenzy of the rush-hour commute, and the firmly established queuing system; to name just a few.


All of a sudden five years has passed and you realise that when the sun shines, this is actually the best place to live in Europe.  Although you may complain a lot – at which you have probably become an expert – you have acclimated and realise that for all the bad, the UK has a lot to offer that cannot be found in the rest of the EU.


The EU referendum is set for June 23rd 2016 and you’re left feeling uncertain about the future. What does this mean for European nationals?


One of the core principles enshrined under EU regulations, is the freedom of movement for European nationals to travel and work, in other EU member states without restriction. Brexit could see the end of this freedom in the UK!


With current developments, EU nationals may be left feeling understandably apprehensive about their position in the UK. The future appears unclear whatever happens in the referendum.  If the UK stays, more stringent immigration rules are sure to follow; and if the UK leaves it could mean the return of work permits, further restrictions on doing business and studying, and a host of many other changes.


For many EU nationals their main concerns aren’t really around economic or political consequences of Brexit, there is simply more at stake. Brexit is likely to have a more personal significance, affecting jobs and family life. When such uncertainty around the future exists it is important for you to explore your options.


British Citizenship – is it an option?


Recently we have seen an increase in applications from EU nationals who are looking to naturalise as British citizens. With effect from 12 November 2015, the Home Office has imposed an additional administrative burden on EEA nationals looking to naturalise as British Citizens EEA nationals must now apply for permanent residence card before applying to naturalise as British Citizens.


For any EU national seeking British citizenship, these are the initial questions you must be able to satisfy:

  • Have you lived in the UK for at least the 5 years?
  • Have you spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years?
  • Have you spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months?


If you have answered yes to all of these questions, citizenship could be a solution to your ‘Brexit’ uncertainty.

If this is something you would want to explore further, our expert immigration solicitors at Hudson McKenzie are here to help. Please call us on +44 (0)20 3318 5794 or email Stephanie Schultz at