EEA Nationals Must Apply for Permanent Residence Card Before Applying to Naturalise as British Citizens.
EEA nationals must apply for permanent residence card before applying 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.
As per the new rules, all EEA nationals applying to naturalise must now first apply for a Permanent Residence Card certifying that they have acquired permanent residence in the UK. This is a noteworthy detour in the law as previously EEA nationals applying to naturalise were not required to submit a permanent residence card rather it was adequate to provide such documents with their naturalisation application to prove their permanent resident status in the UK.
Under the EU regulations, one of the essential principles enshrined is freedom of movement for European nationals to travel and work in the EU member states without restriction. Once an EEA national has been exercising Treaty rights in the UK for a continuous period of five years they would automatically acquire permanent residence and will therefore be able to remain in the UK indefinitely.
The application fee for a Permanent Residence Card is currently £65 which is due to go up in April 2016. We feel that the application fee is not a deterrent, however, the administrative burden for an EEA national to apply for a Permanent Residence card is uncalled for especially given that such applications can take up to six months to be processed.
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