Many EEA nationals who have lived in the UK as a ‘qualified person’ for the last five years are asking themselves whether they should apply for Permanent Residence or simply wait for the Home Office’s new Settled Status scheme, which is due to be implemented to protect the status of EEA nationals already in the UK after Brexit.
The Home Office has stated repeatedly that EEA nationals do not need to apply for Permanent Residence or a Registration certificate before the new scheme comes into operation.
On the one hand, the Home Office are right. According to current proposals, people who reach Permanent Residence but who will not have naturalised by the time Brexit happens will be required to switch to the new settled status in any event, when the UK formally leaves the EU.
On the other hand, however, the new settled status appears to be less advantageous than the current Permanent Residence. Currently EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for longer than five years are able to have their Permanent Residence backdated to the point at which they completed five years in the UK. This means that under certain circumstances, they may be eligible to apply to naturalise as British citizens immediately. The indication is that the new settled status will not be backdated, meaning that people who have lived in the UK for over six years and satisfy the other requirements, will still be required to wait a year before they can apply to naturalise as a British citizen.
EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for more than five years and wish to to naturalise as British should consider applying for Permanent Residence now.
Gherson can provide professional guidance with respect to EEA Nationals. Should you wish to discuss the options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.