EEA Nationals and British Citizenship
As of the 12th of November important changes have been made to the legislation for non EEA nationals as well as their non EEA family members who may be seeking British citizenship/ naturalisation. A new step has been introduced for those who are wishing to apply for British citizenship requiring all applicants to hold a permanent residence document for a certain period of time. After holding the permanent residence document for said period of time the applicant is then legible, if meeting other criteria, to apply for British Citizenship/ naturalisation. Previously EEA nationals automatically acquired Permanent Residence status in the UK after exercising their treaty rights in the UK for 5 continuous years.
The Home Office have introduced this new legislation in order to reduce often lengthy delays that occur during the application for naturalisation. By introducing a new document that aplicants are required to hold for a year it will be, in theory, easier for the Home Office to calculate the applicant’s right to applying for British citizenship or not.
The cost of the new requirement is a nominal fee of £65. However, the accompanying application form requires many supporting documents and consists of 85 pages.
Previously holding permanent residence status for a year was enough for the applicant to be able to apply for naturalisation. Now, even after an extensive period of time, an additional document will be required to certify permanent residence.
Many have cited the introduction of an additional document as cumbersome and unnecessary and, in no doubt what will be a length processing period, many applicants may not have their passport whilst the application is being processed.
Does this latest addition to the naturalisation process affect you? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!