EU Nationals in the UK

EU Nationals in the UK 

Currently EU Nationals have a right to live and work in the United Kingdom. This is called a right of residence.

There has been in the past no need for EU Nationals to make an application for Permanent Residence, however, the result of the Brexit referendum in June 2016 has left those EU Nationals living in the UK with uncertainty as to their future. It is not yet clear whether such Nationals will be able to remain in the UK or if so, under what circumstances.

As a specialist immigration firm of solicitors based in South East London we have received a large number of enquiries from EU Nationals, wishing to regularise their status, and businesses in the UK, who employ EU Nationals, wishing to regularise their employee’s status.

The first questions to consider are as follows:

  1. How long have I lived in the UK?
  2. What have I been doing whilst living in the UK and what I am doing now?

Under Regulation 15 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 EEA Nationals can acquire permanent residence in the UK if they can show they have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 lawful years. Whether you acquire that right will depend on what you have been doing during that 5 year period.

If you have been working, studying or been self-sufficient (you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay) during your 5 year period it is likely you have exercised your Treaty Rights’ in accordance with the EEA Regulations and will be known as a ‘qualified person’.

I am an EU National and want to Apply for a Permanent Residence Card?

As a qualified person under Regulation 15 you have a right to make an application to the Home Office for a ‘Permanent Residence Card’. This card will confirm that you have a right to reside in the UK and will most likely protect your future in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. Permanent Residence will also provide businesses employing EU Nationals peace of mind as the card will prove your employee is free from immigration control.  

Making an application for Permanent Residence can be complex and time consuming often involving a large amount of documents. You must provide evidence that you have exercised your Treaty Rights in accordance with Regulation 15 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006.  Evidence will differ for all Nationals. For example, there is a special requirement for students and self-sufficient to show they have had a comprehensive sickness insurance policy in place during their continuous 5 year stay.

I am an EU National and want to apply to become a British Citizen?

Once you have received a Permanent Residence Card you can apply after 12 months for ‘Naturalisation’ to become a British Citizen.

If you have exercised your Treaty Rights for 6 years or more (lived in the UK for a continuous period of 6 or more years and meet the criteria as a qualified persons) you can apply for Naturalisation as soon as you receive your Permanent Residence Card.

I’m an EU National and have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, what should I do?

If you have not lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years you should consider applying for a Registration Certificate. This will confirm your current right to reside in the UK under EU law. It may be possible that having such a certificate will be relevant to whether you can continue to reside in the UK once the UK decides to leave the EU. 

How we can help you?

If you are worried about your future in the UK or you want a solicitor to check you application contact us for a consultation on 020 8318 4345. Our experienced immigration solicitors serve South East London including Greenwich and Lewisham Boroughs. We are one of the the oldest immigration specialist firms in the United Kingdom, established in the early 70’s.  

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