Just to be clear, you have not yet applied for permanenter residence and are asking if it is mandatory to do so before applying for naturalisation, correct?
Thanks for your question. I will try to help.
Yes, unfortunately the rules changed almost two years ago in that all EEA applicants for naturalisation must now apply for confirmation of their Permanent Residence status before applying.
If an applicant applies without confirmation of their PR status then the application would be rejected and the expensive naturalisation application fee would be retained.
So, you must apply for confirmation for PR via:
The eligibility residence criteria for naturalisation states that you must be free of immigration time restrictions for 12 months once you apply unless you are married to a UK citizen.
So, if you have been in the UK for longer than 5 years then you should ask the home office to confirm your PR from the date which was 5 years from the date that you had been exercising treaty rights (eg working) in the UK for 5 years, rather than them simply state that you have PR from the date that they decide the application.
If they do this then you can apply for naturalisation (assuming 12 months has passed from the date that they confirm you had PR from). If they simply issue confirmation that you had PR from the date that they actually decide their application then you would have to wait a further 12 months from that date until you apply for PR.
It usually takes between 4 to 6 months from the date of submission for them to decide a PR application.
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You don't. Details of how you can apply are contained in the link that I mentioned in my question.
When you apply you write a covering letter explaining that you consider that you obtained PR some time ago and ask them the acknowledge that you obtained PR at this earlier time or otherwise backdate your PR.
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