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frantzgregory, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 834
Experience:  Over 5 years dealing with EEA Law, Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Law.
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My wife is a Turkish citizen. I am British. We lived

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Hello,My wife is a Turkish citizen.
I am British.We lived together in Norway for several years.I exercised my EU rights to bring my wife to UK when I returned to UK Dec 2013.My wife got an EEA FP Family Member entry clearance to join D. Saunders (myself). Valid from 28 Nov 2013 to 28 May 2014. She entered the UK on 22 Dec 2013. So this is a 5 year visa.She did NOT get the usual UK marriage visa, because the EEA family member clearance is much faster and cheaper, and because we qualified since we were both living and working in the EU, and already married for several years.
In the first 6 months she applied for and got a residence permit: Residence card of a family member of an EEA National. This is valid until 23 July 2019.Our question is when will she be eligible for citizenship (naturalization)?On the Home Office website it states: (
“Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:
• lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received
• spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years
• spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
• not broken any immigration laws while in the UK”That’s all clear for the wife of a UK citizen applying after a usual marriage visa.
There are different rules for spouses married to an EEA national in this home office document:
("6. EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA NATIONALS AND SWISS NATIONALSThis section covers you if the country to which you belong is part of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.If you are a national of a country which is a member state of the EEA or Switzerland, or the family member of such a person, you will automatically have permanent residence status after exercising EEA free movement rights in the UK for any continuous period of 5 years ending on or after 30 April 2006.You should apply for a permanent residence card to prove that you hold that status before applying for citizenship. But remember that, unless you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen, you should normally have held permanent resident status for 12 months before applying for naturalisation. This means that you may need to wait until you have been in the United Kingdom for 6 years before you can apply. When you apply for a permanent residence document the evidence that you supply for your EEA (PR) application must be for a 5 year period that ended at least a year before you want to apply for citizenship."So the question is, does my wife qualify to apply for naturalization after 3 years based on the fact that she is married to a British citizen?
Because she got an EEA Family Entry permit as spouse of an EEA national, does she then need to follow the other guidelines, and get permanent residence after 5 years, then naturalization a year after that?Basically does the fact that I exercised my right as an EEA national to get her that (5 year) visa mean she cannot now apply as wife of a British citizen?

As you wife was granted an EEA family permit, in order to join you in the UK and then applied for a EEA residence card means that your wife will only be legible to apply for naturalisation after she has got PR for 5 years and then apply a year after that. The Home Office when assessing her naturalisation application will see that she came to the UK and remained under the EEA law rather than the Immigration rules.

I hope this clarifies this as it seems that you were also considering the same.

Thank you for your question.

Please kindly rate my answer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** answer does not reference any law or ruling or previous precedent on this matter and even has spelling and grammar mistakes, so your answer could well be right, but honestly its not terribly convincing.I think I will need to get a second opinion to be sure.


Thank you for your enquiry.

As your wife joined you in the UK under EEA Regulations, the UK domestic Immigration Rules will not apply and therefore as the previous expert has correctly pointed out, your wife will only be eligible for PR after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.

frantzgregory, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 834
Experience: Over 5 years dealing with EEA Law, Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Law.
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