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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7677
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I'm an EU citizen and I want to apply citizenship. I am

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Hi, I'm an EU citizen and I want to apply for British citizenship. I am employed and have been living and working here since 2001. My question is, do I have to apply first for permanent residency? And if so, do i have to wait for a full year to start processing my application for citizenship?
I am aware that something changes in November of 2015 and EU citizens wee required to apply for residency first, but I wonder if that is also required if I have been living here for 15 years.
Thanks in advance,

Hi Silvia

Are you married to a UK citizen?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Silvia

Unfortunately, you will have to apply for confirmation of Permanent Residence before you apply for naturalisation as a UK citizen. This is because of a rule change in November 2015 which requires that all EEA applicants must first apply for confirmation of their PR status before they apply for naturalisation.

So, you will have to apply for PR. Details on how you can do this are on the following page:

If you are not married to a UK national then the requirements that you must meet are contained on the following page:

If the home office confirm when you obtained PR that you are regarded as having obtained PR some time ago then you can apply for naturalisation without waiting a further 12 months from the date your receive your confirmation of PR.

However, if the home office are silent about what date you should have been regarded as holding PR and simply send you a permanent residence card then the best thing to do would be to wait a further 12 months before applying for PR to be on the safe side.

I am sorry, I’m sure you find it frustrating.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. That's what I needed to know. So I definitely need to apply for the permanent resident card. But I would like to know exactly what does that buy me, besides just being a stepping stone towards the citizenship application.While I am a permanent resident and until my citizenship has been processed, which can take years, what happens if we split form the EU and then I need to change jobs.Does the permanent residency card have some kind of guarantee that I can stay here while I'm working on the citizenship? ANd that I can work?Thanks,


Once you hold Permanent Residence, you can be certain that you will be able to stay in the UK for as long as you like without making any further immigration applications. You would not even need to apply for naturalisation if you did not wish to.

I would not change jobs whilst you are applying for either PR or naturalisation because you have to send off all your documents and it is a bit of a risk that an proposed employer (ie. if you tried to get a new job) would not accept a copy of your passport/id card/residence card as proof of your right to work. Although they can use the employee checking service to sometimes check if you have the right to work:

So, to be safe I would only apply for PR or naturalisation when you are settled in your job and do not foresee that you will change jobs..

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