Home Office Issues New Naturalisation Requirements for Settled EU Nationals
The UKVI has recently updated its Naturalisation guidance which has significant implications for applicants granted Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who are now looking to become British citizens.
The new guidance confirms that EU citizens and their family members who have been granted Settled Status (also referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain) under the EU Settlement Scheme, will still be required to demonstrate that they have resided lawfully in the UK during the relevant qualifying period (five years, or three years if married to a British citizen) when applying to naturalise.
The relevant guidance states:
“…this grant of settled status…will not confirm that they were here lawfully under the EEA Regulations during that time, as defined by the British Nationality Act 1981 as this is not a requirement of the EU Settlement Scheme. You may therefore need to request further information from the applicant to demonstrate this.”
“Particularly vulnerable will be those applicants who were resident in the UK as students, or as a self-sufficient person”
In practice, this means that anyone with Settled Status looking to apply to naturalise as a British citizen will need to be able to prove that they were exercising EC Treaty Rights under the EEA Regulations during any period of residence in the qualifying period, prior to the grant of Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status.
The Home Office states:
“You must assess whether the individual has been here lawfully during their 3 or 5 year residential period prior to pre-settled status or settled status, by considering on the balance of probabilities whether they were here:
- as a qualified person (such as a worker, student, self-employed, self-sufficient, retired or incapacitated person)
- as the family member of such a person.”
“…anyone with Settled Status looking to apply to naturalise as a British citizen will need to be able to prove that they were exercising EC Treaty Rights under the EEA Regulations during any period of residence”
Particularly vulnerable will be those applicants who were resident in the UK as students, or as a self-sufficient person who never held comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI), or those who will find it difficult to provide evidence of their employment.
If you’re an EU national and you want to find out how this impacts you and your future applications, call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help and assistance.
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