Q&As

In a situation where an EU national has lived in the UK for over six years, but has only recently registered under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), can they rely on the fact that they had permanent residence status as a matter of law for six years to apply for British citizenship immediately after settled status is ‘granted’ under the EUSS? Or do they have to wait 12 months from the date the settled status is recognised/granted under the EUSS before applying?

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Last updated on 29/01/2020

The following Immigration Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In a situation where an EU national has lived in the UK for over six years, but has only recently registered under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), can they rely on the fact that they had permanent residence status as a matter of law for six years to apply for British citizenship immediately after settled status is ‘granted’ under the EUSS? Or do they have to wait 12 months from the date the settled status is recognised/granted under the EUSS before applying?

In a situation where an EU national has lived in the UK for over six years, but has only recently registered under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), can they rely on the fact that they had permanent residence status as a matter of law for six years to apply for British citizenship immediately after settled status is ‘granted’ under the EUSS? Or do they have to wait 12 months from the date the settled status is recognised/granted under the EUSS before applying?

One of the requirements for an adult's naturalisation as a British citizen under section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (BNA 1981) is to have ‘not at any time in the period of 12 months so, ending [been] subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which they might remain in the United Kingdom’.

There are two ways of satisfying this requirement which may be relevant to European Economic Area (EEA) nationals:

  1. through indefinite leave to remain (including ‘settled status’ granted under Appendix EU) that has been granted more than 12 months ago, or

  2. through providing a document confirming that the applicant has acquired permanent residence (PR) under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, SI 2016/1052 more than 12 months

Related documents:
Key definition:
EU Settlement Scheme definition
What does EU Settlement Scheme mean?

A scheme allowing EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their eligible family members to apply for immigration status in the UK post-Brexit and any transition period.

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