With applications for permanent residence in the UK often taking over six months to be decided, many EEA nationals who automatically gained permanent residence over a year ago have been submitting applications to naturalise as a British citizen at the same time as their application for a permanent residence card (or document certifying permanent residence). The Home Office’s approach has been to hold these applications until the permanent residence card had been received and to then make a decision.
However, as of 1 August 2016, this will change. The new approach will mean that any applications received will be considered as they are presented. Therefore, an application for naturalisation which is made by an EEA national and which does not include a permanent residence card will be refused and the application fee will not be refunded (other than the £80 ceremony fee).
It is therefore vital that an EEA national who is considering making an application to naturalise as a British citizen first makes an application for and obtains a permanent residence card to include with the naturalisation application.
Further information on applications for permanent residence cards can be found here.
If you require further advice or assistance then please contact us.