British Citizenship for EU Citizens
Before an EU Citizen can apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen they will need to have obtained formal confirmation of Permanent Residence under the previous EU rules or Settled Status under the current rules, applied for by using the EU Settlement Scheme.
Once the EU Citizen has held Permanent Residence or Settled Status for at least 12 months an application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen can be submitted.
Eligibility for British Citizenship
The following requirements must be met in order to qualify for an application for British Citizenship:
- Settled Status or Permanent Residence status must have been held for no less than 12 months (unless you are married to a British Citizen, in which case you can apply immediately after obtaining Settled Status or Permanent Residence);
- Passed the Life in the UK test;
- Evidence a suitable level of English language ability, either by having obtained a degree-level qualification in an English-speaking country, obtaining a degree-level qualification that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK degree (confirmed by UK Naric) or taking a suitable English language test;
- Meet the ‘good character’ requirement;
- Meet the Residency requirement.
The Residency Requirement for British Citizenship
This will usually require you to have been absent from the UK for no more than 450 days during the 5 years prior to application or no more than 270 days in the 3 years prior to application if you are married to a British Citizen at the time of application.
In either case, you must also not have spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the 12 months prior to application.
Lastly, you must have been physically present in the UK 5 years to the day prior to the date upon which you submit your application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen.
There is discretion allowed for higher levels of absence. If the standard permitted levels of absence from the UK are significantly exceeded then you need to demonstrate strong ties to the UK and be able to demonstrate compelling reasons for those absences.
Children born in the UK
If the child of an EU Citizen is born in the UK to a EU Citizen who held Permanent Residence or Settled Status at the time of the child’s birth then that child is automatically a British Citizen and can apply directly for a passport.
If the child was born in the UK before the EU Citizen achieved Permanent Residence or Settled Status then the child can apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen as soon as at least 1 parent has achieved Permanent Residence or Naturalisation.