EU nationals wishing to become British citizens will need to show, amongst other things, that for the last 12 months they have been free from immigration restrictions. In other words, they have been permanently residing in the UK for at least a year before submitting their application for naturalisation.
Since the 12th of November 2015 EU citizens have had to obtain a document certifying their permanent residence in the UK before being able to apply for British citizenship. Applications for naturalisation that are made without a permanent residence document are normally refused.
To apply for naturalisation to become a British national, an EU citizen should use the ‘AN’ Form. The application can be made via post, via the Nationality Checking Service (NCS) or via a OISC registered immigration advisor / immigration solicitor. The fees to apply for naturalisation are currently £1282. If the application is filed via a NSC additional fees will apply. As part of the process applicants are required to provide their biometric information (digital photograph and fingerprints) by way of attending an appointment at a designated Post Office. The current cost is £19.20 per person.
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
- When applying for British Citizenship, EU nationals will often be asked to demonstrate that they still have Permanent Residency (PR) ie. that they have not lost their permanent right to residence by having had an absence of 2 years or more out of the UK. As EU passports are not stamped upon entry to the UK, alternative evidence of physical presence will be required.
- For an EU National the process for acquiring a British passport consists of 7 stages and costs a total of approximately £1719
- Obtain document certifying Permanent residence – £65
- Taking the Life In The UK Test – £50
- Taking the English language test – £150
- Filing a naturalisation application – £1282
- Biometric enrolment – £19.20
- Attend Naturalisation ceremony – £80
- Application for a British passport – £72.50
- The English test will not always be required
- The price of the the English test varies from one provider to another
- Additional costs will apply if an application is filed via the Passport Return Service or the National Checking Service
- ‘Once British Only British‘ – Before deciding whether to apply for British nationality and subsequently for a British passport, an EU citizen should be aware of the government’s view on dual nationality as naturalising could have a negative impact on the dependant’s immigration status. Under the current UK rules, non EU family members of a dual nationality citizen cannot benefit from the EU freedom of movement law and must meet the UK’s immigration requirements which are somewhat draconian by comparison. An American national married to a French national would find that their immigration requirements would drastically change when the French spouse becomes British since the spouse would no longer have the freedoms granted under EU law, they would be subjected to the much more stringent and restrictive UK immigration law. Whether the UK government’s take is correct or not is due to be decided later this year in R(Lounes) v Secretary Of State for the Home Department  EWHC 436(admin) Court Case
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