Expert Immigration Advice Service for EU Nationals in the UK
With the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, things are currently up in the air right now. Understandably many people are confused about what would happen next, if you feel this way, then you’re not alone. Many European Union Nationals have been worried about their future status in the United Kingdom as any reasonable person should be, but the good news is that all the answers you need will be right here.
If you need some assistance with your application for settled and pre-settled status, the professionals here at Master Legal Services can help. We are one the best immigration lawyers in London that provide comprehensive immigration services to businesses as well as to individuals, based inside and outside the UK.
For further information, feel free to contact our office to speak to an expert on 020 8935 5205 or via Whatsapp on 07710987064. In the meantime, continue reading to learn all there is to know about British Citizenship for European Nationals.
British Citizenship for EU Nationals – Is it Possible?
To begin with, it is worth noting that the United Kingdom has already outlined proposals for ‘settled status’ for European Union National living in the UK. Settled Status is applied to those ordinarily resident in the UK and also those without any immigration restriction on the length of your stay in the UK.
For the European Economic Area Citizens who have already secured their permanent residency since Brexit, they will also be required to register for ‘settled status’. The Settled Status will not apply to those who are exempt from immigration control like Diplomats, those who have a limit on the length of their stay in the UK or those who have a type of British passport that does not give them British Citizenship.
However, this is still a proposal and is subject to change depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. At the end of the day, a lot of European citizens remain curious about what the final provisions will be and how it will affect them. At this point, those who are likely to be more affected by this proposal are those who married to other European Union citizens and those with low skilled jobs; and that is are just the beginning. To be very honest, it might simply affect all of EU nationals who currently live in the United Kingdom. With the knowledge that the Spouse Visa and Tier 2 Visa will not be available to them, the questions right now are – what options do they have and which visa options will be available to them?
At the moment, there’s no need for panic because EU Nationals currently residing in the United Kingdom have several options to choose from.
How Can EU Nationals Apply for Permanent Residence?
First thing you’ll need to know moving forward is that after staying in the United Kingdom for 5 lawful years, as a European Citizen, you automatically acquire Permanent Residence – so that’s good news. This is a major pre-requisite before applying for British Citizenship. The next step is to understand that an application for Permanent residency will not only require a number of document but can be complex; this is where people usually get deterred, but once you realize that completing this application will bring you one step closer to your British Citizenship and peace of mind in the face of the ever changing legal landscape, completing the application will be a piece of cake.
For another piece of good news, the application for Permanent residency only costs £65, an undoubtedly small price to pay for a decision that will affect the rest of your life. With permanent residency, you can remain in the United Kingdom with no restrictions and you can leave and return as whenever you’d like without worry deportation; however, you are not allowed to leave the country for more than two years at a stretch if not your Permanent Residency will be lost.
Naturalising as a British Citizen for EU Nationals;
Here are a few requirements to apply for British Citizenship
As previously addressed, the question on almost every EU Nationals’ mind is how to apply for British Citizenship. Thankfully, we have the answers.
First of all, you’d need to set some money aside because the Home Office fee costs £1,300 to secure British Citizenship. At the moment, there are no separate rules regarding naturalization for EU and Non-EU citizens due to the British Nationality act of 1981. As a result, these applications are not affected by the Immigration Rules and European Regulations. Regardless of Nationality, every single applicant is expected to meet the same requirements as everyone else.
You are eligible to apply and receive naturalization as a British citizen if you have lived in the United Kingdom for 6 or more years. However, during your time, you must have been exercising Treaty Rights, which simply means you should have been a student, working or been self-employed.
You are also required to meet the residence requirement which will evaluate your number and length of your exit and absences from the United Kingdom during the past six years. It will also assess where you intend to reside after making the applications.
Do EU Nationals Need to Take the Life in the UK Test for British Citizenship?
Another step to conquer will be to pass the Life in the UK test. The test will not take up much of your time – it costs £50 and has 24 questions with 45 minutes to complete it. Before you can write the test, you must book online at least 3 days in advance. There are about 60 Centres in the United Kingdom to choose from. The Life in the United Kingdom test is an integral part of your application and it is based on the Life in the United Kingdom handbook. If you are over 65 years old, you’d be delighted to learn that you don’t have to take the test.
Do EU Nationals Need to Take the English Language Test for British Citizenship?
You can either pass an approved test or have an approved degree from a majority English speaking country. Another option to bypass this test is to be a national from an approved majority English speaking country.
The Good Character Guide – Requirements
To acquire your British Citizenship, you need to meet the Good character Guidance. This might seem like a minute requirement but it is among the important enough reasons for refusal of British citizenship. The Good Character guidance requires you to not have any recent or serious criminal convictions. You should also not be bankrupt at the time of assessment. You are also expected to divulge if you have been subject to the risk of sexual harm order, foreign travel order, sexual offenses prevention order and notification order. Any Drunk driving offenses should be disclosed as well.
This also applies to the family members of the European citizens applying for the naturalization. The reason for this is simple; their legal entitlement to stay in the UK depends on their EU family member exercising their rights under the European Regulations. For this reason, the government should be aware of any family members that could be potentially problematic.
What Happens Once all the Requirements for British Citizenship are Met?
Once all the requirements for Naturalization have been met, obtaining your certificate should be easy. This then allows you to apply for a British Passport. There are many benefits to having a British passport, the first of which is the fact you don’t need to apply for a visa every time you need to make a trip. The British passport allows visa free travel to 173 countries which is why it is considered one of the most powerful borders in the world, if not the most powerful. This makes it easily understandable why so many want to get their hands on one.
Another reason the UK passport will be beneficial is because you no longer have to prove your residence to the Home office on a regular basis. While the process might be somewhat tedious, there is no denying that it will be ultimately worth it.
Though Dual Citizenship is allowed in the United Kingdom, it is permitted in some countries so before you begin your application, be sure to check the law regarding dual nationality in your country of origin.
One thing to keep in mind through all this is the fact that you should get on your Citizenship application as soon as possible. With all the uncertainty in the political arena at the moment, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you don’t have the United Kingdom if things change drastically from what they are now.
Keep EU Citizenship After Brexit
If you’re a German citizen living in the UK or a French Citizen or Italian citizen or an EU citizen in general, you’ve no doubt asked yourself what would happen to you in the wake of Brexit. The flip side to that coin that UK citizens have also asked themselves what that means for them too, especially in regards to EU citizenship. Here’s what you need to know.
First of all, the fear is that UK citizens will lose the EU citizenships due to Brexit, which is why there is currently a petition underway to make EU citizenship permanent. However the chances of this are unlikely.
First of all, petitions will need to get at least a million signatures from residents in at least seven European Union Nations – quite a task. But it is also understandable why many people will go through such lengths to try to change the law in place at the moment. The EU citizens grantees freedom of movement in the EU, it permits travelling and living anywhere in the EU, it also allows the holder to vote in elections in any European Union country as well as becoming a candidature in elections. One will also get consular help from any EU country in other parts of the world. Needless to say, it is easily understandable why UK citizens still want to maintain their EU citizenship in the Wake of Brexit.
The simple answer to that a treaty change problem, as with any major change in recent years – you need the law on your side. However, Brexit makes this unlikely; the simple fact that EU nationals will need dual citizenship to reside in the UK means the UK nationals need dual citizenship to reside in European countries – a double edged sword. There’s no way to implement change that would benefit the UK nationals without taking the impact of Brexit on EU nationals into account. At the moment, many details are being negotiated but nothing is finalized.
However, in a recent development, it was revealed that after the referendum, British Citizens were the third largest group to acquire EU citizenship. This ensures you that you are not alone in your quest to acquire dual citizenship. 14,911 Brits acquired German citizenship while a significant number opted for French, Belgian, and Austrian citizenship among others. The easiest way to acquire EU citizenship is throght familial links to a particular country; through a mother, father, or grandparent born there. Having an EU spouse is also a great way. One of the most common ways is to have been a resident for a substantial amount of time – usually five to ten years.
Even without the close type of connections mentioned above, there are other routes to take. For example – in Austria, if you were born in Wedlock before 1st September 1983 – you’re qualified for Citizenship, however, only if your father was an Austrian citizen at the time of your birth. Yes, acquiring Austrian citizenship is notoriously complicated. If you were born out of wedlock before 1st September 1983 then you become eligible if your mother was an Austrian citizen at the time of your birth. Marrying an Austrian citizen will not give you citizenship, instead you will receive Alien citizenship and this only comes after six years of residence in Austria.
For Italy, despite being abroad, you are entitled to citizenship if at least one parent is a citizen. The good news is that Italian Citizenship is passed down from parent to child with no limitation of generations so if you have an ancestor of Italian lineage, you’re in luck, as long as you can prove it.
For Germany, if your family lost their German passport due to religious or ethnic persecution during the Nazi era, then you’re eligible to reclaim your German citizenship. However, the regulations for these are quite strict and you may have to choose one country or the other.
For UK nationals, French Citizenship is a popular option as is Spanish and Portuguese Citizenship so its not surprising that their citizenship requirement is a little more demanding than other EU countries.
At the end of the day, the requirements for each EU country are different and you’d have to do a deep dive research into the requirements of which ever country of your choice. As a UK citizen going through this process, you might find some solace in the fact that hundreds of thousands on both sides of the aisle are going through the exact same process as a result of Brexit. There is a little solace in the knowledge that you are not alone.
British Passport For EU Citizens Child
Here’s another question that has been rampant on the mind of EU nationals in recent years. As always, the answer to this is easier than you think.
Children who are born in the UK are automatically citizens if their parents were permanent residents at the time of their birth. Children born in the UK between 2 October 2000 and 28 April 2006 will be given a British Passport if their parents can provide evidence of permanent residency at this time. The evidence in question can either be a certified document, permanent resident card, a letter from UK Visas and Immigration or a passport with an endorsed Indefinite Leave to Enter, Indefinite Leave to Remain or No Time Limit stamp.
For children born after 30th April 2006, the child can receive a British passport if the parent can prove to have been a worker in the UK, a student with private medical insurance or self employed person at the time of their birth. The parent should have also resided in the UK for five years prior to their birth.
Important to note that EU Children born in the UK are not automatically British Citizens, if the parent has not completed five continuous years in the UL prior to the birth of the child, the child in question will not be a British national.
Immigration Lawyers London – How We Can Help
If you feel that you can’t do it on your own and will need help with the forms, requirements and exams, you’d be delighted to know that there are agencies all over the United Kingdom to help you with this… for a fee, of course.
Many consider using agencies as a sure bet, although nothing is entirely guaranteed. There is still a sense of security in your application being heralded by people who have successfully done this time and time again.
What these agencies promise is the advice on the type of application suitable to your individual circumstance and the available means to simplify the application process. They also have available data to help avoid making the mistakes of those who didn’t get their citizenship made.
There is no doubt that working with these agencies might be a dent to your wallet, but you have decided if acquiring your British citizenship is worth the cost or if you’re confident in your abilities to go it on your own. If you feel confident in your abilities, then you should go ahead and do what feels right to you.
EU Citizens Rights In UK After Brexit – How Our UK Immigration Advice Service Works
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