Should EU citizens consider becoming British?

Thanks to the right of the free movement, there are over 2.9 million EEA nationals currently living in the UK. Although the Leave campaign has repeatedly assured that their right to live and work in the UK will be protected under international treaties, the uncertainty regarding their future has encouraged many EU citizens to apply for British citizenship ahead of a possible Brexit vote.

Due to the changes introduced in November 2015, it is now mandatory to have a confirmation of their permanent residence ahead of any naturalization application pursuant to sec 6(1) of the 1981 British Nationality Act. EU citizens must show that they have exercised treaty rights to apply for permanent residence, as a worker, self-employed, a student or someone who is ‘economically self-sufficient’ for five years.

The majority of EU citizens so far have not ‘bothered’ applying for a British passport because of the cost and time-consuming nature of the application process. Nevertheless, it is known that Brexiters wish to reduce the number of migrants and one of their suggestions is to introduce a points based system for EU migrants.  On balance, the safest option might be for an EEA national to apply for a British Passport sooner rather than later.

If you are currently concerned about the UK citizenship application for yourself or/and your family member, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 20 3384 3075 or via email for advice.