With less than one year to go before Brexit, it has now become clear that EU Nationals living in the UK need to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence card.
Under the current rules, any EU national has an automatic right to acquire permanent residency in another EU country if they have lived there legally for a continuous period of 5 years. With Britain leaving the EU, however, this automatic right will no longer be granted.
In the British Nationality regulations of 2015, an amendment to the 2003 regulations states that:
“applicants relying upon an EU right of permanent residence in the United Kingdom in order to meet the relevant statutory requirement in the 1981 Act must provide with their application a valid permanent residence card or document certifying permanent residence”.
What this means in practise is that EU nationals who would previously have automatically acquired the right of permanent residency having lived continuously in the UK for 5 years, will now need to provide an EEA PR card with their application to be naturalised as a British Citizen.
In other words; no card, no British passport.
Given the likely surge in applications for permanent residency in the coming months, and with waiting times for applications to be processed ranging from 2 to 6 months, it is imperative that EU nationals wishing to remain in the UK apply for an EEA PR card without delay.
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