EEA permanent residence update

The Home Office have agreed that from November 2016 onwards, the date on which the applicant is deemed to have acquired permanent residence will be confirmed in the approval letter to the applicant.

This applies both to EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members.

This is a welcome development as it will allow applicants to then know when they can apply for British citizenship. This will be one year after the date confirmed in the Home Office letter and not necessarily the date on the PR document (applicants married to or in a civil partnership with British citizens do not need to wait this one extra year).

Up to now applicants have been in the confusing position of being able to provide 6 or more year’s evidence of being a qualified person and then hoping that this was all accepted by the Home Office in recording their date of acquiring permanent residence.

For instance, an applicant may have provided good evidence of 6 years employment from June 2010 to June 2016 and then received Home Office approval for permanent residence in October 2016. This then left the applicant wondering if the Home Office recorded the effective date of permanent residence being June 2015 (after 5 years employment) or some other date.

If the date recorded is June 2015 then the applicant is eligible to apply for citizenship straightaway. But if the Home Office disagreed with some of the employment evidence presented or simply just recorded the date of acquiring permanent residence as being October 2016, then the applicant would perhaps not be able to apply for citizenship until October 2017.

Obviously this lack of transparency on the date of acquiring permanent residence presented a lot of uncertainty on when an applicant could apply for citizenship.

This has taken on much more importance in recent months as many more EEA nationals are deciding to apply for permanent residence, following the referendum result in June.

Hopefully we will see the format of these new approval letters with the PR date on some successful applications soon.

We have many years experience in securing EEA residence documents and also UK citizenship for our clients. The process can be complicated and the paperwork needs to be correct and in accordance with the EEA Regulations / Nationality Instructions.

At this stage, we just need you to complete this quick registration form on our website;

http://www.commonwealthimmigration.com/assesment_form.html

This should give us all the information we need to give you the correct advice.

We can then review in full and get back to you

New process to apply for EEA residence documents

The Home Office have today announced a new process to apply for EEA permanent residence and EEA Registration Certificates.

The new process will allow applicants to complete and submit an online application and then book a submission appointment at a council. The applicant will then be able to hand over all their application documents for the council to then submit directly to the Home Office.

Crucially, the council will witness their original passport, requiring only the witnessed copy to be submitted to the Home Office. The applicant can then retain their own passport for travel during the application process.

At the moment, only a limited number of councils are able to offer this service. Hopefully this will be expanded in time to cover all councils.

The new process will be effective on 1 October 2016. The current process of applying through a paper form and applying directly to the Home Office will still be in place.

If you have any enquiries on applying for EEA documents then please email us on info@commonwealthimmigration.com

UK citizenship for children of EEA / EU citizens

As many EEA / EU citizens look to apply for permanent residence or other documentation to support their right to stay in the UK – what happens to children of EEA / EU citizens born in the UK?

In many cases, such children might be able to claim automatic British citizenship or to register as British citizens.

The options available depend on when the child was born and what status the EU citizen parents had at that time.

Let’s look at some of the key scenarios;

Children born in the UK before 2 October 2000.

In this case, at least one EU citizen parent must be able to show that they were exercising EU Treaty Rights (such as a worker) at the date of the child’s birth. If so, the child can claim British citizenship.

Children born in the UK between 02 October 2000 and 29 April 2006

Such children can only claim British citizenship if at least one EU citizen parent can prove permanent residence in the UK at the date of the child’s birth. For instance – a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card.

Children born in the UK after 30 April 2006

After this date, any child born in the UK can claim automatic British citizenship if at least one EU parent has permanent residence at the date of the child’s birth.

But – crucially, this does not necessarily require the parent to have an EEA permanent residence card. The parent can claim to have permanent residence based on strong evidence of exercising EU Treaty Rights for 5 years (see our blog post below dated 27 July 2016).

For citizens of those countries that joined the EU in 2004 (A8 countries) and 2007 (A2 countries) it is also vital that the EU citizen parent can show he / she complied with the necessary registrations required at that time. This includes registering on the Worker Registration Scheme or applying for an Accession Worker Card.

Children who can “register” as British citizens

Children who are born in the UK to EU citizen parents can subsequently apply to register as British citizens if at least one parent later obtains EEA permanent residence. This process is not the same as those who can claim automatic British citizenship. Instead, an application for registration needs to be made and takes several months to be approved.

If you need any further information on securing British citizenship for adults or children then please email us on info@commonwealthimmigration.com

EEA permanent residence – employment evidence

If you wish to apply for EEA permanent residence as an employee then there are several pieces of evidence that you can provide to prove your employment history in the UK.

One option to consider is to apply for a statement of your National Insurance record. This is completed online and will result in a statement (with your name, National Insurance number etc..) being posted to you. This will detail each “qualifying year” for National Insurance contributions.

This will also state if your annual contributions are Class 1 (employed) or Class 2 (usually self-employed) or a mix of the two.

A National Insurance record is not the only document to provide when applying for EEA permanent residence but it certainly is of benefit.

Remember when applying for permanent residence you need to show that you have been exercising your EU Treaty Rights as an employee for a 5 year period.

Please see this link on applying for a statement of your National Insurance record.

https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record

If you have any enquiries on applying for EEA permanent residence then please email us on info@commonwealthimmigration.com