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;
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