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Do EEA Citizens need to apply for PR in the UK?

EEA Countries

We receive many inquiries from EEA citizens asking us the question “Do I need to apply for PR in the UK”? This question depends on many factors, read on to find out what you need to know about Permanent Residence and British Citizenship for EEA or EU citizens.


Since 2015 the rules applying to EEA Nationals have changed so this news story has been updated to reflect the EEA Immigration rules to ensure you apply for the correct permission to obtain settlement in the UK.

Do I Need Permanent Residence In The UK As An EEA citizen?

The answer is now yes. Since 2015 the Home Office has required those EEA citizens to obtain Permanent Residence if they want to obtain British citizenship. Many EEA nationals have had their EEA PR applications rejected due to submitting wrong documentation and not having their past history accessed. Bring an EEA national does not entitle you alone to Permanent Residence or British Citizenship. You must meet the qualifying rules to get approved. Imagine you are from Germany and you have been here in the UK for 5 years. You return home for 6 or 7 months and come back. You then apply for British citizenship assuming you had

Imagine you are from Germany and you have been here in the UK for 5 years. You return home for 6 or 7 months and come back. You then apply for British citizenship assuming you had automatic right to PR only to find you have been rejected and lost your £1005  (now higher as of March 2016) application fee. Now your settlement clock has reset and you have to wait another 5 years before you are eligible for settlement.

I’ve heard of automatic right to Permanent Residence, what is it?

This is an old criteria that was used to grant Permanent Residence to EEA nationals. Since 2015 this not longer applies and all EEA nationals must show they have exercised treaty rights. The old rules were as follows: When you have been in the UK as an EEA citizen exercising treaty rights for 5 years through the following then you qualify for Permanent Residence automatically.

  • Working
  • Self-Sufficient
  • Self-employed Person
  • Studying
  • Retired Person

You don’t have to apply for EEA PR to have documentation proving this. The issue is that you don’t have proof and evidence can be lost easily or hard to obtain as the years go past. It is best to get this evidence.

Advantages of applying for proof of PR as an EEA migrant are:

  • You have consolidated 5 years worth of documents into one
  • You ensure that any future non-EEA family members will have an easier time with migration or EEA applications
  • You make it required for yourself to obtain British Citizenship
  • If you leave the UK and come back you can more easily prove your PR status
  • Won’t be affected by any political policies that target EEA nationals such as restricted benefits

Once you have obtained Permanent Residence you will be able to apply for British citizenship. The stress of being refused a citizenship application is not worth the hassle.

For this reason, it is advised to obtain Permanent Residence proof if you are an EEA citizen to ensure a smoother transition when living in the UK. If you need help with any of these applications or a document check to ensure you have prepared the correct paperwork for the strict Home Office requirements then contact us for further assistance.

How We Can Help?

Here at WM Immigration we have experience in dealing with many different Immigration applications. Our expertise and professionalism will ensure you are given the correct immigration advice. We understand the stress of making your visa application and will endeavour to give you the best chance possible of success. Our company has an established reputation and will provide advice regarding of your location.

Services We Offer

  • Eligibility Check
  • Tailored guidance on how to meet specific requirements
  • Document check
  • Review of Application Forms
  • Assistance with booking appointments
  • Same Day Visa Representation

Visa and ILR Application Premium Service

If you don’t want to wait months for your immigration application to be processed in the UK, we can assist you in getting it processed at the Home Office Premium Service Centre. We can have you booked in for an appointment in a matter of weeks and you will get your visa approved same day. No more stressful waiting! Our experienced representatives will attend with you to ensure a smooth application.

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