Should I apply for British citizenship to protect against Brexit?

If you are an EU/EEA national and have been in the UK for a sufficient amount of time, did you know that you can apply for British Citizenship?

Why may you want to do this? The UK has left the EU, and the free movement rights will come to an end on 31 December 2020. We don’t yet know what the post-Brexit settlement will look like. However, whatever it is, it won’t apply to British citizens, so if you are eligible to apply for British citizenship, this is the perfect time to get to grips with whether or not you should be making your application now.

If you wish to apply for British citizenship, the most common way to do this is to apply for Naturalisation. Once granted, you will be afforded the same rights and benefits as all British citizens.

Currently, Naturalisation is for applicants who have legally lived in the UK for five years and had one of the following for 12 months:

  1. indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
  2. settled status (also known as indefinite leave to remain under the EU settlement scheme); or
  3. indefinite leave to enter the UK.

There is a slight difference in the criteria for Naturalisation for applicants who are married to British citizens and for applicants who are not.

You will also need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK, be of good character and have the intention to make the UK your home. The good character requirement is usually based on your previous immigration history and your criminal history/ record.

You must apply separately for your children and can apply to register them as British citizens if they were either born outside of the UK or born inside the UK before you were granted indefinite leave to remain.

Upon a successful application, you will be granted your certificate of British Citizenship and will be able to apply for a British passport to travel to and from the country.

As there are many requirements to be met to satisfy the Home Office in a Naturalisation application, we can guide you through the process.

This article was written by Claire Berry, an Employment Lawyer at Price Bailey Legal Services. If you have any questions or require any assistance, you can contact Claire and the employment team on the form below.

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.



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