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Permanent Residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain

Last week we received a decision on a permanent residence application made by us for our Romanian client. She has been exercising her European Treaty rights in the UK since January 2013. The Home Office confirmed that she acquired permanent residence in the UK since January 2018. When she had contacted us to assist her in getting the settlement in the UK, we had given her two options - either apply for indefinite leave remain under the EU Settlement Scheme of the immigration rules or apply for permanent residence under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. The advantage of applying under the EU Settlement Scheme was that she had to demonstrate only five years residence in the UK instead of the exercise of her treaty rights as a worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person, student and jobseeker for five years as required under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. As can be imagined, applying for permanent residence requires more supporting documents. She chose to apply for permanent residence under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 because she wanted to apply for British citizenship as soon as possible. As she had been exercising her European Treaty Rights as a worker since 1 January 2018, she was entitled to permanent residence from 1 January 2018. Whereas indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme is granted only from the day the Home Ofice decides to grant indefinite leave to remain. Hence, people who are granted indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme have to wait for a year before they could apply for naturalisation as a British citizen. However, the spouses of British nationals having indefinite leave to remain do not have to wait for a year to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen provided other requirements for naturalisation as British citizens are satisfied. In case of people who apply for permanent residence under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 like our Romanian client, if the permanent residence is confirmed from a backdate, and the backdating is more than a year back, then they can immediately apply for the naturalisation as a British citizen instead waiting for a year provided they meet other requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen such, level B1 qualification, Life in the UK Test Certificate and god character. Our Romanian client can apply for naturalisation as a British citizen any day she wants as her permanent residence has been confirmed by the Home Office from January 2018, and therefore she doesn't need to wait for a year.

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