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Is UK trying to put EU Nationals off applying for residency?


Following the trigger of Article 50, the Home office has issued a new guidance attempting to discourage EU Nationals from applying for permanent resident in the UK. This guidance which was released this month recommends that EU Citizens are advised to sign up for emailed news alerts that will tell them if an when they need to take action over their UK residence. The issue is that the there is no clear indication that the current British government will guarantee their status post-Brexit.

Keir Starmer, who is the Shadow Brexit Secretary, said that this would be “Leaving 3m EU nationals in limbo — and then trying to deter them from even applying for residency — is a profound failure.”

In order to obtain a Permanent Residence in the UK, European citizens will need to be in the UK for at least 5 lawful years. Previously there has been no need for EU Citizens to make such an application but the future does seem uncertain. Applying for Permanent Residency does not make you a British National but gives you indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

According to the Home Office figures more than 92,000 permanent residence applications were received from EU Nationals in 2016. Whilst the latest data has not been published this number is expected to be over 100,000. This is small fraction compared to the estimated 3 million EU Citizens currently in the UK.

To make an application for Permanent Residence can be extremely complex and the number of documents to submit tends to put individuals off from submitting an application. Recently, there was a case when the parents of an EU National were granted Permanent Residence however the children who were aged below the age of 16 and had completed at least 5 lawful years in the UK were rejected. Other examples include EU Nationals who are being rejected on the basis that they did not take out comprehensive sickness cover

Once an individual has Permanent Residence in the UK, there are no restrictions attached and they are free to exit and enter as they wish, provided they are not out of the country for more than 2 years at which point Permanent Residence is lost.

Arif Khalfe, who is a Director at Lupton Fawcett specialising in Immigration and Dispute Management comments “the message from the UK Home Office is interesting in that as we approach Brexit, the number of applications will surge and there will be lengthy delays in EU Nationals trying to obtain Permanent Residence. At the same time the fees for such applications could increase substantially.” His recommendation, for EU Nationals who are thinking of applying for Permanent Residence, is to make such applications as soon as possible to eliminate the possible barriers ahead and to continue living in the UK without the uncertainty.

He adds that “individuals making such applications are overwhelmed by the 85 pages required to be completed. If the application is rejected they do have the option of appealing the decision or submitting a new application.”

At Lupton Fawcett we are able to help you to make an application for Permanent Residence in the UK. We have a team of professionals who are experienced and effective at making such applications at a very highly competitive fixed fee price.


For further information relating to the points raised in this article, please contact Arif Khalfe.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.


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