Permanent Residence Status


If you or a family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you usually get permanent residence status automatically after living in the UK for 5 years. To apply for citizenship with permanent residence status you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting permanent residence status. You also need a permanent residence document that proves you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years - this can be any 5 year period. This means that if the 5 year period was more than 12 months ago, you will be able to apply for citizenship as soon as you get your permanent residence document. 

Permanent residence status and citizenship from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, you can only apply for British citizenship with permanent residence status if:

  • you already have a permanent residence document
  • you do not also have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

You cannot apply for a permanent residence document after 31 December 2020. If you have settled status, you must apply for citizenship with this status instead of permanent residence status. Do not apply for citizenship with your permanent residence status if you have settled status. If you do, your application will be rejected. You can apply for citizenship with settled status 12 months after you first got permanent residence status. You do not need a permanent residence document.

Staying in the UK after 30 June 2021 if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen

You must apply for permission to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If you have not been granted citizenship and had a citizenship ceremony, apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. Citizenship applications usually take around 6 months to process and may take longer. You cannot stay in the UK after 30 June 2021 while you wait for citizenship, unless you have permission to stay here in another way. For example, if you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. You can apply for citizenship after you get settled status.

Contact us to discuss your immigration matter

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