EEA or Swiss nationals wishing to apply for a Permanent Residence document can now do so using the Home Office’s new online service. The service which was introduced last month, can be used by most EEA nationals. It does not, however, apply to students or those who are self-sufficient and are either reliant on a family member for support or are financially responsible for any other family members.
If you intend to use the service, you must first complete the online form and then send your supporting documents to the Home Office for consideration. To ensure your application is processed quickly, you should ensure you provide the necessary documents which show how you have been exercising your free movement rights over a 5-year period.
In most applications, this is often a straightforward task but if for example, you are relying on periods of self-employment, you will need to submit extensive documentary evidence showing you are (or were) genuinely self-employed in genuine economic activity.
The Home Office’s guidance on supporting documents is complex; self-employed applicants are required to provide tax and national insurance documents, proof of earnings, evidence that the business is/was actively trading and other additional documents depending on whether the business was a partnership or limited company.
Those wishing to apply for nationality after obtaining a permanent residence document can do so after they have lived in the UK for 6 years. This means you must wait another 12 months if you’ve only lived in the UK for 5 years when you get the document but you can apply immediately if you’ve already lived in the UK for 6 years when you got your document or your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen.
Preparation is the key to success – our London solicitors are here to guide you through the complex requirements. If you would like to consider your eligibility or would like to instruct us to review your documents, please contact us today.