With Brexit looming, it seems lots of EEA nationals want to apply for permanent residence and subsequently British nationality. While this has always been an option for EEA nationals, few have felt the need until now. Many would prefer to do this before Brexit happens thereby avoiding a perilous immigration status.

But these types of applications require precision as to the person's qualifying date. The web documentation does not cover how a person would establish this. And because of 'free movement', this is not covered in the British Nationality Act 1981 or any of its amendments through the years.

Question: how can an EEA applicant confirm the date (in a way that is acceptable to Home Office caseworkers) on which they are "deemed" to have acquired permanent residence?

  • 1
    I presume you've seen expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/9594/…
    – phoog
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:19
  • @phoog not a duplicate
    – Gayot Fow
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:33
  • @GayotFow indeed, it's not, but it certainly seems related.
    – phoog
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:35
  • 2
    @Gala I don't know the answer today, but did see a memo from the Free Movement Policy Team admitting the documentation gap and promising to rectify their site next week. So no, I honestly do not know at the moment.
    – Gayot Fow
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:35

Taken from here

To qualify for naturalisation as a British national you need to have at least one year with permanent residence, i.e. 5 years to get PR plus 1 >with PR = 6 to qualify.

Please see this link:


One of the requirements is that you:

· “had indefinite leave to stay in the UK for the last 12 months (or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national)”

If you want to be more precise go can see the Schedule 1 (2) (c ) of the BNA1981 which says:

(c)that he was not at any time in the period of twelve months so ending subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for >which he might remain in the United Kingdom;


Sometimes the info is very confusing but you need 12 months with PR to qualify. You need to apply for Permanent Residentship (5 years required) first and then after a year for Citizenship.

In regards to proving your 5 years:

One form that is accepted is letters from employers, educational establishments or other Government Departments indicating your presence in the United Kingdom during the last five years.

If you were employed, letters from your employer. If not, letters from Department of Work and Pensions stating you were receiving benefits.

You also should have registered (1k fine if you didn't) on the electoral roll in your council. (This one I am not 100% sure about, but I have heard people talk that it's also acceptable, which makes it easier than finding all P45s and going through all employers that might gone bust in those 5 years...)

More info in this guide

  • This isn't clearly canonical, complete, and clear enough to be considered an authoritative answer. I started editing it to try and make it clearer, but I ended up working towards a complete re-write. Specifically: the core question isn't answered in one place, and the reader isn't given a clear set of "do this in this order" steps. I'm not going to award the bounty at this time - but will renew the bounty once it expires! Dec 26 '16 at 22:52
  • @oskarpearson Hi Oskar, if you deem answer to be unsalvageable, could I suggest you post your own answer... Dec 26 '16 at 22:55
  • I'm not the best person to answer this - it's outside of my area of expertise :) I think that many people would benefit from an authoritative and clear answer though - hence my bounty. Thanks for taking the time to answer. Dec 26 '16 at 22:58
  • @oskarpearson Good morning, which parts of answer do you believe need changing? Thanks. Dec 28 '16 at 9:49
  • 1
    For one thing, your answer appears to be about naturalization, while the question is about establishing permanent residence. The information about establishing permanent residence appears to have been added as an afterthought.
    – phoog
    Dec 29 '16 at 2:40

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