Permanent Residency for EEA Citizens

Permanent Residency for EEA Citizens

The aftermath of Brexit has made a lot of EU citizens to reevaluate their future in the UK. There have been a lot of speculations as to what the outcome of Brexit negotiations will be after the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 on 29 March 2017. The Home Secretary has also repeatedly pledged that the government will end freedom of movement. Therefore, there is a possibility that EU citizens may need to apply for visas to live and work in the UK post-Brexit. If that happens, there could be problems for those that have unskilled jobs because they would not qualify for a Tier 2 Visa. This has made EU citizens to consider British Permanent Residency (BPR) also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as an option.

Why should I apply for British Permanent Residency?

In previous years, EEA citizens did not need to apply for BPR, but that could be changing in the near future. However, as a citizen of any of the European Union countries, you are

automatically regarded as eligible for permanent residence if you have lawfully lived and worked in the UK for 5 years as a qualified person. By a qualified person, it means someone who is a student with Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI), self-employed, self-sufficient with CSI, working or looking for work.

With ILR, there are no restrictions to leaving or entering the UK but you should not stay away from the UK for more than 2 years. If that happens, you stand a risk of losing the BPR. Permanent residence also give employers confidence in employing EU citizens as they are unrestricted by immigration control. Furthermore, if you intend to naturalize as a British Citizen, you first need to have a BPR card.

What documents do I need for BPR?

You would need to provide certain supporting documents as proof that you have been living and working legally for a least 5 years. The application for a BPR can be demanding and the amount of supporting documents needed sometimes dissuades people from completing an application. Nevertheless, this might be the easy route for you to secure their future in the UK.

Some of the documents are:

  • Evidence that you have been living in the country such as Utility Bills and house contracts
  • Evidence that you have been working or looking for work, self-employed, studying, or self-sufficient such as pay slips, bank statements and tax returns.

Reiss Edwards have a team of London's leading immigration solicitors. If you need to consult on issues relating to Indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence or require assistance with the application, please call us on 02037442797 or send us an email on



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