close menu

UK permanent residency card for EU nationals

European Union (EU) nationals are entitled to hold a permanent residence card after a period of qualifying residence in the UK. This card, if held for the required amount of time,
will enable the national to naturalise as a British citizen.

Do you qualify to settle in the UK permanently? Contact us.

The two most common routes to British citizenship when it comes to EU nationals are the following:

  • Naturalisation in the UK as an EEA citizen
  • A child is born in the UK to a parent who is an EU citizen with permanent residence

The European citizens to whom this applies are: Austrians, Belgians, Bulgarians, Croatia, Cypriots, Czechs, Danes, Estonians, Finns, French, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Luxembourg Citizens, Maltese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanians, Slovakians, Slovenians, Spanish and Swedes.

Exercising treaty rights in the UK

In the first five years of your stay in the UK, you need to be exercising treaty rights in terms of EU law. This would require, amongst other things, that you are working in the UK.

On 27 October 2015, a new law was passed in the UK to prevent European citizens applying for British passports if they do not first hold the permanent residence card from the Home Office.

What about Brexit?

Given the recent Brexit vote and the likelihood that the UK will exit the European Union over the coming years, the status of those EU nationals living in the UK is unclear.

In order to secure your rights to live and work in the UK, we would urge you to regularise your residency status in the UK and obtain your permanent residency card as soon as possible.


Contact our immigration team

Phone us (SA): +27 (0) 21 657 2180

Phone us (UK): +44 (0) 20 7759 7580

South Africa

Cape Town
Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

201 The Annex
Ridgeside Office Park
t: +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7581


Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

This site uses cookies, read more or close this notice.