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married to a Brit, here for 18 years

(71 Posts)
DorothyL Wed 29-Jun-16 16:13:24

Do I really need to apply for British citizenship, or can I wait and see?

BoboChic Wed 29-Jun-16 16:15:52

No of course you don't.

wowfudge Wed 29-Jun-16 16:18:46

That needs to be qualified Bobo, to not while the UK is an EU member. It will only be as negotiations progress that we will have clarity.

BoboChic Wed 29-Jun-16 16:25:22

There is no way that you will have to be naturalized post Brexit. It wasn't necessary pre-entry to the EEC!

freetrampolineforall Wed 29-Jun-16 16:26:39

Can't hurt to get permanent residency if you don't already have it. My mum is 86, Irish and with Right of abode here. They start chucking out people with a legal right to be here they'll have to come through me first.

user1467101855 Wed 29-Jun-16 16:40:24

Nobody knows! Nobody here can tell you.

lljkk Wed 29-Jun-16 17:32:39

How are you legally here now, Dorothy? Are you an EU-citizen?

DorothyL Wed 29-Jun-16 18:52:16

Yes EU citiizen

DorothyL Wed 29-Jun-16 21:38:09

I know a very old German lady who's been here for 70 years, so she was allowed to stay before the EU?

lljkk Thu 30-Jun-16 02:14:16

No decisions have been made about what EU citizens will need to do to continue living legally in UK.

Leave campaign made assurances to EU citizens living in UK; but it's clear they never had no power to make any promises. On other hand, nobody in power wants further upheaval (many folk having to leave UK). My guess is that some deal involving paying lots of money will be offered to EU citizens who have lived here at least ... (?) 3 yrs & not been difficult, so that they can get residence visa or indefinite leave to remain, etc.

Cjamm Thu 30-Jun-16 02:41:26

I honestly think you'll be fine, my dad still has his German citizenship & emailed his local MP, he was assured that no one would be chucking out EU citizens anytime soon & it was unlikely that the rules coming in would effect those already here, but would focus on future migrants but of course he couldn't guarantee anything as our Goverment is going through a massive breakdown right now

Thistledew Thu 30-Jun-16 03:00:30

My prediction is that anyone who has a right of permanent residence (5 years stay in accordance with EEA regulations) will be transferred onto ILR (indefinite leave to remain), possibly subject just to having a a clean criminal record.

There will be an administrative nightmare though as everyone who is currently here and qualifies will have to submit their paperwork and passports to UKVI for a new residence permit. Application processing times are already well in excess of the 6 months permitted under EEA directives, so this is likely to be a lengthy process, and you may well have problems travelling, getting a new job etc whilst your application is pending.

In order to have the best chance of getting this resolved quickly, you would do well, if you have not already, to apply for a Residence Certificate to demonstrate you have a right of permanent residence. It will hopefully make the transition to ILR a little smoother.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Thu 30-Jun-16 04:03:30

Anyone who is promising you you can stay without any extra admin is not able to make those promises at this point, so get yourself covered now, application processing times are dreadfully long as it is.

DorothyL Apply for EEA(PR), you need that before you can apply for citizenship, and if it gets to a point where you NEED citizenship, it'll by then be too late to start the LOOOOOONG process of EEA(PR) and then onto Naturalization.

EEA(PR) will more easily convert to ILR as it's a similar thing

wait and see is so flawed because it could take you 2 years to get through the whole process. So in in 2 years time you're told you need this stuff, you can't just get it, you'ld only be able to START applying, at which point you might not be able to stay while you're being processed.

DO NOT expect the Home Office to allow much if anything in the way of cross-over time. It hasn't allowed any in the past when other changes were introduced with little or no notice.

If it comes to the point where you are required to have a PR card, the attitude you might THEN find yourself up against, is well, you've had 2/3 years since the referendum, it's not our fault you didn't get the paperwork you were entitled to during that time.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Thu 30-Jun-16 04:06:51

Oh and, you can't just get citizenship through marraige any more, they got rid of that in 2015 (ahead of the referendum, so that MAY give you a hint that they might not be such a soft touch when it comes to it). Now to get citizenship through marraige you need to go through the EEA(PR) route first.. so essentially you need to qualify in your own right anyway, although technically on paper citizenship through marragie still exists, in practice it doesn't really help you, not since the 2015 change

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 30-Jun-16 04:08:08

What Adulting said - prepare for the worst, hope for the best and make your contingency plans accordingly.
Sitting back and hoping that it will all be ok won't cut much ice with anyone in officialdom.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Thu 30-Jun-16 04:20:27

There is no way that you will have to be naturalized post Brexit. It wasn't necessary pre-entry to the EEC!

BoboChic, that's not relevant, the Home Office has changed A LOT of rules since we entered, it can't just pop back to how it was pre EEC or EU for that reason!

DorothyL Thu 30-Jun-16 06:09:04

Okay so for the now focus on getting a permanent residency card?

BoboChic Thu 30-Jun-16 06:42:31

You should not worry, above all. The several million "children of divorce" in the EU i.e. EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the rest of the EU who have settled lives will not be thrown out and returned. Of that you can be entirely certain.

Thistledew Thu 30-Jun-16 07:11:32

BoBoChic - why do you feel so certain?

I think there are EU citizens who will be at real risk of being removed:

- Those who have resided in the uk for less than 5 years
- Anyone with a criminal record.
- Those who have resided in the uk for less than 20 years, but either can't prove it or who can't prove that they have done so under EEA regulations for a continuous period of 5 years - this will catch out quite a few women I fear. For example, a French woman who came to the uk, studied for a year, worked for 3 years but then got married to a British Citizen and left the workplace to raise a family would quite possibly have not completed 5 years residence as a 'qualified person' and so would not have a permanent right of residence.

You are only a 'qualified person' if you have
- worked for 5 years
- been self employed for 5 years
- been a student at a recognised institution for 5 years and held comprehensive sickness insurance
- been self-sufficient for 5 years and held comprehensive sickness insurance.

I fear there are many women who will think they can rely on having been 'self-sufficient' (you can rely on income from another family member) but who will be caught out because they have not had sickness insurance.

Do you really think this government will say "Oops, it turns out you have been living in the UK for 14 years unlawfully, you don't meet any of the current rules, but never mind, you can stay anyway", or will they take their chance to finally get those pesky net migration figures down to their target of 'tens of thousands'?

Mistigri Thu 30-Jun-16 07:17:22

I think anyone with 5 years legal residence is almost going to be OK, but I agree with the above about considering getting paperwork in order over the next 2-3 years, especially if you are a risk averse person.

I'm in the opposite situation to the OP (Briton living in EU country abroad) but not worrying about citizenship applications yet, as local laws are favourable to me because I have children who are dual citizens.

I think we'll end up with EEA membership anyway - in which case this discussion is moot.

Mistigri Thu 30-Jun-16 07:21:31

However, thistledew's point about what constitutes a "qualified person" is a good one. I can't see this happening because I suspect that while a majority of EU migrants in the UK would be "qualified", the same would not be true of large numbers of Britons in the EU. In fact I'm thinking about the people I know in France, and there are a lot who would be caught out by this even after many years of residence.

Fawful Thu 30-Jun-16 07:30:25

Those who have resided in the uk for less than 20 years, but either can't prove it
Does something magic happens once you've been here for more than 20 years? <hopeful>
I have to say that knowing as I did the truth about the practicalities of my status post-Brexit (=a limbo), it was disturbing to hear Johnson's Monday morning assertions: '^EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU.^' Yeah right!

Fawful Thu 30-Jun-16 07:34:52

Also - is the 'permanent' residency only valid for 5 years?

Thistledew Thu 30-Jun-16 07:39:26

There is a category under domestic law for leave to remain on the basis of long residence if you have lived in the uk for at least 20 years, whether lawfully or unlawfully (subject to requirements of good character).

It is noteworthy that Boris spoke of the 'rights' of EU citizens and Brits abroad being protected - this to me suggests that they are thinking of protecting a 'right' of permanent residence, but that you will have to demonstrate an entitlement to qualify for legal protection.

MoonriseKingdom Thu 30-Jun-16 07:41:34

Thinking things won't be applied to existing EU migrants is naive. Look at how many non EU migrants have had the rug pulled out from under them recently. That NZ family in Scotland hit the headlines but there are many many more.

My dad came to the UK from a Commonwealth country in the 1950s and was given ILR with little formality. Times change. Things won't just revert back to old rules.

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