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Advise needed for naturalisation of an EU wife of a British husband

(29 Posts)
Yolande7 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:29:38

Dear mumsnet,

You'd think my situation is pretty standard, but the process does not seem to be cover my situation.

I am an EU citizen
married to a British citizen (for over 7 yrs)
have lived in the UK for over 8 years
have British kids
am a homemaker.

Do I need a permanent residence card in order to apply for citizenship? I don't seem to be able to find the right boxes to tick on the prc form.

I would apply as a spouse. I have not had private health insurance for long and I have only worked briefly in the UK.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and gone through the process?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!!

Lico Sat 04-Feb-17 09:40:08

Hi Yolande,
Same situation but with 40 years residence!! Just changed lawyers because many are out there to make money out of us and are not familiar with EEA issues. They use the same yardstick as for non-EEA nationals.
Feel free to email me privately.

Best x

See below various lobbying.
The mass lobby is more important than ever

** Thank you to all 1,251 people who have registered to the mass lobby so far
Following the white paper published by the Government this week (same old post-truth, laying the blame for not unilaterally granting our rights on other EU Governments who don't have the jurisdiction for doing so), the mass lobby is possibly the most important event for EU citizens to attend in 2017.

With you, we will try to convince a majority of MPs that it will only take a little bit of political courage to support the right amendment to article 50 and release the pressure for the 3 million Europeans who have come in good faith and are being taken hostage by Theresa May in the name of Brexit.

On the day, we will ask your MP to add their name to the following pledge: "I call on Theresa May to guarantee unilaterally the rights of EU citizens living in the UK".

Even if your MP is not willing to meet you, we urge all EU citizens to join the group photo at 1pm to coincide with One day without us ( so please make sure you're in the Library room by 12.45pm.

Nicolas, co-chair of

Lico Sat 04-Feb-17 09:56:17

In short,
Theresa May , immigration fanatic, whilst at the Home Office , changed rules retrospectively for EEE nationals in 2015.
This means that you now need to have a Permanent resident prior to applying for British Citizenship.
In your case , for the Permanent Residency paper (which you do not legally require to reside in the UK or
in the EU!!) you would need to apply under the category Self Sufficiency. You need to prove that you are financially independent from your husband. Being married to a British Citizen and have British Children do not count. Although you are legally residing in the UK you need to prove that you do not and will not depend on the Social Assistance System. Husband's income does not count.
The various lobbying going on and the media coverage include this very predicament of yours.
Do you live in London?

PacificDogwod Sat 04-Feb-17 10:00:16

Oh FFS, really??

I have lived in the UK for 24 years, in ALL that time have been a higher rate tax payer, been married to a UK citizen for 20 of those years.

If they want me out, I'm leaving - I have somewhere to go, I am financially independent from my DH and I am sure my DC will manage fine with Teresa May as a surrogate mother! To think I once admired her shoe collection!

I will be darned if I put any time or effort or money into applying to be allowed to stay here.
I am not kidding - I shall leave. That's another GP less in the country...


lljkk Sat 04-Feb-17 10:03:10

I thought Permanent Residence only cost like £90 for EU citizens. Pretty cheap compared to the other paths to getting Right of Abode.

lljkk Sat 04-Feb-17 10:03:38

.. and the form took like 10 minutes to fill in. Or so a colleague seemed to say.

stickygotstuck Sat 04-Feb-17 10:18:42

Does anyone know if there is a threshold to be considered financially independent?

I am (at least I consider myself to be), and I was planning to fill in the 3 million pages od the permanent residence form. But my income is not large and before I drain myself of the time and mental strength require for that, I'd like to know if it's a waste of time. Personally, I wouldn't want to apply as a spouse if you can do it as self sufficient.

Sorry OP, can't help with your specific situation, although it does sound like you must apply as a spouse. There must be thousands and thousands of people in your situation.

PacificDogwod Sat 04-Feb-17 10:18:53

Lico, thanks for the link - I have just signed up.

And 'One Day Without Us' will have my support too.

stickygotstuck Sat 04-Feb-17 10:20:50

Lljkk, the guidance notes only are around 100 pages, if I remember correctly. I may be wrong on the actual number but I took one look and immediately lost the will to live. It's long, let's just say.

Lico Sat 04-Feb-17 10:57:11

It is not as straight forward as £90 and 10 minutes. 😀😀😀😀

30% of applications are rejected for various reasons.

Some of the questions on the 85 pages are designed to trip you up . Guidance notes are a nightmare and very confusing; lawyers find them badly written. The Home Office has taken the Non EEA form and are now using it for EEA Nationals which is ludicrous and has attracted a lot of complaints.

You must prove that you have exercised your treaty rights for a continuous 5 year period as a student, worker, self employed or self sufficient. You must provide tons of documentation as evidence.

One lady brought an example of evidence at a Committee at the House of Commons . The evidence weighed 2 kgs!!

Moreover , as a student or self sufficient, you must have held a Comprehensive sickness Insurance; your husband 's income does not count thus penalising stay at home mothers.

This means that a big chunk of EU nationals with families will not be entitled to a Permanent Residency paper. This is OK for now but after Brexit , most of them will be , theoretically, shown the door.

Lico Sat 04-Feb-17 11:05:50

For info regarding sickness insurance and funds:
See the link below.

lljkk Sat 04-Feb-17 12:02:45

Ah well, then my colleague gave wrong impression.

Almost all my office are non-EU nationals. We swap notes about our experiences getting LTR & citizenship... the Dutch guy seemed to breeze thru by comparison.

LauraMipsum Sat 04-Feb-17 20:43:51

I'm an immigration specialist.

Yolande it sounds as though you are not able to naturalise. You would need to get PR first, and you can only do that if you have lived in accordance with the Regulations for over 5 years. You don't count as "self sufficient" for any period of time you haven't had health insurance.

That doesn't mean that you have to leave: worst case scenario is that you apply under the Immigration Rules for leave as a spouse but that is very expensive.

Lico - this bit "You need to prove that you are financially independent from your husband." is NOT correct. You can be self-sufficient if you rely on a spouse's income, but you would need to have private health insurance.

sticky there isn't a set amount, it's not like the spouse threshold under the Immigration Rules. You just have to show that you have enough to support yourself without using public funds. That can be a spouse supporting you, or money sent from parents abroad, you might be receiving income from rented properties... as long as you can show that you are not receiving public funds and that you do have money from somewhere (i.e. there's no suspicion that you're drug dealing!) then it's should be ok; see p20 of the guidance here:

Having said that, this is new guidance and has introduced a new "assessing sufficient resources" section which is at p26 onwards. If you have sufficient funds that you wouldn't be eligible for public funds then they have to accept you're self-sufficient. The test is this (from p 28)

"If, having taken into account the personal situation of the EEA national and examined the evidence, you are satisfied that their resources and that of their family members exceed or will shortly exceed what is required to meet their financial commitments and living costs, those resources should be regarded as sufficient."

Lico Sat 04-Feb-17 21:39:11

Hi Laura,
This is precisely why I am looking for a different lawyer..
I was advised that , for self-sufficiency, my spouse 's income cannot be taken into consideration. Luckily I demonstrated this and I had a Comprehensive health insurance.
£2600 later and days prior to sending my form, I was advised that because I claimed child benefit (£80 per month) I could not prove self sufficiency and would probably be rejected!
Someone on this board kindly explained that since Child Benefit is not means tested therefore it should not jeopardise my application.
Meanwhile my current lawyer wants an extra £1500 plus vat to find different options!!!

Lico Sun 05-Feb-17 09:45:10

Comprehensive sickness insurance for Self Suffiency . info.

stickygotstuck Sun 05-Feb-17 10:33:43

Thank you, Laura.

Lico, it does sound like you need a different lawyer. Although personally I'm not sure of how much use a lawyer is at the moment, when all we have is uncertainty.

I'm still not sure if I want to go for PR or naturalisation. My original plan was to apply for PR for now and wait and see if I 'need' naturalisation later. But I don't know if that is the best course of action.

What is everybody going for?

Lico Sun 05-Feb-17 10:53:35

Sticky : you are right...
At the moment I have no idea which route to pursue. Am reading left, right , centre. I am finding Colin Yeo very informative.
In a way one has to be very well prepared prior to consulting a lawyer.
Ticking the wrong boxes or not adding a covering letter to application form can really screw everything up!

PacificDogwod Sun 05-Feb-17 12:17:14

Although personally I'm not sure of how much use a lawyer is at the moment, when all we have is uncertainty.

I agree.
There is no point in preparing if nobody knows yet what we are preparing for.

Notjustuser1458393875 Sun 05-Feb-17 12:22:54

A friend of mine is filling in the form right now. 25 years in the UK, EU national, meets the criteria. She and I and her husband couldn't make sense of the form and its guidance. We all have advanced degrees, hers in her second language, and her husband is a QC.

She is worried because a colleague of hers got rejected for not supplying details of a (paid) parking ticket, even though the form (maybe - guidance is unclear!) states there's no need to declare them.

The whole thing is ridiculous.

turkeyboots Sun 05-Feb-17 12:50:46

I'm attempting to apply. And it's horrible. I came to the UK as a student 20 years ago, met DH and stayed. Turns out I cannot apply for permanent residence as when I was a student I didn't have private insurance - despite the fact I am Irish and legally entitled to use NHS from the day I moved! It's a stupid system totally not fit for purpose.

genome Sun 05-Feb-17 17:07:39

Turkeyboots I helped dh (dutch national) with his application, which was accepted. Although he had been in the UK much longer than 5 years (some as a student without the unnecessary health insurance) we only provided documentation and answered for the last 5 years before the application. In our case he was granted PR. If you've been self employed or a worker for the last 5 years then this might work for you also?

GreenGoblin0 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:35:54

Turkeyboots if you are Irish you don't need to apply for PR. Irish citizens are automatically treated as settled the UK

GreenGoblin0 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:38:52

Also it's not correct that you cannot rely on a spouses income to be self sufficient it's just that if you are applying under this category you also need to show you have comprehensive sickness insurance.

LauraMipsum Sun 05-Feb-17 21:23:16

Although personally I'm not sure of how much use a lawyer is at the moment, when all we have is uncertainty.

I would still apply for PR if you can, because once you have it, it is unlikely to be taken away as you then have a "legitimate expectation" of being able to remain. A retrospective removal of rights EU citizens had already acquired would almost certainly be unlawful.

AveEldon Sun 05-Feb-17 22:26:07

genome - question for you - did you include anything about the earlier years in the uk or not?
My OH has been here for over 15 years but has some gaps in employment/no insurance but the last five years is solid employment

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