I am Lithuanian (EEA European Economic Area Citizen) and have lived in UK for 5 years. My wife is Lithuanian too. First proof of me being in UK is my NIN appointment (I had to be present in UK) that was on 1st of November 2010. I have worked in UK since (without more than 3 week breaks), own my house in UK, second child was born here.

Based on information on gov.uk I have been living in UK for 5 years and this allows me to apply for citizenship. (I qualify on other points too, passed the Language and Live in UK tests).

There are different ways to become a British citizen. The most common is called ‘naturalisation’.

You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’re of good character, eg you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
  • you’ll continue to live in the UK
  • you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • you meet the residency requirement

And you must usually have:

  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national) - this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave
  • had indefinite leave to stay in the UK for the last 12 months (or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national)
  • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

Since citizenship application fee is hefty (~£1k) I figured to apply using NCS service. I live in Hampshire so I went to Hampshire nationality checking website and there requirements differ from those on gov.uk.

According to Hampshire council:

EEA National applications must be submitted with documentary evidence of your residence during the qualifying period of either 6 years, or 5 years if married to a British Citizen.

This (in my eyes) is conflicting information between gov.uk and local authority.

How long does one have to live in UK to apply for citizenship via naturalization if he is EEA citizen?

1 Answer 1


Actual email thread between me and an immigration lawyer: http://nadinewongsolicitors.co.uk/contact-us


I think I need to do more reading... But maybe you can clarify that for me - to become British Citizen 5 years is enough?

"lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application"

If 5 years is enough then maybe we can apply for citizenship straight away without intermediate step of permanent resident?

(not entirely sure, my knowledge is limited)


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 apply for Permanent Residentship (5 years required) first and then after a year for Citizenship.

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