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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am Romanian citizen and currently have a UK residency permit

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I am Romanian citizen and currently have a UK residency permit (ILR). My partner who is British just accepted a job in Austria and I will follow him. I understand that I will lose my residency rights in the UK if I move to Austria and spend most of my time there.
My question is: if I apply for naturalization as a UK citizen, would this give me the right to return to the UK in a few years time without having lost my residecy rights?


Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. By residency rights, do you just mean a right to remain and work here
  • 2. OR do you mean whether you will lose your period of residency in the UK for the purpose of applying to be naturalised as a UK citizen

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am just worried that by moving abroad and spending all my time there I will be losing the right to come back to the UK to live and work.That is why I intend to apply for citizenship before I move away. Is this the solution? If I become a UK citizen, can I go and live abroad and still come back to UK without any problems?

I don't know what would happen to my status if I don't apply for citizenship, would i still be able to come back in the UK to live and work after a long absence?

I don't know if I made things clearer...


Thanks for your reply.

As a Romanian citizen you have a right to come here and exercise your treaty rights, which means you can leave the UK and return as an EEA citizen to work subject to the usual specific provisions with respect to Romanian Citizens.

If you are naturalised as a UK citizen before you travel outside of the UK then this can only be revoked if you have obtained it by deception. Assuming this not to be the case, you will not lose it simply by moving out of the UK to work with your partner.

If you do not naturalise and leave the country with your partner then you re-entry to the UK under your ILR becomes discretionary at the UKBA’s direction once you have spent more than 90 days outside the UK in one period then the UKBA will probably require you to apply for a returning resident visa showing that you intend to again live in the UK permanently and that you can do so without recourse to public OR they will require you to enter as an EEA Romanian Citizen in the same way that you entered before.

Basically, you will be always be able to enter to exercise you treaty rights as other Romanian Citizens, but if you are naturalised as a UK citizen then you will never have to apply to enter the UK again.

If you do not naturalise before you leave then the period of residence that you have spent in the UK will be lost for the purposes of an application, so if you wish to naturalise and are nearing the requisite time period for eligibility then you should do this before you go.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Just one more thing. One of the requirements of applying for citizenship is that I must intend to continue living in the UK. If I obtain UK citizenship and then move abroad for a few years, will I not be in breach of the citizenship? Will it be ok for me to move out of the country straight after obtaining the citizenship?




That is the case, yes. In practice though the UKBA quite rarely take action to revoke citizenship except in the most serious of breaches.

Were you to argue that that you time abroad was unplanned in terms of the length and unanticipated at the time then you would be have a good prospect of success in the unlikely event that enforcement action was taken.

Obviously though the above argument would carry more wait the longer you waited following naturalisation before travelling abroad.

Thanks for your accept.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you