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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have an EEA family resident permit to expire in 2016 but

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I have an EEA family resident permit to expire in 2016 but as my wife is dual national of British and Irish. Can I able to switch my current status by applying for naturalization. We have two kids and I have been in the UK for 9yrs and within this 9yrs married for 4yrs?

Do you mean that your wife is British and also a Republic of Ireland national?

Where are you please?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I live with my wife in Northern Ireland. My wife was born in UK, Northern Ireland and holds both Irish and British passports

Sorry, I have to make a clear distinction between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland.

Are you saying that she holds a Republic of Ireland passport in addition to her UK one?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes she holds both passports by birth and have lived her entire life to date in Northern Ireland UK. Home Office approved us to marry in 2009. I was on student visa up to 2007 when I met my wife then married in 2009. Home Office after I won my case when I was initially refused resident permit, issued my with Family resident permit in 2011. I applied under my wife Irish passport under EU law. Now that we have two kids and because I want to change employment, I want to know if I would be successful in applying for naturalization under UK law with my wife British passport?



You have received your residence card, correct?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes my resident card was issued in 2011 due to expire in 2016 but I intend to change career. So I am considering applying for naturalization instead. Although my 5yrs is to expire in 2016 but I thought I could simply now apply under UK Law for naturalization with my wife's British passport and with regards XXXXX XXXXX immigration history.


Thanks for your patience.

In order to be eligible to apply for naturalisation as a UK national a foreign national must either hold indefinite leave to remain OR permanent residence (if under EEA rules).

Your right to remain has been granted on the basis of the EEA rules, rather than by a spouse visa of a UK national. Therefore you must first hold Permanent Residence before you apply for naturalisation.

I’m afraid that you will see from the following link that a non-eea family member of an eea national can only apply for permanent residence after 5 years in the UK:-

Please refer to the second paragraph under the heading “Types of Residence Document” for confirmation. Once you have been married and exercising treaty rights for 5 years you can apply for this. Once you have this you can apply for naturalisation immediately because you are married to a UK national providing that you meet the requirements on this page:-

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I understand that. I did also saw a part where it said a spouse married to British national for 3yrs can still apply for naturalization as a standard residency requirement. Making application for naturalization under UK Law upon my wife's British passport in my view is separate or will my current status be brought into question?


There is only a three year residence requirement in order to be naturalised as a UK citizen if you are married to a UK citizen (as you will see from the above link that I posted). However, in order to apply for this you must be free of immigration time restrictions which means you must hold indefinite leave to remain OR permanent residence.

Under the old rules in place before 9th July 2012 if a person was on a spouse visa then they could apply for ILR after two years.

The problem is that you are not on a spouse visa, you are on an EEA residence card which has been granted under the EEA rules because of your wife's Irish passport.. This means that you do not qualify for two year requirement because you do not have a spouse visa.

This means that you must apply for PR, which you can only do after 5 years I'm afriad.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Very clear answer. What if after 5yrs my wife hasn't be working, can i then apply for naturalization or indefinite leave to remain in my own right and considering my two kids with my wife? What if we separate after 5yrs when my current EEA residency expires, will still qualify for PR? Looking at my current EEA residency and by virtue of my marriage to my wife and our marriage and as British citizen regardless of her Irish passport, AM I UNDER IMMIGRATION CONTROL HOWEVER?


No, the fact that have you children means that it's not that likely that you woudl ever be deported but it does not afford you any additional rights in terms of obtaining ILR/PR and then applying for naturalisation.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

One last question before I rate to finish:


Say we were to separate after 5yrs, will my application for PR/ILR/Naturalization be successful in my own right under UK Law?


If you separated after you obtained PR then your application for naturalisation would not be affected because you would have been in the UK for 5 years. You would have to apply under the standard requirements if you divorced your wife, but again you would appear eligible:-

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Kind regards.

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Great answer and thanks alot for your detailed information and I am glad.

No problem.

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