New naturalisation policy guidance covers EU settlement scheme
The Home Office issued an updated policy guidance for caseworkers on naturalisation as a British citizen by discretion (under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981) on 15 May 2020. This update is significant as it deals for the first time with how non-exercise of EU Treaty rights during the qualifying period by EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who have obtained settled status will be treated.
The new guidance adds in a new section on EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members, in the section on breaches of immigration law in the qualifying period. It is a requirement of sections 6(1) and 6(2) that applicants are not in breach of immigration law during the qualifying period for citizenship (three years immediately before the application for spouses of British citizens, five years for other applicants).
The new version (5) guidance confirms that breach of immigration law ‘can include being in the UK without meeting an additional requirements, such as an EU, EEA or Swiss national not holding comprehensive sickness insurance if they needed to’. It provides guidance to caseworkers on how to assess applications where this is relevant.