What is permanent residence and why is it important?
Permanent residence is a status acquired by an EU national who lives in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years. It is an automatic right to remain and can only be lost if someone is outside the UK for 2 years.
Confirming that someone holds a right of permanent residence has increased in importance since 2015 as it is now the first step in an EU national applying for British citizenship, and those with a right of permanent residence are likely to benefit from increased protection when the UK formally leaves the EU.
How does someone get permanent residence
Permanent residence is an automatic right. It does not require the Home Office or any Government body to grant it and a person acquires it by operation of law. Once an EU national has lived in the UK for 5 years, in accordance with the relevant regulations, they automatically become permanent residents. However, if someone wants to prove they have a right of permanent residence or become a British citizen then they must apply to the Home Office for confirmation of their status.
Applications cost £65 and, although there is no required form, it is best practice to apply on Form EEA (PR).