Applications made under the EU Settlement scheme are designed to be more user-friendly and straightforward than applications for Permanent Residence. An application of the former type does not require the exercise of a Treaty Right, instead the main requirement is continuous residence.
Permanent Residence may not be a valid status after 31 December 2020 but it may still be suitable for applicants who wish to naturalise as British citizens and satisfy all the conditions for naturalisation now. One of these conditions is that the applicant must have been free from immigration restrictions for at least 12 months before applying (except when applying as the spouse of a British citizen).
Permanent Residence operates automatically under EU law and while the physical Permanent Residence document is always required in naturalisation applications, it is possible to avoid waiting the 12 month period when the applicant has acquired the status more than 12 months ago but has only been issued with the document recently.
Status granted under the EU Settlement scheme does not operate automatically - it is granted by the Home Office following an application. An applicant will therefore always need to wait for 12 months after being granted Settled Status before applying for naturalisation as British citizen.
|Status will not be valid after 31 December 2020 (30 June 2021 if there is an implementation period)||Status validity will not be affected by Brexit|
|Must show exercise of Treaty Rights for qualifying period (usually five years)||No requirement for exercising Treaty Rights - the primary test for eligibility is residence|
|Acquired automatically - if eligibility is met, status can be retrospectively relied on for the purposes of naturalisation||Acquired through application only - if granted applicant must wait for 12 months before applying for naturalisation|
|Processing times/service standard is up to six months||No processing times published yet but applications are processed much quicker (as quickly as within a few hours)|
|A fee of £65 applies for applications||Applications will be free of charge when made after 29 March 2019; applications made prior to this date will be charged at £65 for adult applicants and £32.50 for children under 16 but will be refunded in due course|
|Non-EEA family members must prove that they are a family member continuously resident in the UK and that their EEA family member exercised Treaty Rights (usually for five years)||Non-EEA family members must prove that both them and their EEA family member were continuously resident in the UK (usually for five years)|