Yesterday (20 July 2016) the Home Office updated their form for application for naturalisation as a British citizen. The newly published Form AN contained a statement that was potentially very significant for EEA nationals buried on page 29 of 30:
Whilst the submission of a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card is not mandatory, failure to submit one may lead to delays in reaching a decision on your application.
This was a cause for much excitement for EEA nationals and practitioners, as it appeared to be a drastic change in policy. Since 12 November 2015, all EEA nationals have been required to include a document certifying that they are permanently resident in the UK with their applications. As many already know, this entails completion and submission of an 85 page form, payment of £65, and waiting times of upwards of 6 months in some cases.
Sadly, the excitement was short-lived, and today the Home Office have confirmed to the Immigration Law Practitioners Association that this was a drafting error in the form, and all EEA nationals still must first obtain their PR document before making an application for British citizenship.