Become a British citizen

UK company director and company secretary must notify Companies House if you have changed your nationality recently. For example, you are applying to become a British Citizen and your application has been successful. In other words, the UK Home Office has issued you a British passport. In this case, you must notify Companies House of your new nationality.

Companies House publishes a list of nationality. You may use this list to check if you specify your nationality correctly in your Companies House forms and confirmation statement.

Notify Companies House

If you are a company director with Companies House, use the form CH01 to notify Companies House that you have become a British citizen.

Whereas, if you are a company secretary, you must use the form CH03 to update your nationality with Companies House.

Generally, you notify Companies House using the online web filing service or send in your completed CH01 form by post.

If you are going to do it online. you would require your company authentication code. Without the code, you would not be able to file online.

However, you could send in your completed CH01 or CH03 form to one of Companies House offices by post. To expedite the processing of your application, it is best to send your form the appropriate address below:

For companies registered in England and Wales:

The Registrar of Companies, Companies House,
Crown Way, Cardiff, Wales, CF14 3UZ.
DX 33050 Cardiff.

For companies registered in Scotland:

The Registrar of Companies, Companies House,
Fourth floor, Edinburgh Quay 2,
139 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 9FF.
DX ED235 Edinburgh 1
or LP – 4 Edinburgh 2 (Legal Post).

For companies registered in Northern Ireland:

The Registrar of Companies, Companies House,
Second Floor, The Linenhall, 32-38 Linenhall Street,
Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT2 8BG.
DX 481 N.R. Belfast 1.

Section 243 exemption

If you are applying for, or have been granted a section 243 exemption, please post this whole form to the different postal address below:
The Registrar of Companies, PO Box 4082, Cardiff, CF14 3WE.

Continue to live in the UK after Brexit

There are immigration rules you need to be aware of, if you would like to continue to live in the UK after Brexit. Especially, if you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country or Switzerland and is running a UK business.

Unless, you have obtained your British passport or you are an Irish citizen. Then, you do not need to do anything to continue to live in the UK after Brexit.

EU countries

The (European Union) EU countries include:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

EEA countries

Whereas, the (European Economic Area) EEA countries include:

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway

Switzerland

Switzerland is neither EU or EEA member but is part of the Single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.

In summary, the Single market is made up of 28 countries which allows free movements of goods, capital, services and people between member states. UK is leaving the single market economic and political union.

Permanent residence document

For example, you hold a valid permanent residence document issued by the UK Home Office. For Brexit purpose, your permanent residence document would not be valid after 31 December 2020.

Types of permanent residence documents include:

  • a certificate inside your blue residence documentation booklet or pink for Swiss national.
  • a certificate inside your passport
  • a biometric residence card confirming permanent residence.

Continue to live in the UK after 30 June 2021

Thereafter, you would need to either, apply to the EU Settlement Scheme or apply for British citizenship to continue living in the UK.

For this purpose, the EU settlement scheme is open and you can apply now. Do not wait till last minute.

You can still apply for your British passport at later date after you applied to stay under the EU settlement scheme.

On the other hand, If you would not wish to continue to live in the UK after Brexit, you can stay in the UK until 30 June 2021.

Travel to Europe after Brexit

New passport rules for travel to Europe after Brexit. This rule applies if UK leaves the EU without a deal. If you travel frequently to Europe for your international businesses then you would need to be aware of this new passport rule. Also take a look at the guidance issued by Companies House on what to expect and how to deal the transition for companies with EU connection if Brexit with no deal.

Generally, under this new rule, you would need to have at least 6 months left on your passport. This applies to an adult and a child passport.

Do check your passport before travelling. You may have to renew your passport if you plan to travel to Europe after Brexit and your passport is expiring in less than 6 months.

In some cases, you may require to apply for a new passport before travelling to the country that enforce this new passport rule. You may apply for your new passport online or by post. Ordinarily, new passport application takes about 3 weeks. However, Home Office provides fast track passport application service called get a passport urgently that takes 1 week to get your passport and you must attend interview for this application.

Do not book your travel unless your passport meets the destination country’s entry requirements.

European countries that adopt 6 months passport rules after brexit

The new passport rules apply the following countries in Europe.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

Exception

The six months passport rule does not apply when you travel to Ireland after Brexit.