SSW consultant Alastair recently helped a German national to successfully apply for British Citizenship, in a complex case where a lack of CSI was a potential barrier to success. The need to document status does of course carry over into the naturalisation process, which requires a formal application, with supporting evidence, to the Home Office. In applying for this status, most EU nationals are not specifically required to evidence their period of UK residency. You may well be familiar with the 3 or 5-year residence requirement, rules on good character, and on the need to be free from immigration restrictions when applying. In the past few days, the misleading term ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ (CSI) has suddenly become a hot topic among EU citizens in the UK. However, not all citizens who needed to hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance were aware that this requirement existed. Buoyed by receiving this approval, many resident EU citizens have started to contemplate taking the next step and applying for British citizenship. “CSI is a legal requirement for EU, EEA and Swiss students, self-sufficient persons and their family members who are residing in the UK with them.The form asks the applicant if they had comprehensive sickness insurance during their time spent in the UK. Since 2011, Comprehensive Sickness Insurance has been a requirement for all EU/EEA citizens who are studying or living self-sufficient lives in the UK. Two of these categories require EU Citizens to hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, namely a student or self-sufficient person. Self-sufficiency is when an individual does not rely on employment for their income. #CitizenshipStory – the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) barrier Lara arrived in the UK as a young adult, went to school, worked and then graduated from university in the UK. please contact a member of the team today. Where someone has been granted ILR under the EUSS but has not been resident here in accordance with the EEA regulations (prior to grant of pre-settled status or settled status) due to a lack of comprehensive sickness insurance you should consider whether it is appropriate to, The guidance doesn’t really elaborate further: it continues in a rather circular way to explain that Home Office caseworkers should. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. We were also able to show that she had been employed in the UK and therefore met the test of being a Qualified Person up to the point that she obtained settled status. Regrettably, this approach to determining EUSS applications does not apply to the consideration of British citizenship cases. A Limited Company Registered in England No.6411962 VAT Number 921669707 • © Latitude Law 2008-2020 All Rights Reserved, We are solicitors practising law under the jurisdiction of England & Wales only. Since 20 June 2011, it has been necessary for these categories of EU citizen to have held Comprehensive Sickness Insurance while living in another member state. Third, you may have cover under a reciprocal arrangement between your own government and the UK. EU Citizens and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance - What's the Big Secret? Part of UK and EU law, comprehensive sickness insurance is a form of medical health insurance required across the EU. EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), and have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. Unfortunately, those who did not have this were technically not complying with … SSW consultant Anthony recently worked with a Cypriot national on a citizenship application which was made complicated due to the applicant breaching the continuous residency requirements. For an initial discussion, please contact a member of the team today. However, the client’s husband has been self-employed throughout the client’s qualifying period. However, there is some hope for individuals who didn’t have such insurance. As we head towards the end of the UK’s Brexit implementation period on 31 December 2020, the thoughts of many EU nationals (here I use the term to include EEA & Swiss citizens too) who have lived, studied and worked in this country, often for many years, are turning to becoming British. When applying for British citizenship, individuals are required to prove they have been lawfully resident in the UK throughout their residential ‘qualifying period’ leading up to the date the citizenship application is submitted. The role of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) CSI is a private health insurance policy that covers the holder in full when accessing medical treatment in the UK. Lurking behind these rules is a further potential problem, the. For EU nationals in particular, applying for British citizenship can be a complex process. In direct contrast to the EUSS  application process, Europeans applying for British citizenship should therefore be prepared to prove they had CSI in place if they spent any of their qualifying period in the UK as a student or supporting themselves financially without being employed or self-employed. Nationality guidance states: You must consider why the applicant did not have comprehensive sickness insurance. Comprehensive Sickness Insurance as a condition for Permanent Residency in the UK An European national will automatically qualify for UK Permanent Residence (PR) if they have lived in the UK as a qualified person for a consecutive period of 5 years. While the system for applying under the EU Settled Status Scheme might be light-touch, it is a significant departure from the old system whereby such citizens were able to live in the UK – as in any other EU member state – largely without formality. time comes to naturalise as a British citizen, , many EU citizens are therefore required to evidence they resided in the UK as a ‘. The Home Office’s own internal policy guidance for consideration of naturalisation applications states that: “An EEA or Swiss citizen or their family members who have a 5 years’ continuous qualifying period of residence in the UK and Islands when they apply to the EU Settlement Scheme will be eligible for settled status. At the time the client was referred to SSW, she had held settled status in the UK for a year and so was eligible to apply for citizenship. After submitting this evidence alongside the application and some persistence from Alastair to have the evidence accepted by the Home Office, an approval was granted three weeks later. A qualified person means that they are either working, self-sufficient, self-employed, or studying. Simple dental cost plans won’t work – but it’s not necessary to have bought cover for pre-existing conditions. Having been awarded settled status, many EU nationals would logically assume their period of UK residence has already been deemed lawful by the Home Office. This means that any time you spend in the UK without CSI will not count towards permanent residency. The path to naturalisation at discretion which leads to British citizenship for the vast majority of adult applicants is a well-trodden one, the law being set out in the British Nationality Act 1981, principally at Section 6 and Schedule 1. . Most straightforwardly, an individual or their family member may have held private health cover, which must cover most – not necessarily all – risks. The UK Home Office defines comprehensive sickness insurance as ‘any form of insurance that will cover the costs of the majority of medical treatment’ in the UK.. In addition, if you are exercising your right to reside in the UK as a student or self-sufficient person, you are required to have comprehensive sickness insurance throughout your period of residence in the UK. taking the next step and applying for British citizenship. I know this has been a hurdle for many in the past. CSI is only required for EEA nationals who have not worked continuously for 5 years. For these individuals, any period of time spent in the UK without CSI in place may be considered by the Home Office as a breach in their qualifying period of residence. self-sufficient with comprehensive sickness insurance On account of the UK leaving the EU, the UK government introduced the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Regrettably, this approach to determining EUSS applications does not apply to the consideration of British citizenship cases. The number of EU nationals applying for an EU Permanent Residence Card (PR Cards) has surged 36% since the referendum, from 10,269 in the three months prior to the EU referendum to 16,009 in the three months that followed. I'm moving to the UK as a student, and have been informed (University guidelines as well as the internet) that I should obtain Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in order to be in line with UK policy. The process of proving this can be tricky: published by the EU provides further details. Comprehensive Sickness Insurance Explained. In this article, we discuss why some Europeans may face greater difficulties when applying for British citizenship, and take a look at some case studies where SSW consultants have helped clients to successfully naturalise as British citizens. When the Brexit transitional period ends on 31 December 2020, Germany intends to limit dual nationality to countries that are also in the EU, unless an exemption applies such as individual acquiring another citizenship through birth. If you are considering naturalising as a British citizen, and your time in the UK has included self-sufficiency or full-time study, you must think very carefully about evidencing sickness insurance during relevant periods. This will include people who previously applied for … From EU Settled Status to Naturalising as a British Citizen: The problem of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. The applicant must provide a copy of their comprehensive sickness insurance policy, for the duration of their stay in the UK under the EEA Regulations. If a person did not have CSI, you must consider why they did not have it. Where applicants provide their National Insurance number, automated checks are run against HMRC and certain DWP records to establish their period of residence in the UK. I know that EU students are expected to have CSI in theory, but that not many people actually do this or indeed know about it, but I'd rather follow the rules properly! It is a legal requirement for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens residing in the UK to have CSI in place if they are students or economically self-sufficient. Having an EHIC satisfies this requirement if you are not intending to be in the UK permanently. The client initially came to the UK as a student in 2010 and lived here for five years. take into account all the facts surrounding such a breach and make a full assessment about whether discretion should be exercised in their favour. For this reason, the client was keen to submit her citizenship application as soon as possible. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. For many, as well as for their British relatives and friends, this was the first time they have ever heard about CSI. requirement common to most nationality applications, which permits the Home Office to review an individual’s compliance with immigration laws going back 10 years. See here for more details. As non-nationals in a non-EU country, this is a sensible approach. Appendix D: Keeping records for your sponsored workers, Millions eligible for new Hong Kong BNO Visa, Appendix D: A guide to record keeping for sponsors. ‘EU citizens will not be removed from the UK or refused entry solely because they do not have this insurance.’ The Home Office’s position means that those who need comprehensive sickness insurance according to EU law but who don’t have it, won’t be regarded as living in the UK unlawfully. Thereafter, you must be in the UK exercising a right to reside. When the time comes to naturalise as a British citizen, many EU citizens are therefore required to evidence they resided in the UK as a ‘qualified person’. Confusingly, under the UK’s EU Settled Status (or Pre-Settled Status) Scheme the government has taken the decision to disregard this requirement. Comprehensive sickness insurance requirement. The UK can require you to provide proof of comprehensive sickness insurance cover for yourself and your family members. The process of proving this can be tricky: this document published by the EU provides further details. You may therefore need to request further information from the applicant to demonstrate this.”. The disregard does not carry forward to a citizenship application – we have seen applicants who lost their £1330 citizenship application fee (less an £80 citizenship … The legal loophole you have never heard of The term ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ (CSI) has suddenly become a hot topic among EU citizens in the UK. This combination of evidence was deemed acceptable by the Home Office, and the citizenship application was approved. Second, there’s the EHIC – issued by your own government, not the UK – which broadly provides cover for short-term residence only. To become a British citizen, EU citizens who were students or self-sufficient will need to show that they had ‘comprehensive sickness insurance’ (for any qualifying periods before the grant of pre-settled or settled status). Due to her absences, she exceeded the number of absent days usually permitted by the Home Office. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In addition, as she spent some of her time in the UK as a student, she would need to demonstrate that she held CIS during this period. Manchester: 0161 234 6800 Liverpool: 0151 305 9600. European nationals making an application for British citizenship may face greater difficulties when proving to the Home Office that they have been lawfully resident in the UK during their qualifying period. CSI is a legal CSI is a legal requirement for EEA and Swiss students, self-sufficient persons and their family members who are residing in the UK with them. The UK is requiring all resident EU citizens to document themselves; something that has not been universally welcomed. The UK government haven’t been great at making migrants aware of what it is and why they need it. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a link to their website is at, The path to naturalisation at discretion which leads to British citizenship for the vast majority of adult applicants is a well-trodden one, the law being set out in the, , principally at Section 6 and Schedule 1. If you intend to apply and need some advice or support, our immigration experts at Smith Stone Walters are here to help. I have a few concerns regarding the requirement for comprehensive sickness insurance. In order to meet the eligibility requirements for a citizenship application, the client would need to prove she was exercising a Treaty Right, or in other words, was lawfully resident in the UK for the five-year period leading up to her application. Smith Stone Walters is increasingly seeing cases where European nationals are unaware of this requirement, or simply unable to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the Home Office’s lawful residence criteria. We are an independent website created to help customers find the best possible health cover quote for their circumstances. The Home Office will therefore not accept settled status alone as sufficient evidence of lawful residence in the preceding years. It is a legal requirement for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens residing in the UK to have CSI in place if they are … their period of residency in the UK. If you have always worked and paid National Insurance contributions, then you do not need to read any further. For advice with any matters relating to immigration, Naturalisation for EU citizens: comprehensive sickness insurance, the elephant in the room, Naturalisation and Registration for British Citizenship, Sole Representative of an Overseas Business, UK Immigration Training Courses and Agency Services, Switching Immigration (Visa) Category Guide, English language and Life in the UK for Settlement and Citizenship, UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres. So all pretty unsatisfactory, really: there’s an obvious lack of certainty for EU nationals facing this issue; clearer guidance from the Home Office would be welcomed; otherwise the Courts may express a view that isn’t what applicants want to hear. We do not provide any financial advice. Since launching fully on 30 March 2019, the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) has awarded ‘settled status’ to over two million EU nationals on the basis of their period of residency in the UK. Buoyed by receiving this approval, many resident EU. On a UK Border Agency website I found that the following are not accepted: • The following is not acceptable as evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance: o a health cash-plan scheme will not be considered, as these policies do not cover medical treatment in the majority of circumstances; o reliance on the UK NHS (national health service); and Lurking behind these rules is a further potential problem, the good character requirement common to most nationality applications, which permits the Home Office to review an individual’s compliance with immigration laws going back 10 years. However, there is some hope for individuals who didn’t have such insurance. Working or self-employed in the UK; A student in possession of comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) Self-sufficient in possession of CSI. Without this you are not meeting the requirements of the Regulations. 2) If applicant has spent the 3 or 5 year qualifying residence period in UK as a student or as a self sufficient person, and had comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI), a copy of their sickness insurance policy is required to be uploaded to ‘Other’ Category. One aspect of these residence requirements is causing difficulty for EU citizens who spent time in the UK either as a full-time student, or on an economically self-sufficient basis, such as the partner of a British citizen. In this case, Anthony was able to persuade the Home Office to exercise discretion and disregard the absences on the basis that his client has been resident in the UK for over seven years, and during her time as a student she had held the appropriate medical insurance and was able to support herself financially. In order to obtain settled status (akin to permanent residence) through this scheme, it is only necessary for EEA citizens to demonstrate they have been resident in the UK for five years. Most straightforwardly, an individual or their family member may have held private health cover, which must cover most – not necessarily all – risks. Alastair advised the client that she would be able to demonstrate lawful residence as the spouse of a person exercising Treaty Rights. Comprehensive sickness insurance can be evidenced in three ways. You may well be familiar with the 3 or 5-year residence requirement, rules on good character, and on the need to be free from immigration restrictions when applying. However, this grant of settled status will not confirm that they were here lawfully under the EEA Regulations during that time. The guidance doesn’t really elaborate further: it continues in a rather circular way to explain that Home Office caseworkers should take into account all the facts surrounding such a breach and make a full assessment about whether discretion should be exercised in their favour. It continues: [Discretion might be exercised where] the breach was because the applicant did not meet an additional/implicit condition of stay, rather than illegal entry or overstaying, such as an EEA or Swiss national not having CSI and can provide sufficient evidence to justify discretion being exercised in their favour. We have helped many European clients to successfully apply for naturalisation as a British citizen, and our dedicated advisors will work with you every step of the way to give you the best chance of success with your application. You can find a full list of acceptable evidence in this document. A student in possession of comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI). In 16 years living in the UK, Hedwig Hegtermans had never heard of comprehensive sickness insurance. In our view, the better approach is to disregard non-compliance for the 10 preceding years, and focus on the last 3 or 5, but there is no guarantee the Home Office’s caseworkers will do so. You must consider why the applicant did not have comprehensive sickness insurance. I am aware that if you are self-sufficient, aka not working, you must prove you have comprehensive sickness insurance. Under Freedom of Movement laws, all EU nationals have held a right to reside in the UK for three months. My only … Guidance for family members of EEA national students required to hold comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) in the UK. EEA nationals who did not have comprehensive sickness insurance when they were supposed to (i.e. This is where the comprehensive sickness insurance plays a part, as it is a requirement for those EU nationals who live in the UK without being economically active (that is employed or self-employed). Whether you need to worry about this for the 3 or 5 years of your qualifying residence, or the 10 years referenced in good character guidance, is not entirely clear. Third, you may have cover under a reciprocal arrangement between your own government and the UK. Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) is any form of insurance that will cover the costs of medical treatment. Do I even need CSI? The disregard does not carry forward to a citizenship application – we have seen applicants who lost their £1330 citizenship application fee (less an £80 citizenship ceremony refund) due to this error. After this time, she spent a year studying overseas and returned to the UK in 2016 to start work. However, if the client had not been able to provide solid evidence in the form of CIS and maintenance, it is likely her application would have been refused. But she cannot apply for British citizenship because of the unfair Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) requirement – a requirement no one told her about while she […] Are short gaps without Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) acceptable for citizenship applications? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. You can find a full list of acceptable evidence in. Confusingly, under the UK’s EU Settled Status (or Pre-Settled Status) Scheme the government has taken the decision to disregard this requirement. Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) is a legal requirement for EEA and Swiss students, self-sufficient persons and their family members who are residing in the UK with them. Alastair worked with the client to obtain proof of the relationship, such as their marriage certificate and documents demonstration cohabitation, alongside P60 documents to evidence the husband’s self-employment during the client’s qualifying period. So, we thought we should explain a … You are usually considered a Qualified Person if you have been: CSI is a private health insurance policy that covers the holder in full when accessing medical treatment in the UK. For immigration purposes, acceptable evidence of the CSI requirement would usually include private health insurance, provided the policy provides comprehensive cover for the majority of risks whilst in the UK or proof that the individual is protected by reciprocal arrangements with their home country. Simple dental cost plans won’t work – but it’s not necessary to have bought cover for pre-existing conditions. To qualify for permanent residence, you will need to have been a residence in the UK for 5 continuous … Since 20 June 2011, it has been necessary for these categories of EU citizen to have held Comprehensive Sickness Insurance while living in another member state. For many of them, as well as their British relatives and friends, this was the first time they have ever heard about CSI. Where someone has been granted ILR under the EUSS but has not been resident here in accordance with the EEA regulations (prior to grant of pre-settled status or settled status) due to a lack of comprehensive sickness insurance you should consider whether it is appropriate to exercise discretion in their favour. You may not have heard of comprehensive sickness insurance before. Those who answer no should have provided an explanation in the box provided. It was never particularly obvious that student and self-sufficient EU migrants should have to take out private health insurance in the UK purely for immigration purposes. During an initial consultation call, Alastair advised the client about the lawful residence requirement and what this would mean for her citizenship application. Those who have breached UK immigration law within the last 10 years are generally unable to meet the good character requirement. This includes stay-at-home spouses or part-time workers. There has been a fair amount of reports recently whereby European Union Citizens who reside in the UK and left for holidays and/or business purposes, have been stopped at the UK Border control when trying to re-enter the UK, due to the fact that do not have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. For advice with any matters relating to immigration, speak to our team of experts today. If you were an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their family member in the UK as a student or self-sufficient person, there was a requirement for you to hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance during that time. Unfortunately in this case, where the client had been self-sufficient as a student in the UK, she did not hold CSI and could therefore be considered unlawfully resident in the eyes of the Home Office. Comprehensive sickness insurance can be evidenced in three ways. Once you are enrolled onto a course of study at an institution which meets the criteria below and you meet the conditions as set out below (which include having comprehensive sickness insurance), you have the right of residence in the UK. After this time, they have the right to continue residing in the UK as long as they are a ‘qualified person’ exercising Treaty Rights in the UK. 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