Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in Permanent Residence Applications

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance is one of the Home Office requirements for Permanent Residence applications submitted by students, self-sufficient persons and their family members. Following our recent articles on the impact of Brexit on EU nationals currently residing in the UK, we have received a significant amount of enquiries regarding the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. Our experienced solicitors will guide you through the process of applying for Permanent Residence and the requirement of having Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. 

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Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – What is it?

EU law gives a right of entry to the UK to any EEA citizen. However, only certain EEA citizens qualify for a right of Permanent Residence after 5 years of living in the UK and exercising Treaty Rights, which brings with it the right to be accompanied by family members, protection from removal from the UK and the right to apply for Naturalisation.

The main categories of EEA citizens who qualify for a right of  Permanent Residence are:

  • Workers
  • Self employed persons
  • Self sufficient persons with comprehensive sickness insurance
  • Students with comprehensive sickness insurance

As you can see, from above the Regulations require ‘self-sufficient’ EEA members and ‘student’ EEA members to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. The Regulations also require the family members of self-sufficient individuals and EEA students to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.

How can EEA Nationals evidence Comprehensive Sickness Insurance Cover

We previously written about a case called Ahmad v Secretary of State for the Home Department decided in the Upper Tribunal (UT) which highlights the importance of having Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. The Judge at the Upper Tribunal dismissed the Appellant’s claim that because her EEA national partner paid money into NHS therefore that should have been sufficient to show Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. The case begs the question as to what counts as Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. An EEA national living in the UK is allowed to use the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The Home Office has long argued that this does not count for the purposes of EU law as having comprehensive sickness insurance.

So, we know from the Ahmad  case above that access to the NHS does not count as Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. We have highlighted below two ways a self-sufficient or EEA national student and their family members may be able to satisfy this requirement:

  • Buying comprehensive private health insurance, which covers the EEA national and their family members. The Home Office guidance states that it must be “full health insurance” cover.
  • An EEA national may also wish to rely on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance, however the guidance makes it clear that this is only if you make a declaration that you do not intend to stay in the UK permanently

EEA nationals should seek professional advice if uncertain about whether they require  Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, to avoid the shock refusal of an application for permanent residence due to inadequate comprehensive sickness insurance.

How to make a Successful Application for Permanent Residence?

To make a successful Permanent Residence application you must meet the Home Office’s requirements, we have previously written about the stringent requirements for Permanent Residence applications. It is important to note that the Home Office’s requirements are a set of rigorous rules. However, you should note that there are numerous ways you can satisfy these rules. It is imperative you obtain the correct guidance before submitting any visa and immigration application. The UK immigration rules are complex and so it’s advisable to seek legal advice to avoid refusal.

In our expert experience, we have assisted clients in the past who have assumed that they do not meet the requirements but once we explore their circumstances we discover they do meet the requirements. A common question we often come across is regarding the documents which have to be submitted as evidence of residence and meeting the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance requirement. You may wish to contact us if you have any questions regarding any of the requirements for Permanent Residence applications.

Advice from UK Immigration Solicitors on Submitting a Successful Application for Permanent Residence

Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client-tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Permanent Residence application by providing you with advice from our leading team of solicitors before your matter even reaches the Home Office. We can assist you with the preparation of your visa and immigration application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

If you wish to consider your options, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

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