European Nationals have recently started to raise question marks on the future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) post-Brexit. Whilst the UK Government has promised that the European Health Insurance Card will not be a casualty of Brexit, it is likely that there will be significant changes to the current legislation regarding access to healthcare for European nationals post-Brexit. The European Health Insurance Card is an important document for those European nationals who are temporarily visiting any of the European Union (EU) member state countries. It allows access to state-provided healthcare free of charge or at a reduced cost depending on what treatment would have been available to the EU national in their home country.
What is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
The European Health Insurance Card replaced the old E111 EHIC Certificate in 2005 and since its introduction, it has been a cherished document for EU nationals travelling within the realms of the 27 member state countries. The benefit of holding a valid European Health Insurance Card is that European nationals can access state-provided healthcare in other EU member state countries or Switzerland.
If you hold a valid European Health Insurance Card and fall ill on holiday, the card will allow you to access medical treatment to the same standard that would have been available to you in your home country. It is important for this not be interpreted to mean that all medical treatment being free. The medical treatment you receive would depend on what treatment would have been available to you in your home country. In some occasions, treatment may not be for free but at a reduced cost. An EU member state country may deny you medical treatment under the European Health Insurance Card where they suspect that you have specially travelled to access medical care in their country. The purpose of the European Health Insurance Card is to protect and cover EU nationals who fall ill on holiday in other EU member state countries.
The future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) post-Brexit
The UK Government have yet again failed to provide a satisfactory update on the progress of Brexit Negotiations on the subject of Free Movement and the rights of EU nationals in the UK post-Brexit. Whilst there is no doubt that the UK Government will work for the best deal for the UK, it is also apparent that many services such as the European Health Insurance Card may be axed.
This would directly impact travel insurance premiums and may possibly deter travel to the UK. However, there has been some positive news; Brexit Secretary David Davis has suggested that there has been some mutual common ground agreed on keeping the European Health Insurance Card beyond Brexit. Further, Mr Davis has also suggested that if an agreement cannot be formed with the EU, the UK will then negotiate with individual member state countries in a bid to keep the European Health Insurance Card alive beyond Brexit.
Settling in the UK prior to Brexit negotiations concluding
The UK Government have proposed a streamlined process at a minimal cost for EU nationals to convert their Permanent Residence Document to a Settled Status Document in the UK. However, the Government has failed to provide details of measures that they intend on introducing for EU nationals who do not hold a Permanent Residence Document once the UK has officially departed from the EU. It is clear EU nationals who currently hold a valid Permanent Residence Document will benefit from the new streamlined process of applying for a Settled Status Document.
We strongly recommend EU nationals currently exercising their Treaty Rights in the UK regularise their status by applying for a Permanent Residence Document as it remains unclear what the future holds for them beyond Brexit.
Using Legal Representation to apply for a European Health Insurance Card and a UK Permanent Residence Document
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a European Health Insurance Card and a UK Permanent Residence Document application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your European Health Insurance Card and UK Permanent Residence Document application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your European Health Insurance Card and a UK Permanent Residence Document application meets the Immigration Rules and EEA Regulations.
Successful European Health Insurance Card and UK Permanent Residence Document Application
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your European Health Insurance Card and a UK Permanent Residence Document application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your European Health Insurance Card and a UK Permanent Residence Document application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.