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Comprehensive health insurance – European nationals – Permanent Residence

Comprehensive health insurance – European nationals – Permanent Residence

  • 03/03/2017
  • Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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Comprehensive health insurance – European nationals – Permanent Residence

3 March 2017medical

With Brexit in the air, a lot of European nationals in the UK are thinking about acquiring Permanent Residence (which is the same thing as “indefinite leave to remain” or “settlement”). The basic requirement for this is that the European national has spent at least five years in the UK in a qualifying activity: ie by working, studying, being financially self-sufficient or (slightly more dodgy) job-seeking.

With two of these categories – studying and financial self-sufficiency – there is an additional compulsory requirement for them and for any family members: comprehensive health insurance.

If a European migrant who is studying or is self-sufficient applies for an EEA Registration Certificate (in order to prove that they have the right to be in the UK) they must show that they hold comprehensive health insurance at the time of application. (NB: Free access to the NHS does not qualify!)

And if such a European migrant, and any family member, applies for Permanent Residence they must show that they have held comprehensive health insurance for the whole of the qualifying five-year period. If they have not then the application is likely to be refused. For some people this is of course going to be a real problem.

What is “comprehensive health insurance” in this context? It could be, for example, a health insurance policy which covers the majority of circumstances; it could have a few exclusions but it must cover the majority of them.

It could also be health cover provided by the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or by European forms S1, S2 or S3, but here there is some complexity: if a person applies for Permanent Residence on the basis of having been covered by an EHIC or by S1, S2 or S3 then the application may be granted. However, if a person applies for an EEA Registration Certificate on the basis of cover provided by an EHIC then they need to declare that they intend to be in the UK for only a limited period – something that, for obvious reasons, could be unhelpful for any future Permanent Residence application.

This can be a tricky area, and readers who are concerned about it are advised to take good legal advice.

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