Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for EEA Nationals and their family members. I would like to start by explaining to you, guys, why I’ve created this blog post. This is to help you understand and avoid one of the most common mistakes, which a number of EEA nationals and their family members make when living in the UK.
It is not uncommon for EEA nationals to assume that they have a free right of movement in the UK. In other words that they can reside here for as long as they choose to. This is absolutely right, but only for the first 3 months. By law, all EEA nationals and their family members can reside in the UK without any conditions attached for the first three months. This is known as the initial right of residence.
However if an EEA national wants to stay in the UK after 3 months s/he should become ‘a qualified person’. In other words s/he should either become: a worker, a self-employed or a self-sufficient person or a student. Jobseekers will maintain their ‘qualified persons’ status, but only for a short period of time.
With workers and self-employed people the situation is very clear. They can remain in the UK as long as work. Jobseekers can only look for a job for a maximum of 91 days.
However the situation with students and self-sufficient persons is not as straightforward. This is because in addition to proving that they have enough money to support themselves while in the UK and in case EEA nationals students that they also study, they also have to prove that they have
comprehensive sickness insurance.
Also those, who have derivative rights of residence in the UK, should also have a comprehensive sickness insurance.
I’ve had EEA national clients who told me that: ‘I’ve been studying here for several years, without this comprehensive sickness insurance and I am doing just fine’. A number of EEA nationals even received treatments under NHS.
The truth is, my friends, that you are likely to discover the fact that you were supposed to have this insurance only when you make your permanent residence application. And it will be too late at that point. This is because without this comprehensive sickness insurance all years, which you’ve spent in the UK, will not be counted when calculating the duration of residence in the UK for the purposes of your Permanent Residence application.
So, I hope you I’ve convinced you that you should get this comprehensive sickness insurance.
The second mistake, which I’ll help you avoid is by explaining what type of comprehensive sickens insurance (CSI) is accepted because not all of them are.
Generally the Home Office accepts an EEA national or their family members as having a valid CSI if they hold any form of insurance that will cover the costs of the majority of medical treatment they may receive in the UK.
Please take a proportionate approach when considering if an insurance policy is comprehensive. For example, a policy may contain certain exemptions. However if the policy covers you for medical treatment in the majority of circumstances then the UKVI will accept it.
The definition of CSI does not include:
- cash back health schemes, such as dental, optical care or prescription charges
- travel insurance policies
- access to the UK’s NHS
In order to prove that you have a valid insurance, you should provide one of the following documents:
- a comprehensive private medical insurance policy document
- a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This document should be issued by an EEA member state. (other than the UK). The UKVI will also accept its predecessor: form E111 .
- form S1 (or its predecessor forms E109 or E121)
- also form S2 (or its predecessor form E112)
- form S3
European Health Insurance Card
You have to be really careful with European Health Insurance Card. Why? Because the decision maker they will only accept it if it is clear from the information you’ve provided that you are going to be in the UK on a temporary basis. For example, if you are student and applied for a 1-year long course. Or you are a self-sufficient person and have a job offer in another member state.
If it is not clear what your intentions are, then the decision maker may ask you to sign a statement of intent. This is a document confirming that you will be living in the UK on a temporary basis. However, this will not be necessary if you are making a permanent residence application.