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.

No doubt this has heightened worries for those EU nationals who are currently in the UK and if they leave, will they be allowed to re-enter. The Home Office announced that they will not deport or refuse entry to EU Citizens who do not have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. They have stated- “EU citizens will not be removed from the UK or refused entry solely because they do not have comprehensive sickness insurance.”

Who needs Comprehensive Sickness Insurance?

EU nationals have the right to enter the UK, however, to qualify for right of residence and make a subsequent application, certain categories must have this in place to qualify.

Students and Self-Sufficient persons and their family members need to have a policy in place, this was made mandatory for students from 20 June 2011, however, there are transitional arrangements in place for those who arrived and exercised their treaty rights as students before this date. Whereby, if the Student has a Registration Certificate issued on the basis of their residence in the UK as a Student before 20 June 2011, their application would not solely be refused if they were unable to provide evidence of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. This arrangement does not apply to Self-Sufficient persons and their family members as the Comprehensive Sick Insurance requirement has always been in place for them.

Needless to say, there are exceptions to those who can use the transitional arrangements, in addition to Self-Sufficient Persons, they are as follows:

  • EEA nationals who have already been issued with a registration certificate on another basis (for example as a worker) and who then became a student (but who did not reapply for a document confirming this before 20th June will not be treated under these transitional arrangements. Such applicants must show evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance for any time spent in the UK as a student.
  • Where an application for permanent residence is received on the basis that the EEA national is a student, but they have never been granted a registration certificate, then they must show evidence that they have had comprehensive sickness insurance for the duration of their time spent as student.

Please note that these are just examples and the list is not exhaustive.