Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – EU Law

March 31, 2022 325

Students and aficionados of European free movement law – of which we are sure there are many – are well aware of the seemingly rather obscure “comprehensive sickness insurance” requirements, whereby those who held leave as students or financially self-sufficient individuals had to hold such insurance, despite the fact that they were entitled to free medical treatment (including for major operations, accident and emergency treatment and everything else) from the NHS.

The broad reason for this paradox is, apparently, that those who wrote European free movement law came from countries that do not have an NHS, or anything at all similar, and they did not really understand it.

So those who were students or self-sufficient were not quite on the right side of the law if they did not have CSI, but this was not obviously a problem when they came to apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status because under these rules – which were very liberal – there was no need to prove it.

However, when they came to apply for British citizenship, they came up against a far stricter set of rules. The rules for Pre-Settled/Settled Status and British citizenship were written by different people, at different times, and in different circumstances.

If someone applies for British citizenship they have to show that they have a clean immigration history over the last ten years. Failing to meet the CSI rules could make the history too dirty, and an applicant could be refused on that basis, and so some people were rather upset and disappointed.

However, the European Court of Justice has, after many years of thinking about it, come to the rescue. They have now declared that the law in the UK requiring CSI was unlawful.

This presumably means that those who previously applied for British citizenship and were refused may now be able to apply again, and those who were too scared to apply for fear of refusal may now be able to.

If you want help and advice on this issue we will be able to help and assist you.

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