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UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen. Naturalisation

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ango_26
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UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by ango_26 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:22 pm

Hi Forum Members,

I am not sure if this is indeed the right forum for it but I desperately need some advice. I am a British citizen and my husband who I married recently is German citizen and has been living in the UK for over years. He got his EU Settles Status in Dec 2019 and now we are planning for him to get British Citizenship to safeguard from any change in UK laws in the future.

1. While filling in the the online application, he learned that he needs a Permanent Residence card as a proof of having completed 5 consecutive years in the UK. The doubt we have is if he already has the EU Settled Status (which is considered as ILR), why does he need to apply for PR card first? The government site is misleading and it's causing us a lot of confusion and stress. We spoke with the customer service, the person on the line was not very helpful either.

2. While looking into the PR card application online, he learned that he would need to provide proof having Comprehensive Health Insurance for his time in the UK. Most people use NHS here in the UK and don't necessarily buy separate health insurance, unless it's provided by the employer. What is essential to provide the proof for Comprehensive Health Insurance? Is it just providing employment info and National Insurance details? This is not very clear on the government site.

Any help or advice would be really useful.

Thanks a lot,
Ag

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by CR001 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:56 am

1. Not required to have PR if he has settled status. There is a question asking about EU settled status.

2. Irrelevant.
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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by ango_26 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:18 pm

Hello CR001,

Many thanks for your reply to my post and questions. We managed to speak with a legal advisor from xxxxxx (not sure if you have heard of them) and the lady on phone was very patient and helpful. She also confirmed that he doesn't need a PR card in addition to EU Settled status. However, she also mentioned that the need for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) is not black n white and that the govt is reviewing at the moment. She couldn't give us legal assurance on the need for CSI. We are thinking to go ahead and apply (leap of faith).

Any thoughts on that? Ofc I understand that you are not responsible for the decisions we take but I am trying to hear experts advice and opinion on the matter.

My husband sends warm regards and big thanks to you already. :)

Best wishes,
Ag

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:42 pm

You don't say why you think he might have needed CSI. I presume that you are worried that he might not have complied with the requirements for EU freedom of movement. From some time in 2006 onwards, once he had been working in the UK (or been the child under 21 in the UK of an EU national who was working in the UK) for 5 consecutive years, he would not have needed CSI, as he would have achieved PR Also, while he was working, he would not have needed CSI.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by alterhase58 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:34 pm

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) was a requirement for students or self-sufficient persons rather than "workers". If husband always worked, including job-seeking periods, he would not have been required to hold CSI under EU regulations. Settle Status is of course under UK regulations (Appendix EU) and doesn't have the requirement for CSI.
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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Rbgotpwr » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:18 am

ango_26 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:18 pm
Hello CR001,

Many thanks for your reply to my post and questions. We managed to speak with a legal advisor from xxxxxx (not sure if you have heard of them) and the lady on phone was very patient and helpful. She also confirmed that he doesn't need a PR card in addition to EU Settled status. However, she also mentioned that the need for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) is not black n white and that the govt is reviewing at the moment. She couldn't give us legal assurance on the need for CSI. We are thinking to go ahead and apply (leap of faith).

Any thoughts on that? Ofc I understand that you are not responsible for the decisions we take but I am trying to hear experts advice and opinion on the matter.

My husband sends warm regards and big thanks to you already. :)

Best wishes,
Ag

No need for Sickness insurance if you got Settled Status. The requirement has been removed as part of the EU settlement scheme.

If you apply with PR (pre-EU settlement scheme) then there is need of sickness insurance

Your husband only need his Settled Status Outcome letter to apply for naturalisation.

I am also an EU citizen with settled status.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Rbgotpwr » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:19 am

alterhase58 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:34 pm
Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) was a requirement for students or self-sufficient persons rather than "workers". If husband always worked, including job-seeking periods, he would not have been required to hold CSI under EU regulations. Settle Status is of course under UK regulations (Appendix EU) and doesn't have the requirement for CSI.
This is irrelevant if he’s got settled status. Student can get settled status and naturalisation without sickness insurance as the requirement has been removed as part of the settlement scheme

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Rbgotpwr » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:20 am

Richard W wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:42 pm
You don't say why you think he might have needed CSI. I presume that you are worried that he might not have complied with the requirements for EU freedom of movement. From some time in 2006 onwards, once he had been working in the UK (or been the child under 21 in the UK of an EU national who was working in the UK) for 5 consecutive years, he would not have needed CSI, as he would have achieved PR Also, while he was working, he would not have needed CSI.
Irrelevant in his case. He has got settled status under the new EU settlement scheme. The Scheme allows students and unemployed but self sufficient people to get the equivalent of PR without sickness insurance.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:54 pm

Rbgotpwr wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:20 am
Irrelevant in his case. He has got settled status under the new EU settlement scheme. The Scheme allows students and unemployed but self sufficient people to get the equivalent of PR without sickness insurance.
Does settled status retrospectively change whether one was 'in breach of the immigration laws' a year before? The phrase 'in breach of the immigration laws' is defined in the BNA 1981 - being 'in breach of the immigration laws' does not imply that there is any law that one was in breach of.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by madalina91 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:29 pm

Richard W wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:54 pm
Does settled status retrospectively change whether one was 'in breach of the immigration laws' a year before? The phrase 'in breach of the immigration laws' is defined in the BNA 1981 - being 'in breach of the immigration laws' does not imply that there is any law that one was in breach of.
In the Guidance for Caseworkers making decisions on naturalisation by discretion, there is a phrase that says something along the lines "EU citizens are not considered to be in breach of immigration law". Based on that phrasing, I don't think being in breach of immigration law applies to EU citizens, at least before January 2021.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:00 pm

madalina91 wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:29 pm
In the Guidance for Caseworkers making decisions on naturalisation by discretion, there is a phrase that says something along the lines "EU citizens are not considered to be in breach of immigration law". Based on that phrasing, I don't think being in breach of immigration law applies to EU citizens, at least before January 2021.
Was the document Nationality policy: Naturalisation as a British citizen by discretion, Version 4.0, dated 23 September 2019? All I could find was, under the heading 'People who are lawfully resident in the UK', a list of the people are not in breach of immigration laws, which included:
  • citizens of the Republic of Ireland who last arrived in the UK on a local journey from the Republic of Ireland
  • people who are entitled to reside in the UK without leave under EEA regulations
Not even a let out for Irishmen who return to the UK via Luton!

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by AnotherUUID » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:36 pm

There is also this article covering the various aspects of CSI. Under section "Comprehensive Sickness Insurance and Brexit" it points to a correspondence within the House of Lords as well as a FOI response by the Home Office.

Both suggest that CSI is not required to acquire settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme even if the applicant never held CSI. As such, it would be absurd to hold someone accountable retrospectively.

I know of at least one person (friend) - possibly more but I have not asked specifically - who was able to obtain settled status under the Settlement Scheme despite spending only 1y exercising treaty rights through employment (exempt from CSI) and 4y as a student without CSI.

It seems CSI is not a breach of immigration rules in the traditional sense, as it does not stop an EU citizen from exercising treaty rights or residing in the UK, but is merely an obstacle to obtaining permanent residence status via form EEA/PR (old "EEA3").

There are and have been plenty of EU citizens, students in particular, legally staying in the UK and exercising their treaty rights without having ever held CSI as most are, frankly, completely unaware of this unless they are on a longer immigration journey and have done their a-priori research.

The above article also suggests that the CSI requirement has been quite controversial since its inception and links to legal disputes which, apparently, have been dragging ever since its introduction.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:48 pm

AnotherUUID wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:36 pm
I know of at least one person (friend) - possibly more but I have not asked specifically - who was able to obtain settled status under the Settlement Scheme despite spending only 1y exercising treaty rights through employment (exempt from CSI) and 4y as a student without CSI.
What do you think you are saying new? We know that CSI is not a requirement for settled status.
AnotherUUID wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:36 pm
It seems CSI is not a breach of immigration rules in the traditional sense, as it does not stop an EU citizen from exercising treaty rights or residing in the UK, but is merely an obstacle to obtaining permanent residence status via form EEA/PR (old "EEA3").
"In breach of the immigration laws" is a very particular term, defined in the BNA 1981. Even if an EU citizen is residing in the UK on the basis of EU law but not "by virtue of any provision made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972", then EU law will not prevent his being "in breach of the immigration laws".
AnotherUUID wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:36 pm
The above article also suggests that the CSI requirement has been quite controversial since its inception and links to legal disputes which, apparently, have been dragging ever since its introduction.
The EU Commission has not pursued enforcement action against the UK over the UK interpretation. CSI is required in certain circumstances; the big question is whether the NHS provides it. The UK contention that it does not has not been overturned.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by AnotherUUID » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:14 am

Richard W wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:48 pm
What do you think you are saying new?
I misunderstood your initial argument wrt the settlement scheme, so the example was not particularly relevant - my bad. Though, I could ask the same - it is not particularly clear what your angle is wrt to the retrospective consideration on CSI when applying for naturalisation given the OP's case is based on settled status obtained under the new settlement scheme.
Richard W wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:48 pm
In breach of the immigration laws" is a very particular term, defined in the BNA 1981. Even if an EU citizen is residing in the UK on the basis of EU law but not "by virtue of any provision made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972", then EU law will not prevent his being "in breach of the immigration laws".
I am aware. But, as far as I can tell, there is nothing that can easily be identified to suggest that the lifting of the CSI requirement and obtaining settled status under the new scheme might still result in violation of BNA 1981 50A(4)(e) as quoted by yourself at the point of naturalisation. Please share if there's a specific clause that may be of concern.

A link may potentially be established between the relevant conditions under the "right to reside" (and its retention) for cases where CSI is applicable (e.g. as defined under Directive 2004/38/EC) which, if not met, may lead back to the BNA requirements, though it is not easy to see from a non-expert point of view how this might apply in the context of the new settlement scheme at all. Perhaps this is more in line with what you are suggesting?

Even then, the rules under the directive suggest such an effect may be negated subject to proof (including by means of a declaration - easy enough to do provided there is no act of deception) that the applicant has not constituted a burden to the "social assistance system". When I got my DCPR (clearly not directly relevant to OP's case) a long while back, I was asked to provide such declaration for periods requiring CSI (outside the transitional pre-2011 period) in addition also including evidence of CSI.

Presumably, if such declaration (or otherwise) still needs to be provided if there may be concerns wrt the new scheme and "breach of immigration laws" it would have been made clear at least as part of the rules the caseworker guidelines and one would expect the HO to request additional evidence in such cases.
Richard W wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:48 pm
CSI is required in certain circumstances; the big question is whether the NHS provides it. The UK contention that it does not has not been overturned.
As per your words, you are not saying anything new. The UK's stance, controversial as it may be, has been quite clear.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:15 pm

AnotherUUID wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:14 am
Richard W wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:48 pm
In breach of the immigration laws" is a very particular term, defined in the BNA 1981. Even if an EU citizen is residing in the UK on the basis of EU law but not "by virtue of any provision made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972", then EU law will not prevent his being "in breach of the immigration laws".
I am aware. But, as far as I can tell, there is nothing that can easily be identified to suggest that the lifting of the CSI requirement and obtaining settled status under the new scheme might still result in violation of BNA 1981 50A(4)(e) as quoted by yourself at the point of naturalisation. Please share if there's a specific clause that may be of concern.
The requirement of not being 'in breach of the immigration laws' for the period immediately before the application for naturalisation will be satisfied by having settled status - that is Section 50A(4)(c) (having leave to enter or remain). The problem is when one did not meet the requirements of the EEA Regulations at some time before receiving settled status that is within the last 3 or 5 years. Now, there is discretion to waive the requirement to have not been in breach of the immigration laws - perhaps it will be applied in favour of EEA nationals.

Remember that the requirement for time to count for settled status is quite different to the requirement for permanent residence - there is no need for working or self-sufficiency.
AnotherUUID wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:14 am
A link may potentially be established between the relevant conditions under the "right to reside" (and its retention) for cases where CSI is applicable (e.g. as defined under Directive 2004/38/EC) which, if not met, may lead back to the BNA requirements, though it is not easy to see from a non-expert point of view how this might apply in the context of the new settlement scheme at all. Perhaps this is more in line with what you are suggesting?
You're talking as thought the requirements for naturalisation were being settled for 1 year or being settled and married to a British citizen. They aren't. There's a required period of residence not in breach of the immigration laws. It's possible to be granted 'indefinite leave to enter'; recipients must still wait 3 or 5 years to naturalise. Being granted pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme says nothing about whether one was previously in breach of the immigration laws. Indeed, some people being granted pre-settled status will very clearly be liable to removal as overstayers immediately prior ro application, and there are probably some children who were liable to removal as overstayers until they were granted settled status.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by AnotherUUID » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 am

Richard W wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:15 pm
The problem is when one did not meet the requirements of the EEA Regulations at some time before receiving settled status that is within the last 3 or 5 years.
Richard W wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:15 pm
Remember that the requirement for time to count for settled status is quite different to the requirement for permanent residence - there is no need for working or self-sufficiency.
Yes, the above two are what I was referring to when I mentioned Section 50A(4)(e), hence my assumption that this may have been your original angle which did not seem, at least to me, that obvious from your original post.
Richard W wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:15 pm
You're talking as thought the requirements for naturalisation were being settled for 1 year or being settled and married to a British citizen.
Not true at all. This is a misapprehension, likely due to not providing a clear example of what I meant. Here is sample hypothetical scenario of what I meant with someone who might be planning on applying for naturalisation in their own right (i.e. not as a spouse), hence requiring 5y of not being in "breach of the immigration laws" as per BNA 1981 Schedule 1, Section 1(2)(d) (obv. the 3y route via marriage will relate to the relevant rules and shorter periods, etc, etc):

Person A is currently resident in the UK. They have spent their first 3 years of residence as an EEA student without CSI (after the introduction of the CSI requirement) then 2 years in full time employment. They have subsequently applied for and been granted settled status under the new EU settlement scheme. A year later, still in full time employment, Person A applies for naturalisation. Their qualifying period for five years of not being in breach of the immigration is identified as 2y of studying without CSI and 3y of full-time employment.

Directive 2004/38/EC and the relevant Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 act seem to suggest that CSI is a requirement for an EEA citizen (student) to retain their right to reside following the first three (unconditional) months. As such, it would appear that they have been in breach of this rule for nearly three years and thus in breach of BNA 1981 Section 50A(4)(e). As a result they may be considered not to have satisfied BNA 1981 Schedule 1, Section 1(2)(d) for two of the 5y qualifying period. They would thus, presumably, need to wait at least another 2y.

Now, under DCPR rules, this would not have been an issue for person A at the point of naturalisation as it would have been resolved at the point of applying for DCPR as DCPR is unlikely to have been issued in the first place due to DCPR requirements being closely aligned with the provisions, leaving person A ineligible for naturalisation.

However, under the settlement scheme this appears to leave room for interpretation. My point was, given the above, it does not seem very clear whether the new EU settlement scheme would have absolved person A in the above scenario of the issue they may be facing or if they might still face the risk of refusal for naturalisation. I believe we are, technically, on the same page if I am understanding your concern correctly?

It doesn't seem clear how best to handle Person A (above)'s case and if, in the latter case, they would be able to use the same rules (e.g. declaration where appropriate) as mentioned by the Directive in order to be considered as having satisfied the condition. If the normal practice is for a decision to normally go against Person A, one could argue along the lines of the same reasoning as above that the decision would be justified. However, if normal practice is for a decision to go in favour of Person A without this being explicitly mentioned as a clear provision, it might potentially open a new Pandora's box for British citizens such as Person A to be, in the future, potentially stripped of their citizenship under the argument that it should never have been granted, leading to a hypothetical Windrush-like scandal. If so, would HO be able to uphold their decision in court proceedings?

However, as I said, for a non-qualified in legal matters person such as myself the exact interpretation and referencing is difficult to deduce.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:32 am

AnotherUUID wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 am
I believe we are, technically, on the same page if I am understanding your concern correctly?
Just about. However, the only relaxaion over CSI is in respect to the immigration rules. I have seen no announcement of any relaxation in the EEA Regulations or in the naturalisation requirements.
AnotherUUID wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 am
It doesn't seem clear how best to handle Person A (above)'s case and if, in the latter case, they would be able to use the same rules (e.g. declaration where appropriate) as mentioned by the Directive in order to be considered as having satisfied the condition. If the normal practice is for a decision to normally go against Person A, one could argue along the lines of the same reasoning as above that the decision would be justified. However, if normal practice is for a decision to go in favour of Person A without this being explicitly mentioned as a clear provision, it might potentially open a new Pandora's box for British citizens such as Person A to be, in the future, potentially stripped of their citizenship under the argument that it should never have been granted, leading to a hypothetical Windrush-like scandal. If so, would HO be able to uphold their decision in court proceedings?[/quite]
Quite possibly. In the AN guidance, which one must acknowledge reading if one uses the paper form AN, it does say that one should explain why one should be granted citizenship even though one has been in breach of the immigration laws. That would be question 7.10 in form AN (of October 2019). On the other hand, it gives the impression that being in breach of the immigrations laws is unlawful, whereas some claim that for an EU citizen, being in the UK without being an undue burden is perfectly lawful.

It does look a potential mess. It could get nasty if the Implementation period ends with no trade agreement, the Elgin marbles returned to Greece, and a million dead in the UK from covid-19.

One pragmatic consideration is that the worst 'offenders' in this respect seem to be spouses of British citizens. Going after them wins no popularity.

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Re: UK Citizenship advice for my EU husband with EU Settled status

Post by Richard W » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:20 am

Reposting as I messed up the quote delimitations.
AnotherUUID wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 am
I believe we are, technically, on the same page if I am understanding your concern correctly?
Just about. However, the only relaxation over CSI is in respect to the immigration rules. I have seen no announcement of any relaxation in the EEA Regulations or in the naturalisation requirements.
AnotherUUID wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:25 am
It doesn't seem clear how best to handle Person A (above)'s case and if, in the latter case, they would be able to use the same rules (e.g. declaration where appropriate) as mentioned by the Directive in order to be considered as having satisfied the condition. If the normal practice is for a decision to normally go against Person A, one could argue along the lines of the same reasoning as above that the decision would be justified. However, if normal practice is for a decision to go in favour of Person A without this being explicitly mentioned as a clear provision, it might potentially open a new Pandora's box for British citizens such as Person A to be, in the future, potentially stripped of their citizenship under the argument that it should never have been granted, leading to a hypothetical Windrush-like scandal. If so, would HO be able to uphold their decision in court proceedings?
Quite possibly. In the AN guidance, which one must acknowledge reading if one uses the paper form AN, it does say that one should explain why one should be granted citizenship even though one has been in breach of the immigration laws. That would be question 7.10 in form AN (of October 2019). On the other hand, it gives the impression that being in breach of the immigrations laws is unlawful, whereas some claim that for an EU citizen, residing in the UK without being an undue burden is perfectly lawful.

It does look a potential mess. It could get nasty if the Implementation period ends with no trade agreement, the Elgin marbles returned to Greece, and a million dead in the UK from covid-19.

One pragmatic consideration is that the worst 'offenders' in this respect seem to be spouses of British citizens. Going after them wins no popularity.

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