The lack of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for students and self sufficient EEA citizens has been a long-standing headache for many residents who applied for documentation after the Brexit vote and wished to obtain British citizenship eventually. 

Many applicants found this out the hard way, when their applications were refused on the basis of lack of private medical insurance for periods where they were not working or job seeking.  

This private cover was not required to set up residence in the UK as students or self sufficient persons, but came to light when sponsoring non EEA family members, and for those who rushed to apply for Permanent Residence cards after the Brexit vote. This caused much stress to EEA citizens, unaware that they had to hold private insurance if they were not economically active in the UK. 

Crucially, the requirement was scrapped under the EU Settlement Scheme, but is still part of the Good Character requirement when applying for naturalisation. In practice, though, caseworkers are exercising discretion to waive the requirement, and have not refused any application on this basis alone. The latest statements by the Immigration Ministers confirm what we had been seeing in practice.

It is always highly recommended to seek professional assistance when the requirements are not met in full. Applicants should request discretion, and may have to make further representations, particularly where there are other issues that may cast doubts over the applicant's Good Character. For more information and advice on the above issues, get in touch with me here.