I am an italian citizen. I am going to live in England for three years to study (the university will pay me a substantial amount of money), and for personal reasons I would like to be a resident there during this period.

a) Do I automatically obtain the residence in UK, do I have to compile a certificate, or what?

b) About healthcare, how does it work? I am sure italian healthcare will not provide for me in those years and that my EHIC italian card will stop being valid, and I am sure the university guarantees me basic healthcare on UK soil. But do I get a european healthcare (say for example I travel to Germany), do I get an english EHIC card?

Reason for the question: I asked three different offices and received three different answers, so I would like someone well informed or someone who directly experienced that to answer.


In regards to residence, you do not need to file any paperwork with the UKBA/Home Office. In terms of healthcare, from the NHS website

If you are a student from the EEA or Switzerland, you will need a valid EHIC issued by your home country. You'll need to present the card every time that medical care becomes necessary while you complete your course in England. This will ensure that you are not charged when NHS charges for hospital care would otherwise apply.

You will also need to register with a GP once you get to the UK.

  • So apparently the EHIC issued by Italy continues being valid? Because I have been told the exact opposite (I have been told that UK should give me a new EHIC). Now, the person that told me, although from the right office, didn't seem very "sure" about this, but this is what I have been told. Do you have any source about the validity of the EHIC? – AnalysisStudent0414 Sep 3 '16 at 8:53

This was asked pre-Brexit, and the answer was indeed that as a UK resident I would get the right to use the NHS just as any other UK resident, and also that I got an EHIC card issued by the NHS.

For the people reading this now (post-Brexit):

  1. UK citizens still have a right to healthcare in the EU, using a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) that they can apply for.
  2. EU citizens that live in the UK (with presettled or settled status) have a similar right, but with an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) issued by the NHS. Funnily enough, in typical Brexit fashion, the EHIC covers three more countries than the GHIC.
  3. EU citizens that travel to the UK can use their EHIC to access the NHS, as long as they stay under the limit for Visa-free tourism/visiting the UK.

None of this is legal advice, and it could change fast.

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