I'm a German citizen who has lived in the UK since 2006. With Brexit and all, I thought it was about time I got my permanent residence document. I started as a high school student in 2006, and graduated from Uni in 2013. I've been either self-employed or unemployed since then (with other odd jobs and global travels sprinkled in).

I thought I acquired permanent residence status in January of 2011, however, I like so many other students, only now realize they must have been covered by comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) to qualify for permanent residence.

I know some have said if I got a residence card before the CSI requirement kicked in in June of 2011, I would still be covered. I didn't do that.

Here's the kicker: My earliest letter from a school dates to January of 2006, and so theoretically, I acquired the status in 2011 - 6 months before the new law went into affect. Now my thinking is that once I have the status, no one can take it away from me as long as I'm physically present in the country and never gone for more than 2 years (the time period set by the EU for loss of permanent residence). So, I should be able to apply for the proof document without showing proof of insurance.

However, the language I've read is confusing. It seems that maybe the requirement was always there, but before they didn't require it for the application.

Is it true that only "new permanent residents" after 2011 need CSI? Or are they saying this was always the case..the only difference now is they're going to ask for proof of it?

Does that question make sense?

  • From the information I gathered the home office will check your application based on the laws present when you sent your application, so you might be out of luck :( However since you've been living here for 10 years legally the ILR route might be an option (although much more expensive): gov.uk/long-residence
    – SztupY
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 10:08
  • First, what health insurance did you have when you were a student? An EHIC card is sufficient, if you had one. Second, even if you did not have sufficient insurance, you don't need it as a worker or job seeker, so you may be able to qualify for permanent residence in 2018. Third, your reasoning about acquiring the status in 2011 seems correct if the requirement is indeed new, but if the UK disagrees you can always take the dispute to court.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 13:52
  • Sorry I forgot my password and haven't been able to log in! Apparently the requirement for students is not new, they just started enforcing it in 2011, so I think I'm out of luck. Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 9:16
  • However, I was dependent on my (also Swedish) mom from 2007 until I graduated from Uni in 2013. I believe she was a qualified worker the whole time. Do you know if that counts for anything? Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 9:18
  • I read that I could qualify as the family member of an EEA national who is exercising treaty rights, rather than me on my own, but I couldn't find anything that suggested (or denied) I would need the same CSI coverage. Do either of you know if I did? Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


My interpretation of the rules is that as a EU citizen living in the UK, under the right circumstances you received unlimited leave to remain in the UK. Now, in 2017, you will want a "document certifying permanent residence". To get this (that's my understanding) you need to prove that you received unlimited leave to remain at any point after 2006, and that you didn't lose it by leaving the country for more than two years.

If for some reason you didn't acquire the right earlier, you still can qualify for the period from say Jan 2014 to Jan 2019.

Look for the online application form, which is a lot easier than the 85 page document they will want you to fill out. Go to https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/next and if that doesn't work start at https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk and find your way to the online application.

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