Home Office assures EU students that they will not be deported if they don’t have medical insurance
EU students have been reassured by the UK Home Office that they will not be deported from the UK if they do not have medical insurance, after suggestions that only those with “comprehensive sickness insurance” (CSI) would be eligible for residency in the UK.
The statement comes in the wake of a case of a German student, Andrea Blendl, who was warned by an official from the UK Visas and Immigration Office that she would not be allowed to return to the UK if she attended a conference in Sweden, according to an article in The Guardian. “EU citizens will not be removed from the UK or refused entry solely because they do not have comprehensive sickness insurance,” said a Home Office spokesman.
Ms Blendl is studying Viking and other medieval runic scripts and sought advice prior to the trip last week. She was shocked to learn two days into her trip that immigration officers could stop her and check she was carrying healthcare documents, as mandated under EU law.
In an email from the UK Visas and Immigration Office to managers at the University of the Highlands and Islands, she was told that if “a student attempting to exercise treaty rights [to live in the UK] does not hold either CSI or EHIC [a European Health Insurance Card for tourist health cover] they will be liable for removal from the UK.
“If a student attempts to enter the UK then the immigration officer should establish whether they are required to provide either documentation. If they do and cannot, they are likely to be refused entry,” the email continued.
There is no known case of the Home Office enforcing the CSI rule.
Immigration barrister Colin Yeo said the Home Office statement was “good news and very welcome”.