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The number of EU nationals applying for an EU Permanent Residence Card (PR Cards) has surged 36 s;ince the referendum, from 10,269 in the three months prior to the EU referendum to 16,009 in the three months that followed. And according to a recent report by the Liberal Democrats, in the last two-quarters of 2016, more than 12,800 EU citizens had their permanent residency requests refused with a further 5,500 declared invalid; a rejection rate of around 28.<;br />
One of the many reasons for PR Cards being rejected is that those who are exercising their Treaty rights as students or self-sufficient persons are often unaware that they need comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI). In fact, many EU nationals are still unaware of it, even though, according to prominent immigration law blogger, Colin Yeo, the Home Office has quietly extended its powers to remove EU citizens who have been unlawfully living in the country because they do not have CSI.
The claim resulted in many EU nationals panicking that they would be deported for not having CSI even though it has never been publicised that they need it, as EU nationals have always been entitled to care under the NHS.
The Home Office has said Mr. Yeo, who is a highly respected and learned immigration law barrister, incorrectly interpreted the minor guidance change.
A Home Office spokesperson told The Independent, "It is completely wrong to say that we have new powers to deport EU citizens without comprehensive sickness insurance. EU citizens will not be removed from the UK or refused entry solely because they do not have this insurance."
The requirement for CSI (private medical insurance) requirement is nothing new, in fact, it originated in an EU Directive which is now 12 years old. It has however become more salient since the Brexit vote and the consequent skyrocketing of PR applications, which the Government, in turn, have decided to reject in droves based on this single factor - failure to have CSI - despite the fact most of EU nationals living in the UK never knew they needed it.
EU nationals who are students or self-sufficient, such as parents who have left work to look after their children, must have CSI to reside in the UK legally.
The biggest problem EU nationals living in the UK who do not have CSI are facing is they are being turned down when they apply for a PR Card. And without a PR Card, EU nationals cannot get British Citizenship.
It can be even more frustrating for some PR Card applicants. Let's say you have been in the UK for six years. For the first two years, you were studying at university, and for the past four years, you have been working. If you did not have CSI while you were studying, there is a high chance your application for a PR Card will be rejected because, as far as the Home Office is concerned, you were in the UK unlawfully. This means that you may have to wait another five years before you can apply for a PR Card again.
The first step is to make sure you get CSI as soon as possible if you are exercising your EU Treaty rights as a self-sufficient person or a student.
If you have been in the UK for several years and for some of that time have not had CSI when you may have required it (such as a period when you stayed home looking after your children when they were small), seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer who may be able to write a covering letter to the Home Office explaining your situation. They can also advise you as to whether you have been in the UK long enough for the lack of CSI not to affect your application.
It seems life is being made increasingly difficult for EU nationals residing in the UK. Naturally, they are sensitive to any change in policy that could affect their right to remain in a country that for many is the only home they have ever known.
For peace of mind, it is imperative that those applying for a PR Card seek legal advice from an experienced immigration solicitor, who will give them the best chance of having their application approved and their future secured.
The team at Reiss Edwards consists of some of London's leading team of immigration lawyers. If you require expert legal advice on obtaining a Permanent Resident Card, British Citizenship, or any other matter relating to Brexit, please call us on 020 3744 2797.
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I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
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TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
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