14 Mar European Regulations 2006: definition of self-sufficiency
On 30th April 2006 the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 came into force in connection with section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972(b) regarding the implementation of the rights of entry and residence in the United Kingdom.
The European Regulations 2006 set out the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK. Unless a family member holds a qualifying EEA State residence card, non-EEA family members must apply for an EEA family permit, Residence Card and subsequently for a Permanent Residence to secure their legal rights of residence in the UK. It would also be possible for a non-EEA national family member to Retain his/her Rights of Residence in the UK if the non-EEA national ceased to be a family member of EEA national as a result of the termination of marriage/civil partnership, or if the EEA family member were to die or leave the UK.
In order to be eligible to apply for an EEA Family Permit, Residence Card, Permanent Residence or Retention of Rights in the UK, the EEA family member has to evidence that he/she has been exercising his/her Treaty Rights in the UK by being a worker, a student, a self-employed or a self-sufficient person. The same requirement applies for a non-EEA family member when applying for Retention of his/her Rights in the UK.
In our practice, more confusion arises when it comes to provide evidence of self-sufficiency in the UK; and therefore in this article we would like to briefly explain the meaning of this term and what needs to be done in order to meet this requirement.
In order to show self-sufficiency, an applicant has to have sufficient financial resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the United Kingdom during the period of residence and obtain comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the United Kingdom.
Albeit in the Regulations there is no specific amount of the cash funds in order to not have recourse to public funds or reliance on the National Health Service (NHS), the Home Office considers £16,000 as the minimum amount, as having savings in this amount would disqualify a UK resident from claiming benefits. The funds should be held in the bank account of an EEA Family member or a joint account with his/her spouse.
When it comes to “Comprehensive Sickness insurance”, in the European Regulations 2006 there is no definition of this term. It is evident that term “comprehensive” refers to a level of insurance cover that needs to be acquired and does not include cash-back health schemes, travel insurance policies or access to the UK’s NHS.
The UKVI should accept:
– Private medical insurance, including a schedule or the other document from the insurance provider outlining the level of cover inclusive of the major risks which might occur in the UK;
– Valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by an EEA Member State (other than the UK), together with a statement confirming that the insurance holder does not intend to live permanently in the UK;
– Form S1 (formerly E106, E109 and E121);
– Form S2 (formerly E112);
– Form S3
We would advise prospective applicants to purchase the most comprehensive cover that the chosen insurer can offer, in order to have a solid rebuttal if the application were to be refused solely on this basis.