Obstacles to Citizenship - Write to your MP
See our parliamentary briefing below,
CALL TO ACTION: write to your MP in support of our new campaign.
In May 2020, an updated guidance of the Home Office made clear that for some EU citizens with Settled Status who are applying for British citizenship, the infamous Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) is back to haunt them.
What is the problem?
To become a British citizen, EU citizens who were students or self-sufficient will need to show that they had ‘comprehensive sickness insurance’ (for any qualifying periods before the grant of pre-settled or settled status). See here for more details.
The Home Office says: "The British Nationality Act allows us to exercise discretion over this requirement in the special circumstances of any particular case. We cannot therefore prescribe when discretion will or will not be exercised."
Would you want to pay over £1,400 to sit an exam where the examiner doesn't even have a marking scheme?
Do you think it's fair for your friend, family member, neighbour or colleague to have to take this expensive gamble to become British?
the3million realises that becoming British is a personal choice, but for those who want to, the option should be as simple as possible.
We therefore ask your help.
Whether you want to become British or not, whether CSI is a problem for you or not, or if you are a (new) British citizen, let’s try to get that obscure requirement removed by writing to your MP. Being told caseworkers will have discretion is not good enough!
Click on the envelope icon below and enter your postcode to write to your MP:
After all, the government goes out of its way to try to make us feel welcome and tells us we are appreciated as friends, neighbours and colleagues.
It always works best when you keep your letters/emails as personal as possible, but you could mention the following:
Until 2017, CSI was hardly known as a requirement to be exercising treaty rights - for those not working. In our daily life it was not needed, as EU citizens we had access to the NHS. The NHS never asked for any insurance.
To require it now in citizenship applications for those who apply with EUSS is not in the spirit of what was promised by the current and previous governments. After all, it was dropped for EUSS - Theresa May even stated it explicitly in her open letter to all EU citizens in October 2017.
Having been granted EUSS should be sufficient to show that we have been living in the UK lawfully, even as students or as someone with sufficient means.
Instead it feels like on the one hand we are allowed to settle, but then on the other hand when we want to take the step of becoming a British citizen, a roadblock is put in our way
If you want an example of a letter for some inspiration, see this one written by one of our team who is affected by the issue.
Let's start writing! Together we can create a fairer system.