Do voluntary National Insurance payments count as CSI?

STOP PRESS - See this FAQ for important information on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.

Recent developments will likely affect many areas including nationality, naturalisation, registration, access to benefits and more. The answer given below is therefore now out of date.

In the meantime, if you believe you are affected, please seek legal advice. If you have suffered loss because of past decisions where the Home Office said you did not meet the CSI requirement, please email us at .


No. You need CSI for the period you were a student or self-sufficient and you cannot make payments for past periods. 

However, if for instance, you were a student and also worked during your studies, you may be able to treat this as being a worker rather than a student. 

You can qualify as a ‘worker’ if the Home Office considers your work ‘genuine and effective’. This is a complex area of law and the nature of the work is assessed on a case by case basis. To give you a broad picture, a student working 20 hours a week at Sainsbury’s throughout her studies could apply as a worker, whereas the work of a student who only worked a couple of hours a month in the Students’ Union bar would likely not be considered to have been doing ‘genuine and effective’ work.

Note: this question, like other FAQs on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI), relates to applications for British citizenship, when considering whether periods of past residence were lawful. the3million’s Young Europeans have published a very useful document on key Citizenship facts which you can find here:

CSI is not required to apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Also, once pre-settled or settled status has been granted, you are lawfully resident, and you do not need CSI.