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CSI requirement during sabbatical

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  • Referred to Lawyer CSI requirement during sabbatical

    Hello all - sincere apologies for (I presume yet another) post on the CSI topic in relation to UK citizenship naturalisation. As a background, the high-level summary of my case:
    A) First arrived in the UK in 2010 for undergraduate studies - did not purchase CSI, as the obligation to acquire one was not raised to me by the university or UCAS admission service - (and hence 0 years of legal residence)
    B) After graduating in 2014, I proceeded to work full-time in the UK for three years until 2017 - (3 years of clear legal residence)
    C) In 2017 - 2018 I took an unpaid sabbatical from my then-employer to go and study a masters' degree at a UK university. I, again, did not purchase the CSI (still not aware of the requirement - I even had a session with a lawyer prior to taking the sabbatical and they did not raise this to me as a possible step).
    D) Since graduating from my Masters in 2018 I have been, again, working full-time in the UK until now (another 3 years of clear legal residence)
    E) Held EU Settled Status since early 2019

    Based on my research so far, it appears that item C would likely not constitute legal residence due to the lack of CSI, and thus lead to my application being rejected. I am considering sending an application nevertheless based on two factors:

    1) throughout the item C I did remain officially employed by my then-employer, although I received no salary;
    2) my application fits all the usual criteria: combined six years of legal residence (interrupted by dubious item C), no convictions or fixed penalties, as well as additional 'positive character evidence' such as community engagement and volunteering work I have done alongside my professional work.

    I would appreciate any impressions from the community here as to whether any of this could constitute the basis for the caseworkers to exercise benevolent discretion in my case. I am willing to go ahead and apply based on chances of less than 100% of success, but would be reluctant to do so if this case is universally interpreted as deemed to fail. Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    Louis M (lawyer) Would you be able to comment on this? My impression is that they would fail the lawful residence criteria over the last 5 years.

    I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

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    • #3
      We have put together the following resources which should be your starting point.Also refer to this post: Issues, mistakes, errors and ommisions

      ....and, before going further, you should also be aware of the potential impact on family members you may wish to sponsor in the future.

      I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

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      • #4
        As you have described (and assuming you have no direct family members you could derive residence from), then I would be concerned about your period of residence as described under Category C. It wouldn't help if you were 'officially employed' by your employer - what matters is if you were undertaking 'genuine and effective' work. I suppose unless the period of non-work was no more than 12 monthsand you could show the break was for an 'important reason'. The Regulations give examples of 'pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting'.

        But otherwise I would say it is risky as you would be arguing for discretion within the 5-year residence period.

        I am an immigration solicitor regulated by the Law Society of England and Wales.  I work at Truth Legal Solicitors where I am Head of Immigration. I am also a volunteer with UKCEN, where I provide one-off advice on a pro-bono basis. This advice should not be considered a substitute for formal legal advice. Please see Louis M for full details.

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        • #5
          Hello Louis - thank you so much for your response and sincere apologies for my slow follow-up.

          I might be clutching at straws here, but my break from work without CSI was less than 12 months (I stopped work in September 2017 and resumed work in August 2018), and the break itself was for the purpose of study (a master's degree taught at a university in the UK) - which should then qualify this as an 'important reason'?

          Would that mean that given the above (<12 month break + 'important reason'), I would be more likely to receive discretion from the Home Office?

          Thank you again for your response - once again, much appreciated!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by apas View Post
            Hello Louis - thank you so much for your response and sincere apologies for my slow follow-up.

            I might be clutching at straws here, but my break from work without CSI was less than 12 months (I stopped work in September 2017 and resumed work in August 2018), and the break itself was for the purpose of study (a master's degree taught at a university in the UK) - which should then qualify this as an 'important reason'?
            Afternoon,

            The problem I can see with that is that the "important reason" provision under the EEA Regulations actually refers to an absence from the UK, and the studies in that context would be a period when you were required to study abroad as part of your course. I'd say deciding to quit working to start studying in the UK would then be subject to the CSI requirement during the period of studies.

            Originally posted by apas View Post
            Would that mean that given the above (<12 month break + 'important reason'), I would be more likely to receive discretion from the Home Office?

            Thank you again for your response - once again, much appreciated!
            The key word here is discretion, that means they can do as they wish, and, given how high the fees are, personally, I don't think it would be worth the ri$k, unless there was a specific reason why you need to become British in the near future.

            You may also want to refer to this post: Applicants who do not meet the lawful residence criteria for citizenship - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

            ...where we have:
            Our recommendation for those applicants who do not meet this criteria, is to wait until they can satisfy the lawful residence requirement, which can be counting from the date when they started working of being self-employed, or else from when they were granted settled or pre-settled status.

            Prospective applicants should be aware that there is no need to be a British citizen for any practical purposes, and that settled status gives full access to everything, including benefits, healthcare, council assistance, etc., on the same terms as British nationals enjoy, with the exception of voting rights.

            I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

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            • #7
              Site Admin - I much appreciate your response and comment - this forum is immensely helpful!

              I am somewhat inclined to throw myself at Home Office's discretion - in my industry overseas secondments are fairly common and should one be offered to me in the next two years, it would be a poor career move not to take it. Should that happen, it would mean either losing my settled status, or at the very least re-setting the clock yet again...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by apas View Post
                Site Admin - I much appreciate your response and comment - this forum is immensely helpful!

                I am somewhat inclined to throw myself at Home Office's discretion - in my industry overseas secondments are fairly common and should one be offered to me in the next two years, it would be a poor career move not to take it. Should that happen, it would mean either losing my settled status, or at the very least re-setting the clock yet again...
                Please note that settled status only lapses if you spend 5 years or longer, out of the country, and the clock does reset with a visit to the UK, as long as it's well evidenced. This has already been tested with people who were granted settled status based on historical residence, despite having moved abroad more than 5 years ago, but having returned so as to never have spent 5 continuous years without coming back: Settled status achieved after nine years out of the UK - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

                Do bear in mind if the application is refused, the fee is non refundable.

                I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

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                • #9
                  Morning apas

                  As per my response above, settled status can be maintained by returning to the UK so as not to spend more than 5 years without coming back, this shouldn't be much of an issue if your secondment is somewhere in Europe or even in the States, however, if you expect to have to go somewhere further like Australia, and not be able to come back for a visit within 5 years, and still want to look into applying for citizenship, then I'd recommend a consultation with a lawyer to assess your circumstances and see if they can put together a good cover letter to explain. Last night I approved a post from someone who obtained citizenship in similar circumstances, in this case, because they are German and had to apply before the end of last year in order to keep both nationalities, due to German nationality rules: CSI for Citizenship - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

                  As you can see, they sought private legal advice. We do have a team of lawyers who volunteer on the forum and also offer private legal services, their details are found here: Lawyers

                  Louis, who very kindly responded above, is one of them, his details are linked to from his signature: Louis M - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

                  I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

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                  • #10
                    Site Admin - thank you again for your further advice - it is still extremely helpful and very good to know that I may be able to hold onto my settled status throughout my secondment overseas.

                    While it is very useful to know I could maintain my settled status as a fall-back option, I will most likely still explore making an application. My reasoning here is that I have every intention of settling down in the UK long-term, and the citizenship is the only long-term unassailable way to ensure that I will have the right to do so. In fact, my experience with the CSI issue has made me even more anxious that any rights that I already have could be lost if I fail to stay cognizant of all the rules going forward - not to mention any rule changes that may well be put in place over the coming years.

                    I have reached out to Louis M through a private message to discuss the options for looking into my case more closely - an your idea of a cover letter is also immensely useful! Thank you again for all your help and advice, this forum is a life-saver. I will keep posting once if and when my application progresses, so that people can learn from my outcome (whatever it may be).
                    Last edited by apas; 23-04-2021, 08:53 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by apas View Post
                      Site Admin - thank you again for your further advice - it is still extremely helpful and very good to know that I may be able to hold onto my settled status throughout my secondment overseas.

                      While it is very useful to know I could maintain my settled status as a fall-back option, I will most likely still explore making an application. My reasoning here is that I have every intention of settling down in the UK long-term, and the citizenship is the only long-term unassailable way to ensure that I will have the right to do so. In fact, my experience with the CSI issue has made me even more anxious that any rights that I already have could be lost if I fail to stay cognizant of all the rules going forward - not to mention any rule changes that may well be put in place over the coming years.
                      Just for the record, and for the benefit of others who may be reading this public forum, I'd like to point out that there are a lot of misunderstandings regarding rule changes in the future.

                      The CSI requirement was, in fact in place all along, as far back as the EEA Regulations 2000, and even the Immigration (European Economic Area) Order 1994.

                      It was never enforced in the UK for the purpose of denying free NHS access to EU nationals in the UK who were students or self-sufficient persons, which was actually very positive, as most students are low on funds and have better things to spend their money on than paying for private health insurance.

                      Lack of CSI was never a barrier to living here, and the EUSS was designed to completely disregard all these treaty rights requirements, which actually apply to ALL member states, and Britons living abroad are still subject to them. It isn't a new requirement that came up in recent years as many seem to think.

                      As for rule changes, yes, the rules can and do change all the time, but this is always only for NEW applications. For example, parents of EU nationals with EUSS status will need to prove dependency from July 1st, however, this requirement will only be relevant to those who apply after that date, those who already obtained pre-settled status will not have to prove dependency because the rules have now changed.

                      The same principle applies to settled status, those who have already been granted status will not be subject to any new rules in the future, furthermore, the EUSS is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, so, in addition to being UK law, it's also part of an international treaty, so most unlikely to change.

                      I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

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                      • #12

                        Originally posted by apas View Post
                        I have reached out to Louis M through a private message to discuss the options for looking into my case more closely - an your idea of a cover letter is also immensely useful! Thank you again for all your help and advice, this forum is a life-saver. I will keep posting once if and when my application progresses, so that people can learn from my outcome (whatever it may be).
                        Best of luck and don't forget to keep us posted.

                        I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever as the deadline approaches.

                        Comment

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