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Proof of CSI during PhD for UK citizenship application

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  • LAWYER RESPONSE Proof of CSI during PhD for UK citizenship application

    Hello,

    Apologies for the long post in advance.

    I recently submitted my citizenship application and have my UKVCAS appointment in a week.
    For 4 years of my qualifying period I was a PhD student in the UK and have been working for the last year. Until two days ago I was completely unaware of CSI and that I had to provide proof of it for while I was studying. Thankfully, during my studies I was insured by the social security system in my home country (Bulgaria), but, unfortunately, I haven’t regularly re-issued my EHIC during that time.
    The issue I am faced with at the moment is providing document(s) to show I’ve been insured for this period of time. The Bulgarian health service is not currently willing to write a letter confirming my status for the required period. They also have stopped issuing the S041 form by individuals’ requests and the only way is for the HMRC to request it from them via an ‘official route’. I spoke to the HMRC today and they say they could not request that record on my behalf and I should request it from the Bulgarian social services, which puts me in a bit of a catch 22 situation.
    The only document I could get my hands on fairly quickly is a file from the online Bulgarian social services portal that quotes the months I HAVE NOT been covered for the requested period and until now. The period between the start of my PhD and the start of my job is Oct 2016 - Aug 2020 and according to these records I been covered for that period. This file has been officially translated and I can upload it alongside the rest of my documents. I am uploading the file here, too, for you to see. Annoyingly, these records don’t have my name on them, but only my Bulgarian personal/BULSTAT code, with the last two digits hidden for some reason.
    In the meantime, my family back home is trying to get an official letter stating my insurance status for that period but I don’t know how long that might take.
    Do you think that the document I currently have could be enough if I upload it together with a cover letter explaining what it shows and the personal code identifier (this personal code is also on my passport)?

    Alternatively, if I don’t manage to get any additional proof of CSI, would you advise me to withdraw my application to avoid risking rejection or go ahead with appointment and supply extra documents if they ask for them later on?
    Also, when can you withdraw application until before risking losing the entire fee?

    Many thanks in advance!

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  • #2
    Tim M (lawyer) Would you be able to comment?

    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 now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

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    • #3
      I cannot comment on a specific document as I am not processing your application.If there is anything unclear then you need to explain it in a covering letter - such as the fact that your name is not listed or the fact that it doesn't state the periods that you were actually covered. Obviously a better letter to confirm the periods that you were actually covered would be much stronger evidence. From experience the Home Office do not seem to be mega strict on scrutinising documents relating to CSI as long as you can explain how it clearly shows you were covered

      I am an Immigration Adviser with Commonwealth 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 Tim M for full details.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your advice. So you would recommend going ahead with the application and explaining everything in cover letter?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by estoyanova View Post
          Thank you for your advice. So you would recommend going ahead with the application and explaining everything in cover letter?
          Morning,

          I don't think there's much more our lawyer can say going on the evidence provided. If you can't get any other document that better proves you were covered, your other option would be to wait until this period of studies drops off the last 5 years where the lawful residence requirement applies. Do bear in mind the fee is non refundable if the application was refused and you don't need to be British for any practical purposes, settled status does give you full rights to everything on the same terms as British citizens enjoy, other than voting rights.

          If it was me, I would feel more confident if the document was only required to cover a year or so out of the 5 year lawful residence period but, from what I can see here, you'd need to rely on it for 4 years, which represent most of that qualifying period. It doesn't have your name on it, and I can't see the caseworkers going out of their way to contact the Bulgarian authorities to verify that the code, which doesn't even have the full reference on it, refers to yourself. Furthermore, it doesn't even say what years the person whose document it refers to was covered, it just says they weren't covered from 2020. A very odd document. If I was a caseworker, I think I would have to ask my supervisor for advice on this one, especially since it's meant to cover most of the lawful residence period, yet it only says it doesn't cover the period you don't need cover for. A document that intends to prove a negative, I'd say a rather odd piece of evidence and not too convincing in my view.

          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 now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Site Admin View Post

            Morning,

            I don't think there's much more our lawyer can say going on the evidence provided. If you can't get any other document that better proves you were covered, your other option would be to wait until this period of studies drops off the last 5 years where the lawful residence requirement applies. Do bear in mind the fee is non refundable if the application was refused and you don't need to be British for any practical purposes, settled status does give you full rights to everything on the same terms as British citizens enjoy, other than voting rights.

            If it was me, I would feel more confident if the document was only required to cover a year or so out of the 5 years lawful residence period but, from what I can see here, you'd need to rely on it for 4 years, which represent most of that qualifying period. It doesn't have your name on it, and I can't see the caseworkers going out of their way to contact the Bulgarian authorities to verify that the code, which doesn't even have the full reference on it, refers to yourself. Furthermore, it doesn't even say what years the person whose document it refers to was covered, it just says they weren't covered from 2020. A very odd document. If I was a caseworker, I think I would have to ask my supervisor for advice on this one, especially since it's meant to cover most of the lawful residence period, yet it only says it doesn't cover the period you don't need cover for. A document that intends to prove a negative, I'd say a rather odd piece of evidence and not too convincing in my view.
            I agree completely. Better to wait and then apply.

            I am the Group Founder and also an Admin, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and ResponsibilitiesIf 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 now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

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