An immigration lawyer working a case into a whereby the Home Office has challenged a student's permanent residence application because they did not have the correct insurance in place, has warned there may be thousands of people making the same mistake.
EU nationals who want to apply for permanent residence in the UK are learning that their time spend studying in the country may be discounted by the Home Office because of a loophole that relates to needing compulsory sickness insurance.
Currently EU migrants who come to the UK to study need to provide proof they have had sickness insurance during their time in the country, such as a European Health Insurance card. However, this would only be valid whilst their stay was temporary, not once they wish to stay permanently.
It has been advised that students looking to apply for permanent residence seek advice from their university's international office, or from a specialist immigration solicitor as soon as they can.
It's estimated there could be tens of thousands of people such a situation.
The Home Office has already been criticised over its treatment of international students in the UK, which resulted in an inquiry into the department.