To meet the statutory requirements for naturalisation, a person of any nationality must have been in the UK lawfully during the residential qualifying period.
EEA regulations set out the requirements which individuals need to follow if they wish to reside here lawfully on the basis of free movement. In the case of students or the self-sufficient – but not those who were working here – the possession of comprehensive sickness insurance has always been a requirement.
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. UKVI consider cases sensitively, taking into account the nature and reasons for any period of unlawful residence alongside other information relevant to the individual.