Dear Mr Pearsall,
Thank you for your request of 15 August 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act (2000). Your exact request was:
“I would request the following information is made publicly available:
[1.] Is a non UK resident - who is a direct family member of a British Citizen, (who is resident within the UK) entitled to hold an EHIC issued by the UK.
[2.] What would be the process for applying for the EHIC for said NON EU- Non UK Resident be.
I am aware that the NHS website has recently been updated to include the line:
I agree that all persons to be specified in this application are UK residents.
[3.] Please provide all information which you store relating to when this update was conducted. Please provide the reason for adding the line to the website.
[4.] Please provide all information you store, which outlines the legality of requiring that a dependant family member of a UK EU Citizen is resident in the UK to be issued with an EHIC. (This directly breaches Article 2(1) of EU Regulation 1408/71).”
I can confirm that the Department holds some information relevant to your request.
1. The Department holds information relevant to this part of your request.
However, as the information held by the Department is in the public domain, I will refer you to the published source under Section 21 of the FOI Act (information accessible to the applicant by other means).
The rules governing EHIC eligibility are set out in Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council:
Further information is available on the NHS Choices website:
2. The application for a “family member” can be made on an application where the “main applicant” is a UK resident. The application can be made via the internet, telephone and postal routes as follows:
How to apply
0300 3301350 or 0191 279 0575
Download an application form at http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Documents/ehic-app-form.pdf
Further information on how to apply can be found at www.nhs.uk/ehic. Click on the link called ‘How do I apply for an EHIC?’
3. The information you have requested regarding the reason for the change to the NHS website is not held by the Department of Health. The Department does not have a record of the line changing.
Thank you for highlighting the discrepancy within the ‘Terms and Conditions’ (T&C’s) of the EHIC application. We have now changed the relevant line in the T&C’s to reflect this. The updated line now read as follows:
“I agree that the main applicant specified in this application is a UK resident”.
4. Please see answer 1.
If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:
Head of the Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Department. The ICO can be contacted at:
The Information Commissioner's Office
Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Health