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family getting EHIC

Can I apply for an EHIC for an under 16 year old?

Yes, you can. In fact, every member of your household needs to apply for their own EHIC, and you need to apply on their behalf if they’re under 16.

You’ll either need to apply when you’re applying for your own EHIC, or add the child’s details at a later date. You’ll need to:

  • Enter your details – if you already have a card, ignore the system message and click ‘continue’.
  • You’ll enter the partner/spouse section – if you don’t wish to apply for a spouse or partner, click ‘no’.
  • You’ll enter the dependent children page – click ‘add’ and enter the details for your child or children.

Applying for a 16-19 year old

If your child is in full-time education, for example they’ve just completed school and are off to college or university, then you can apply for them in the usual way, with an NHS number or NI number if possible. An apprenticeship is not considered to be full-time education.

Once your child reaches 19, you no longer need to apply on their behalf – the only exception is if they are not physically or mentally capable of applying on their own behalf and you have legal power of attorney.

Applying for a step-child

If they live with you or your partner, you can list them as a dependent in the usual way. However, if they don’t live with you, one of their parents will need to apply.

Applying for a child who doesn’t live with you, or lives with you part-time

If you have shared responsibility for parenting your child or children and they spend at least part of their lives living with you, you can apply for them. Otherwise their other parent must apply as you don’t have responsibility for parenting.

If you’re a foster carer:

You can apply in any of the usual ways – online, post, or by telephone. However, if the child you’re fostering doesn’t have UK, EEA or Swiss nationality, you must apply by post with a copy of their right to remain or visa.

If you’re a teacher at a boarding school:

The rules are the same as if you were a foster carer, and you can only apply if their parent or guardian is unable to for some reason.

If you work in a care home:

If you work for a care home or are a representative of the local authority, you can apply following the rules for foster carers and teachers.

If you’re a grandparent:

You can apply on your grandchild’s behalf if you’re their legal guardian. In the unusual case that you’re the parent of an under 16 year old who is themselves the parent of a child, you would apply for them both. When your child turns 16, their child would become their dependent.

If you live in the UK but your family doesn’t:

Your family members would have to apply in their own country. However, if they’re not entitled to an EHIC there, contact HMRC for an S1 which would allow them to apply through the UK.

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