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Benefits for people from abroad

If you meet the criteria and have the details requested, we may be able to help with housing and council tax benefit.

Please find your country and follow the guidelines.

A16 - A2 EEA States plus ECSMA or CESCC States

For the following countries:

(Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden)


(Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey)

A8 - EEA States

For the following countries:

(Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia)

A2 - Nationals

(Romania and Bulgaria)

Non - EEA Nationals

Are you habitually resident?

If you do not pass this test you will not receive any housing or council tax support. Each case is considered on its own merits, usually a series of questions will be asked to help establish weather you are habitually resident in the UK. These are not fixed in law but are intended to discover the duration, continuity and durability of your residence in the UK.

The Habitual Residence Test (HRT) was introduced from 1 August 1994 as a test of habitual residence in the Common Travel Area. Since 1 May 2004, anyone who claimed an income-related benefit (Income Support, Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance, State Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support) has been required to show that they have a right to reside in the Common Travel Area. The HRT is a two stage test of the right to reside in the UK or the other area of the CTA. The test is applied to people who have arrived or returned to live in the UK within two years of claiming an income-related benefit.

On 30 April 2006, a new European Community (EC) Directive on the rights of free movement in the EC, introduces new rights of residence for EC nationals. The most significant change is the introduction of a right of residence for the first three months to everyone, including economically inactivity people (for example, a retired person).

More detailed information about the rules relating to people from abroad and housing and council tax benefit, including the changes from April 2006, can be found in the Department for Work and Pensions Resource Centre.

Immigration status test

Under the Immigration Status Test we have to establish the terms of a claimant's entry or stay in the UK. Claimants who do not satisfy the test are known as 'people subject to immigration control' and are not entitled to housing benefit or council tax benefit.


If you are required to be self-sufficient then you must support yourself financially and will not be able to claim benefits.

However all information will need to be brought into our counter or posted into our offices. It will then be verified by a revenues and benefits officer, before we can guarantee benefit will be paid, even though you may feel you meet the criteria above.