If you’re from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you want to apply for benefits, you’ll need to show you have the right to claim. You’ll also need to show you plan to stay in the UK.
You can show this by passing the ‘habitual residence test’.
You don't need to take the habitual residence test - you might be able to claim benefits straight away. You’ll need to show you left Afghanistan because of the fall of the Afghan government on 15 August 2021.
You'll need to show a document saying why you left Afghanistan when you make a claim for benefits. What document you can show will depend on your situation. If you've got a letter from the UK's Home Office saying your immigration status, you can show this when you make a claim.
If you don't have a letter from the Home Office, you can show a document saying you've come to the UK through either of the following ways:
If you were employed by the UK government in Afghanistan, you should be eligible for the ‘Afghanistan Locally Employed Staff Ex-Gratia Scheme’. If you’re eligible, you might be able to claim benefits straight away.
What you'll need to prove will depend on what benefit you want to claim. You'll usually need to show:
How you complete the habitual residence test depends on the benefit you're claiming. When you make your claim, you'll be told if it will be online, on the phone or face to face. You won't need to study for the test but you'll need to gather evidence.
If you were in the UK before 31 December 2020 but haven't applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you might still be able to make a late application. You’ll need to have a good reason for missing the deadline of 30 June 2021. Find out how to make a late application to stay in the UK.
If you already have pre-settled status, you’ll still be able to reapply to the scheme to upgrade to settled status after 30 June 2021.
If you have family members who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020 there are different deadlines for their applications - find out more about bringing family to the UK.
If you’re having problems applying to the scheme or need to make a late application, contact an adviser.
To pass the test you'll be counted as 'habitually resident in fact'. To pass you'll need evidence to show:
You'll need to provide original documents - copies won't be accepted.
You'll usually need to be in the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for at least 1 to 3 months before you can claim benefits - this is called an 'appreciable period of time'.
It's best if you've got at least 2 documents to prove this. The documents can include:
You'll need to show the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man is your main home and plan to stay. These are called the 'settled intention to remain' and your 'centre of interest'.
It's best if you've got at least 2 documents to prove this is your main home and you plan to stay. The documents can include:
If you’re not working, it might help if you show you have savings or you get financial support from your family or friends. For example, you could prove this with statements from a bank or building society account based in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
You'll need to show you have a right to live and claim benefits in the UK - this is called the 'right to reside'. Check if you have the right to reside if you're not sure.
What you'll need to prove will depend on what benefit you want to claim.
You'll need to be habitually resident and show you've been in England, Scotland or Wales for 2 of the last 3 years. This is called the 'past presence test'.
You'll need to pass the past presence test if you want to claim:
If you’re claiming for someone else, for example your child, they’re the one who has to pass the past presence test.
They only need to have been in the country for 6 months, instead of 2 years. If they’re under 6 months old, it’s reduced to 13 weeks.
You'll need to show you've been living in the UK for the past 3 months - this is called the '3-month living in test'.
You'll need to show you've been living in the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for the past 3 months - this is called the '3-month living in test'.
When you've got your evidence, check if you're eligible for the benefit you'd like to claim.
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