(Click here to go straight to the 'Options' list)
If you’ve come to the UK from abroad you probably don’t need me to tell you that it’s not easy to get help from the government in your situation. However you may need help understanding why, and may want to know whether you can do anything about it.
I’ve said elsewhere that benefits are complicated. Well, things can be especially complicated if you’ve come to the UK from abroad.
One of the things that makes it confusing is that people who come to the UK from abroad are not all in the same boat (so to speak). It’s vital to work out which category you are in, as otherwise you will have no idea what your problems are, or what your rights are.
Have a look at the list of types of people below...
|As this is not an immigration information site I cannot, unfortunately, go into details about what some of these terms mean: for these you would need to look for an approved immigration adviser.|
- Citizens of the United Kingdom (UK), or citizens of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or the Republic of Ireland, who have been out of the UK for a while (together these countries are called the Common Travel Area (CTA)).
- Citizens of other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), and family members of citizens of other countries in the EEA.
- People from beyond the European Economic Area (EEA) who are applying for asylum (i.e. applying for refugee status)
- People from beyond the European Economic Area (EEA), are not applying for asylum.
The European Economic Area consists of all the countries in the European Union (EU), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland (actually it doesn’t technically include Switzerland, but for reasons too complicated to explain we can pretend that it does).The European Union consists of the following countries (apart from the UK): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Once you have worked out which of these you are, click on one of the following links for more information. :
‘I am a citizen of the UK (or of the
Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or the Republic of Ireland)’
‘I am a citizen of another country in the European Economic Area, or I'm a family member of an EEA citizen’
‘I am from outside the European Economic Area’