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Habitual Residence Test - What is 'Habitual residence in fact'?

All claimants have to pass or be exempt from the Habitual Residence Test in order to claim certain benefits and Tax Credits.

What is 'Habitual residence in fact'?

The key points in deciding whether you are ‘habitually resident’ in fact are:

  • You must be resident
  • You must show intention to settle (not necessarily permanently) in the Common Travel Area.
  • In most cases you must have been resident for an ‘appreciable period’.  How long this period has to be is not set out in the regulations, and depends on your circumstances.   Between one and three months residence is required in most cases, but it can be shorter. The stronger your intention to settle in the Common Travel Area the shorter this period is likely to be.

You may be accepted as habitually resident from your first day if you are returning to the country and you were previously habitually resident.

British citizens who have lived abroad and are returning to the Common Travel Area will still have to show that they are 'habitually resident in fact'.

More information

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