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Nationals of non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries - What is a Person Subject to Immigration Control?

Non-EEA nationals will be subject to immigration rules and their right to benefits will be defined by their immigration status.

What is a Person Subject to Immigration Control?

You are a person subject to immigration control if you are not an EEA National and you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You need leave to enter or remain in the UK but do not have it. For example, you are an asylum seeker with temporary admission; or you have overstayed your leave to enter or remain.
  • You have leave to enter or remain in the UK on condition that you have no recourse to public funds.
  • You have leave to enter or remain in the UK as a result of someone providing a maintenance undertaking.

No Recourse to Public Funds

If your leave to enter or remain in the UK is on condition that you have no recourse to public funds, you are not allowed to receive the following benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Local Welfare Assistance
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Social Fund payments
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Your right to remain in the UK could be affected if you claim any benefits in the above list, and your permission to enter or stay is based on you having no recourse to public funds.  You must seek specialist immigration advice if you are unsure about whether you can claim.

You can claim a benefit which is not in this list, as it will not be classed as a ‘public fund’.

Non-EEA Nationals who are not Persons Subject to Immigration Control

If you are not a person subject to immigration control, you can claim welfare benefits. 

Also you are not a person subject to immigration control if:

  • You have refugee leave or humanitarian protection
  • You are defined as a family member of an EEA national exercising a treaty right in the UK.  Please see our guide on ‘Right to reside’ for further information.

There are limited exceptions when some people subject to immigration control can claim benefits or tax credits, which we don’t cover in this guide.  If you are unsure about whether you can claim benefits or tax credits, you must seek specialist immigration advice before making a claim.  You can find immigration advice in your area by using our Find-an-adviser tool.

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