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Right to Reside - Permanent right of residence

Your right to reside is your legal right to live in the UK. There are lots of different rights to reside and you may have more than one.

Permanent right of residence

Which benefits?

If you have a permanent right of residence and you pass the habitual residence test, you can claim:

If you have a permanent right of residence and you are ordinarily resident in the UK, you can claim:

If you have a permanent right of residence, you can use our Benefits Calculator to check how much you’re entitled to.

Do I have a permanent right to reside?

You may have a permanent right of residence if you have had other rights to reside for a continuous period of 5 years. 

To get the total 5 years, you can add together times when you had different rights to reside as long as the gaps between them are not too long.  If you have gaps between your rights to reside that total more than 30 days in a year, you have to start the 5 years again. 

The time that you spent with the following rights to reside can count towards the 5 years:

If you do not have the requisite 5 years, you may have a permanent right of residence if you are retired or permanently incapacitated.  You could have a permanent right of residence if one of these applies to you:

  • you are retired, have lived in the UK for at least three years and worked in the UK for at least one year
  • you were employed in the UK and an accident or a disease caused by your work meant you were too disabled or injured to work again
  • you have worked in the UK for at least two years and you are too disabled or injured to work again
  • you are married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen  and you are too disabled or injured to work again

Once you have a permanent right of residence, you can apply for a UK residence card which will make it easier to claim benefits.  You can find out more about the UK residence card on the government website. Residence cards won't be valid after 31 December 2020.

If you have been living in the UK for five years you should be entitled to Settled Status under the Settled Status scheme. It is free to apply for Settled Status.

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