Immigration status and Benefits - Check if you are defined as a ‘Person Subject to Immigration Control’
- Last reviewed 14 June 2023
Check if you are defined as a ‘Person Subject to Immigration Control’
Your immigration status will exclude you from most benefits if you are defined as a ‘person subject to immigration control’.
The immigration status of a partner or child that you live with can also affect your benefits, and your claims may affect their continued right to live in the UK. Therefore you need to check if your partner or child is defined as a ‘person subject to immigration control’, even if you are not. Check the definition below and then see the information on partners and children.
You are defined as a person subject to immigration control if you:
- require leave to enter or remain in the UK but do not have it. For example, if your previous leave expired before you applied for further leave (often referred to as being an ‘overstayer’), or if you came to the UK as an asylum seeker.
- have leave to enter or remain in the UK that is subject to a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ condition.
- have leave to enter or remain in the UK as a result of someone else providing a maintenance undertaking.
- only have leave because you are appealing against a refusal to vary your leave. This situation can be complex. If your benefit is refused on this basis or you think this applies to you get advice.
Examples of circumstances when you are not a ‘person subject to immigration control’ include if you:
- are a British or Irish citizen.
- have refugee leave or humanitarian protection
- have settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme.
- have pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme. However, if you want to claim a benefit that requires a right to reside, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit or Child Benefit, see our guide on the right to reside test.
- have a made a valid application to the EU Settlement Scheme for settled or pre-settled status, and that application has not yet been decided. However, if you want to claim a benefit that requires a right to reside, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit or Child Benefit, see our guide on the right to reside test.
If you do not know your immigration status you need to get immigration advice before you claim any benefits, and before you are included in anyone else’s claim.
Benefits affected by immigration status
If you are a person subject to immigration control you are not entitled to any of the following:
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Tax Credit*
- Council Tax Support
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance*
- Funeral Support Payment (in Scotland)
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support*
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance*
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
- Severe Disablement Allowance*
- Social Fund payments
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit*
* Note it is no longer possible to make a new claim for income support, income-related ESA, income-based JSA, Severe Disablement Allowance or tax credits (except if you are a refugee claiming tax credits for a past period). If you are already getting one of these benefits and you become a person subject to immigration control your entitlement to that benefit will end.
Your immigration status does not affect your entitlement to other benefits not in the long list above. For example, regardless of immigration status, you can claim:
- Contributory benefits - including contribution-based/ New Style JSA, contribution-based/ New Style ESA, Bereavement Support Payment, State Pension. You will need to have had to have paid sufficient national insurance contributions to qualify
- Statutory payments - including Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay.
- Maternity Allowance
- Industrial injuries benefits
- Scottish benefits other than the 3 in the above list (although note some require you to receive a qualifying benefit that are in the list above).
There are limited exempt groups of people subject to immigration control who can claim specific benefits or tax credits in specific circumstances. These are not covered in this guide. To check if an exempt group applies to you for a specific benefit get advice.
Residence and Presence Rules
If you are not excluded from a benefit by your immigration status, you still have to satisfy all the other conditions to be entitled to that benefit, including the presence and residence rules.
Public funds are defined in the immigration rules and include all the benefits above (except the Scottish benefits) and also most Local Welfare Assistance (which can include the Household Support Fund) and homelessness assistance and housing provided under specific provisions.
If your leave to enter or remain in the UK is subject to a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ condition, you will breach that condition if you receive one of the benefits or other assistance defined as a public fund or if someone else receives a greater amount of one of these benefits because of your presence. If you breach a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ condition attached to your leave, the Home Office could curtail your leave, refuse to grant you further leave in future and/or prosecute you. Get immigration advice before claiming benefit if you, or someone who could be included in your claim (such as your partner or child), has leave subject to a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ condition.