Benefit rules say people who are citizens of some countries have to pass some tests before they can claim some benefits.
A citizen is a person who is a member of a particular country and who has rights there because they were born there or because the government has given them rights in that country.
British and Irish citizens
If you are a British or Irish citizen you automatically pass some tests you need to pass to claim benefits.
Citizens of a European Economic Area country: an E.E.A. country
Countries in the the E.E.A. have agreed that their citizens have rights to claim some benefits in others country of the E.E.A.
Citizens of an E.E.A. country who have permanent residence in the UK can claim some benefits here. ‘Permanent residence’ means;
- you have lived in the UK for at least 5 years without a break and
- you have lived in the UK legally for all that time
‘Legally’ means you can show you have ‘exercised your Treaty rights’ through all the time you have lived in the UK. There are different ways you can show this like;
- being in work
- looking for work
- studying at a recognized college or school and having comprehensive medical insurance
- being ‘self-sufficient’ and having comprehensive medical insurance
- being a family member of someone who has lived in the UK legally for at least 5 years without a break
If you have not lived in the UK for at least 5 years without a break and done this legally, you do not have permanent residence.
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