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Universal credit: Great Britain test

To claim universal credit, you must:

  • be present in Great Britain (GB) and

  • be habitually resident and have the right to reside in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.

‘Present’ means physically present in GB. Sometimes you can be treated as present during a temporary absence.

The term ‘right to reside’ is not defined but is dependent on your immigration status and nationality. You might have a right to reside because you are a British citizen or because you are in a protected group with a European free movement right to reside.

The ‘habitual residence’ test will be applied if you have been living abroad. There is no legal definition of habitual residence. Relevant factors are where you normally live, where you expect to live in future, your reasons for coming to this country, the length of time spent abroad before you came here, and any ties you still have with the country where you have come from.

For more information, see our Disability Rights Handbook

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