Habitual residence test

For those you don’t know what the habitual residence test is, it is a test that all British Citizens who are returning from living aboard have to pass in order to gain access to benefits and housing.

The test has two parts

Right to reside in the UK and the intention to make the UK your country of residence, and is know as habitual residence.

All British Citizens have the right to reside in the UK but they still have to prove that they are habitual resident in the UK.  HRT will test what the returning expat is doing to make the UK the center of your life, and what ties you have to the UK, it will also test whether they have cut ties to your previous country of residence.

It will be up to either the DWP, your local authority or HMRC to determine when you have passed this test.  Since 2014 in order to get job seekers allowance you must be living in the UK for three months and thus the minimum time for the HRT is three months.

So this makes very different for any British Citizen to return to the UK unless they have family to stay with.  If you are no longer in contact with your family and are out of work due to ill health means it is very hard to return to the UK.

Taking The Netherlands for example, if you are on some types of benefits you can get these benefits paid in the UK once you moved, however if your benefits comes from the local council as you are not entitled to worked based benefits, then these benefits stop as soon as you return to UK. So any returning expat needs to support themselves for at least 3 months.

Thus it becomes virtual impossible for expat to return to the UK especially when that person has a number of medical conditions and very little money.  There does seem to be any help provide by either the host country or the UK for these citizens who are in need and want to return to their country of birth.

The Netherlands does have a grant scheme to help expats return to their own country but it is limited to certain countries and the UK is not one of them.  So the Netherlands offers no help to British expats wanting to return to the UK.

However if you have been deported from a country back to the UK, then there are charities that give to support to the deportee.  It seems that if you break the law you get help, but if you obey the laws you don’t give help.

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