Find out how the Victims of Overseas Compensation Scheme's residency and nationality requirements work.
Nationality and residency criteria
You may be eligible for a payment only if you meet the nationality and residency requirements. The nationality requirements are outlined in paragraph 10 of the Scheme. You must also have been ordinarily resident in the UK on, and for a period of at least three years immediately before, the first date of the designated act or you must satisfy one of the conditions in paragraph 13 of the Scheme.
There is further information below on these requirements and the information we may need from you to establish your nationality and residency.
To be eligible to apply for a payment you must be able to show that on the first day of the designated act you were:
- A British citizen, or close relative of a British citizen (‘close relative’ is defined in paragraph 15 of the Scheme);
- A member of the UK armed forces or accompanying close relative of a member of the UK armed forces (‘accompanying close relative’ is defined in paragraph 15 of the Scheme);
- A national of a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland; or
- A person who had the right to be in the United Kingdom by virtue of being a family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss national. Further information on EEA ‘family members’ is available at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/eea-family-permit/
When we get your claim we will tell you what information we need from you to establish your residency and nationality and we will verify this as needed. If you do not supply information that we ask for, we may refuse your payment.
Ordinarily resident in UK
Whether you were ordinarily resident in the UK on, and for a period of three years immediately before, the first date of the designated act for the purposes of the Scheme will depend on various factors, including:
- how often and for how long you were in the UK;
- the purpose and pattern of your presence;
- your connections to the UK. Relevant factors will be considered together to give a complete picture, and may include:
- family ties - having a spouse, civil partner, children or other close family members, in the UK;
- business ties - owning or being a director of a business based in the UK, or having employment, including self-employment, in the UK;
- property ties - property that you own or lease and in which you can stay when in the UK.
It is possible that you may have spent some time in another country but maintained strong ties to the UK, such as your job and house, which means that you remained ordinarily resident within the UK for the purposes of the Scheme. This may be the case if you were on holiday, studying abroad, or visiting a foreign country for some other reason.
Other ways of meeting the residency criteria
You will also meet the residency requirements if one of the conditions in paragraph 13 of the Scheme is met.
Further eligibility requirements
You cannot get a payment if:
- the incident in which you or the deceased was injured is not classed as a designated act by the Foreign Secretary;
- you have already applied for compensation for the same terrorist incident, under the Scheme (if you deliberately apply for compensation for the same injury more than once, you may be prosecuted for attempted fraud);
- the person who injured you may benefit from your award (for example, if there is a continuing close link between you (the victim) and the assailant.
The responsibility for making a case for compensation lies with you. This means that you will need to provide us with the evidence necessary to decide your case. Our application forms tell you what information we need from you to establish your residency and nationality. There is also information on this below.
We will normally accept copies of official documents but in some circumstances we may ask for the original.
Evidence of nationality
We will usually ask you to send us a copy of your current or previous (expired) passport. If you do not have a passport, we may ask you to provide other documentation to confirm that you satisfied the nationality requirement on the first date of the designated act. This could include:
- a letter from the authorities of your country confirming citizenship;
- a naturalisation or registration certificate; or
- a national identity card confirming citizenship.
If you are a serving member of the armed forces evidence to support this could include a letter from the service confirming your status or official documentation which has a service accommodation address for you. Documentation to prove that you are a spouse or civil partner could include a marriage certificate or civil partnership document.
Documentation to prove that you are an accompanying close relative of a serving member of the armed forces could include:
- correspondence such as utility bills, bank statements, or pay slips addressed to you at the same address as a serving member of the armed forces;
- travel documents; or
- entry visas.
Evidence of residency
Documents proving that you are ordinarily resident in the UK must have your name and a UK address on them. We will usually ask you to provide at least one document from two of the three lists below. We may ask you for other documents if we decide that we need more evidence. If you have any difficulty providing this information, please contact us for further advice.
- Pension or benefit correspondence from the Department of Work and Pensions
- Pay slips from your employer with your address on it
- Confirmation from your work, school, college, university or care institution confirming your name, address and details of employment, student or residence status
- Bank or building society statements
- Credit card statements
- Rent statements
- Council tax bill or demand letter
- Tenancy agreement
- Mortgage statements
- Utility bills (gas, electricity, water)