HMRC internal manual

Child Benefit Technical Manual

CBTM10140 - Residence and immigration: immigration - exceptions to the general exclusion

Even if people have leave to enter or remain but subject to the condition that they do not have recourse to public funds as described in CBTM10120, they may still be able to qualify for child benefit if they are covered by one of the following exceptions.

People subject to a maintenance undertaking
Workers from countries with which the UK has an agreement for equal treatment in the field of social security, {#}or an agreement that entitles workers to receive family allowances for members of their family who are legally resident in the UK
Covered by a social security agreement that the UK has agreed with another country
Transitional rules for those in receipt of Child Benefit before October 1996
Refugees and backdating

People subject to a maintenance undertaking

The Social security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations 2000, regulation 2 (paragraph 4 in Part 2 of the schedule) for Great Britain

The Social Security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, regulation 2 (paragraph 4 in Part 2 of the schedule) for Northern Ireland

A person who has been given leave to enter, or remain in, the UK by the Secretary of State upon an undertaking by another person or persons pursuant to the immigration rules within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971, to be responsible for his maintenance and accommodation is, for the purposes of child benefit, is treated as a person who is not subject to immigration control and not excluded from entitlement. These people are referred to in this guidance as ‘a sponsored immigrant’.

Workers from States, with which the UK has an agreement for equal treatment in the field of social security or an agreement that entitles workers to receive family allowances for members of their family who are legally resident in the UK
The Social security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations 2000, regulation 2 (paragraph 2 in Part 2 of the schedule) for Great Britain

The Social Security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, regulation 2 (paragraph 2 in Part 2 of the schedule) for Northern Ireland

People who have leave to enter or remain but subject to the condition that they do not have recourse to public funds are not excluded from child benefit if they are [lawfully working in the UK and a]:

  • National of a State which the UK has concluded an agreement for the equal treatment of workers in the field of social security; or
  • National of a State with which the United Kingdom has concluded an agreement that provides for the receipt of family allowances for members of their family who are legally resident in the UK.

Currently, the countries covered by such agreements are Albania, Morocco, San Marino, Tunisia, and Turkey.

This list is subject to change.

The requirement to be ‘lawfully working’ in the UK can be satisfied by a person who does not have a restriction on working in the UK and is either:

  • Working in the UK; or
  • Has retired from work on reaching pension age or given up work to look after children or because of pregnancy, widowhood, sickness or invalidity, an accident at work or an industrial disease.

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Covered by a social security agreement that the UK has agreed with another country

The Social security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations 2000, regulation 2(3) for Great Britain

The Social Security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, regulation 2(3) for Northern Ireland.

People who have leave to enter or remain but subject to the condition that they do not have recourse to public funds are not excluded from entitlement to child benefit if they have come to live in the UK:

from, a country that has a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK which covers child benefit; and

They are covered by this agreement.

They are covered by the following agreements if they have come from one of the following countries and are a national of that country:

Israel, Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Switzerland.

They are covered by the following agreements if they have come from one of the following countries and have been subject to that country’s social security legislation:

Barbados, Canada, Mauritius, Jersey, and Guernsey.

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Transitional rules for those in receipt of Child Benefit before October 1996

The Social security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations 2000, regulation 12(10) for Great Britain

The Social Security (Immigration and Asylum) Consequential Amendments Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, regulation 11(10) for Northern Ireland.

Persons who have leave to enter or remain but subject to the condition that they do not have recourse to public funds who were entitled to child benefit before October 1996 are not excluded from entitlement to child benefit because of their immigration status (i.e., subject to immigration control).

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Refugees and backdating

The Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance (Administration) Regulations 2013, regulation 6.

Where a person claims Child Benefit within 3 months of being informed either:

  • that they have been recorded as a refugee, or
  • that they have been granted leave to remain under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016

their Child Benefit claim is treated as having been made ‘on the date they submitted their claim for asylum’.

The Upper Tribunal’s judgement in the case of FK v HMRC ([2009] UKUT 134 (AAC)) makes clear that Regulation 6 means that, where there has been more than one claim to asylum, and the claimant satisfied the conditions for refugee status at the date of an earlier asylum claim, the benefits claim should be backdated to the date of that earlier asylum claim.