HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

TCTM02024 - Entitlement: Residence rules - Present and ordinarily resident: Right to reside in the United Kingdom

Tax Credits (Residence) Regulations 2003, Reg. 3(5)

The requirement to have a right to reside only applies to claims for CTC. However a WTC claimant who is a national of an EEA member state or Switzerland but who is not exercising their free movement rights in the UK, under Regulation (EU) 492/2011 or Regulation (EC) 883/04, will not be treated as ordinarily residence in the UK unless they have a right to reside in the UK.

The following groups are regarded as having a right to reside in the United Kingdom when claiming CTC:

  • all United Kingdom nationals and those with a right to reside in the Common Travel Area (which covers the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man);
  • a person who has been granted settled status under the European Union Settled Status Scheme:
  • all EEA and Swiss workers legally working in the UK - there are special rules for nationals of the eight central European countries that acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 and for nationals of Bulgaria and Romania, which acceded to the EU on 1 January 2007 (see TCTM02070);
  • all EEA and Swiss nationals who are self-employed in the UK;
  • work-seekers from the pre-1 May 2004 EEA Member States, Cyprus and Malta who have a reasonable chance of finding work and A2 nationals who have been admitted under the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme or who hold a certificate confirming they have unconditional access to the UK labour market;
  • non EEA or Swiss nationals with permission to stay or remain in the UK;
  • all EEA or Swiss nationals who have a permanent right to reside (see TCTM02070);
  • all EEA or Swiss nationals who family members of a qualified person (TCTM02070);
  • all EEA or Swiss nationals who are extended family members of a qualified person with responsibility for the qualified person’s child who is in the UK or where access to the child must take place in the UK (up the age the dependent child is 21)(TCTM02070);
  • EEA or Swiss nationals who have been working lawfully and is temporarily unable to work as the result of illness or accident (TCTM02070).

The following groups only have a right to reside in the UK if they have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the UK, that is, they are self-sufficient:

  • A2 nationals (apart from those admitted under the Highly Skilled Migrants’ Programme) who are looking for work, including those who lose their job before lawfully working in the UK without interruption for a period of 12 months or more and who don’t get another job within 30 days;
  • all EEA or Swiss nationals, including nationals of the A8 and A2 countries, who are economically inactive and do not have retained worker status, a permanent right to reside, a right to reside as a family member or extended family member of a qualified person and are not a retired worker.

For these groups, all the claimant’s personal circumstances are taken into account when deciding whether they are self-sufficient. Such factors could include whether or not they have claimed social assistance (i.e. Income Support or State Pension Credit) from the Department for Work and Pensions in Great Britain or the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement (also known as the Belfast Agreement) gives the Northern Ireland nationals the right to identify themselves as Irish or British nationals, or both.   People of Northern Ireland have a right of abode and therefore an automatic right to reside in the UK for themselves.

However, where a rest of the world national claimant is dependent on a person of Northern Ireland for entitlement to Child Benefit, the person of Northern Ireland national has to have the equivalent of a qualifying right to reside in the UK.  A right to reside check must be carried out on the person of Northern Ireland in the same way as any other EEA or Swiss national. The conditions of the right to reside check are set out in the Regulation 5-10 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) 2016 Regulations.


More detailed guidance is set out in TCTM02070