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Returning to the UK from Abroad

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A good friend of mine has lived in Australia for a year, she married an Australian guy (over here) and had a baby (also over here). She has now decided to leave him and move home because she is desperately unhappy.


When she gets home will she be entitled to benefits? The baby is a year old and she literally will be sleeping on her parents sofa until she sorts herself out.


CAB have been less than useless and she doesnt have a clue where she will stand financially.

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Anyone returning to the UK in the two years prior to making a claim to income based benefit would need to satisfy the habitual residence test.


To summarise, they would consider whether she is:



  • Habitually resident in the Common Travel Area. The Common Travel Area (CTA) includes the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and
  • lawfully present in the UK, and
  • either a national of a country within the CTA or have the right to reside in the UK without having a "no recourse to public funds" condition attached to her right to reside

Whether they accept her as "Habitually resident" in the CTA is impossible to say, because there is no fixed time period in which to measure habitual residence; as the term "habitual residence" is not defined in the legislation. The person deciding upon the case must reach a decision by considering the overall circumstances of each case based on the facts.

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