The Habitual Residence Test is applied to all people (unless they fall into one of the exempt categories), including returning British nationals, who have recently arrived in the country and want to claim certain means-tested social security benefits, or seek housing assistance from a local authority.

The test also applies to British citizens returning to the UK after time abroad, as well as people coming to the UK from other countries.

If you come to the UK from abroad and want to claim certain benefits, you must pass a test, known as the habitual residence test and also satisfy the right to reside test: which are carried out to make sure that if you're planning to claim benefits you've a legal right to be in the UK and that you're intending to settle here for the time being.

The right to claim benefits depends on what terms you've been allowed to enter the UK. This is called your immigration status. If you're subject to immigration control, you can't claim benefits and making a claim may affect your right to stay in the UK.

Full details of the Habitual Residence Test, the Right to Reside Test and claiming benefits can be found at:

Information on what to do if you have failed the Habitual Residence Test are available at this link.

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