If you come to the UK from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) and apply for benefits or allowances in the United Kingdom, you need to pass a habitual residence test (HRT). The purpose of the test is to prove that you have the right to reside in the UK and want to live in the Single Immigration Area, which includes Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (this is habitual residence). Thus, the test consists of two parts: right to reside and habitual residence.
The second part of the test, that is, habitual residence, refers to British citizens who return to the country after living or working abroad, as well as to people coming to the United Kingdom from other countries. However, British citizens already have the right to reside in the Single Immigration Area.
Let's talk about what can be done if you do not meet the requirements of HRT.
Advice of a specialist.
Proving your compliance with the requirements of the test can be difficult. If you are not sure that you will manage on your own, ask for help from the civil consultation office.
If you do not meet the requirements of HRT.
If you are denied benefits due to non-compliance with the requirements of HRT, you need to apply for help immediately. It is likely that you will be able to challenge the decision.
Challenging the decision.
Before filing a formal appeal, it is worth asking for a review of the decision. It will not hurt to ask for the "reasoning part of the decision", and it should be done within a month.
You, in turn, may be asked to provide more information or demonstrate other evidence of your compliance with HRT.
If you have done everything in your power, but could not find the documents, contact the Ministry of Labor and Pensions of the UK to help find evidence that supports your words. For example, if your right to reside in the UK is based on a family relationship, but you cannot prove it, because you do not support the relationship, the Ministry of Labor and Pensions will be able to find the information in the archives.
Submit a new application for benefits.
If you did not meet the requirements of HRT during the first application for benefits, you can submit a new application later. This can be done simultaneously with challenging the original decision. In some cases, you can prove compliance with the requirements of HRT, simply by demonstrating that you live in the UK for a couple of weeks longer.
There is no need to wait for the result of the appeal or the decision to reconsider in order to re-apply for benefits. If you are told that this is considered an obstacle to re-applying, you must still apply for it and seek advice from a specialist.
Think about what else you can do to demonstrate your intention to live in the UK. For example, can you register with a family doctor, join a local club or a volunteer organization. Try to gather as much evidence as possible of your intention to live in the United Kingdom.
If you have a partner.
If your partner already has a right to reside and he/she is more likely to meet the requirements of HRT, it may be better if he (she) applies for benefits.