EU, EEA and/or Swiss nationals who enter the UK for the first time on or after 1 January 2021 are subject to immigration control and must apply for leave (permission) to remain in the UK.
The sort of leave you have will impact on the rights you have for help with social housing or homelessness.
Generally, people are given limited leave in the UK to:
- visit, or
- join family members.
Limited leave usually comes with a condition attached that you must be able to accommodate and support yourself without relying on public money (“no recourse to public funds”). This means you will not have the right to apply for council housing, receive full homelessness assistance or claim benefits.
In Wales, you should be given free information and advice about how to prevent homelessness, find accommodation or get further help from your council’s homelessness department, even if you have conditions attached to your limited leave.
If you are in this situation, it is a good idea to have enough money to cover your housing costs, or to try to arrange to stay with friends or family for a short time. It can be very difficult to get into a homeless hostel or night-shelter. This is because you usually need to be able to claim housing benefit to pay for your hostel space.
Contact Streetlink if you find yourself with nowhere to stay at night. They will be able to put you in contact with help in your area. Go to their website or phone 0300 500 0914.
Some people are given limited leave to remain ‘outside the immigration rules’, i.e. exceptionally. If this leave is granted with recourse to public funds then you will be eligible for homelessness assistance and housing allocation.