Only certain people from abroad are eligible. The rules are very complicated if you are not a UK citizen and your rights will depend on your immigration status. The council may contact the Home Office to check your status, so you should always get specialist advice before you apply.
People who are subject to immigration control
Citizens of countries from outside the EEA are generally subject to immigration control and need permission to enter or remain in the UK.
EEA, EU and Swiss citizens who arrive in the UK after the 1st January 2021 are also likely to be subject to immigration control.
Most people who are subject to immigration control are not eligible for homelessness assistance. But, there are some exceptions. You may still be eligible if:
- you have refugee status
- you have exceptional leave to remain in the UK, and your leave doesn’t state that you should have ‘no recourse to public funds’
- you are habitually resident in the UK and your leave was granted without any conditions
- you have humanitarian protection
- you have come to the UK from Hong Kong and fall within a certain category of people with limited leave
- you are an Afghan citizen who falls within a certain category of person granted leave, or
- you have limited leave to remain in the UK on the grounds of ‘respect for family or private life’ under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention and your leave doesn’t state that you should have ‘no recourse to public funds’.
People who are not subject to immigration control
If you are not a British Citizen and not subject to immigration control, you will probably be eligible provided you are ‘habitually resident’ in the UK.
There are some situations where you can still be eligible for assistance, even if you are not habitually resident. These include if you are an:
- EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who has been granted pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
- EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who has been granted settled status under the EUSS. This is usually only granted after you have lived in the UK continuously for five years before applying to the EUSS.
See our advice for EU and EEA nationals for more details.
Immigration law is extremely complicated, so get advice before you apply if you are not sure of your status.