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Immigration control and tax credits

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If you’re subject to ‘immigration control’ you won’t normally be able to get tax credits. But special rules mean you can sometimes still claim them. For example, if you’ve been getting money from abroad to support your stay in the UK and it stops, or you come from a country that has an agreement with the European Community (EC), like Turkey or Morocco.

What is ‘immigration control’?

You are subject to ‘immigration control’ ifanyof the following apply:

  • the Home Office gives you permission to stay in the UK (known as leave to enter or remain), but this permission is given to you on the grounds that you dont claim benefits, tax credits or housing help paid by the UK government (known as no recourse to public funds)
  • you need permission to stay in the UK – again known as leave to enter or remain – but you don’t have it
  • you have been refused permission to stay in the UK, but you have appealed against that decision, and your appeal hasn’t been decided yet
  • you have been given permission to stay in the UK, but on the condition that someone else, like a friend or relative, pays for your upkeep and provides you with somewhere to live

How do you know if you’re subject to immigration control?

When you arrived in the UK your passport may have been stamped.

The stamp will show the terms of your stay in the UK.

For example, your passport may have been stamped with the words ‘no recourse to public funds’.

When you’re not subject to immigration control

You’re not subject to immigration control if any of the following applies:

  • youre a UK national
  • youre a national of aEuropean Economic Area (EEA)countryor Switzerland
  • youve claimed asylum and you have been told by the Home Office that you can stay in the UK as a refugee
  • the Home Office has told you that you are allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely

Countries in the EEA

EEA countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

You’re subject to immigration control – when can you get tax credits?

You may still be able to claim tax credits but it can depend on any of the following:

  • whether your partner is subject to immigration control
  • what the terms of your permission to stay in the UKare
  • whether you come from a country that has a special agreement on tax credits
  • whether you claimed asylum before5 February 1996 or before 3 April 2000

You’ll still have to meet the normal conditions to be able to get tax credits.

The Tax Credit Office will look at things like:

  • how much you earn
  • your normal working hours
  • whether or not you’re responsible for a child

You have a partner

You can get tax credits, providing you meet the normal qualifying rules such as the hours worked and your income, if you have a partner in the UK who:

  • isn’t subject to immigration control
  • is subject to immigration control, but whose circumstances are covered by any of the sections below

You can’t have ‘recourse to public funds’

You can’t normally get tax credits if you have no recourse to public funds’. But if the money you normally get from overseas stops for a short while you could get tax credits.

As long as you’re likely to start getting your money again soon, you can get tax

credits to cover the gap. You can get them for up to 42 days as long as you still have permission to stay in the UK.

For example, this could apply to you if you’re an overseas student and your overseas grant payment is delayed.

If you need permission to stay in the UK but don’t have it

You can’t normally get tax credits if you need permission to stay in the UK but don’t have it. But you may still be able to get tax credits if all of the following apply:

  • someone else, like a friend or relative, is responsible for paying your upkeep and providing you with somewhere to live while you are in the UK – but they must have permission to stay in the UK
  • your friend or relative gives the Home Office a written statement saying that they’re sponsoring you
  • you’ve been living permanently in the UK for at least five years, either since you came into the UK or since you started being sponsored (whichever date is later)

You may also be able to get tax credits if you’ve been living in the UK for less than five years, but your sponsor – or all your sponsors if you had more than one – has died.

You come from a country that has a special agreement with the EC

There are some countries that have a special agreement with the EC, which guarantees equal social security treatment for workers who are nationals of that country and their families.

This means you may still be able to get tax credits if you are a national of one of these countries.

The countries are:

  • Algeria
  • Croatia
  • the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Morocco
  • San Marino
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

You’re from Algeria, Morocco, San Marino or Tunisia

If you are from one of these countries you can only get Child Tax Credit.

You won’t be able to get Working Tax Credit.

To get Child Tax Credit, you will have to be both responsible for a child and be one of the following:

  • working in the UK legally
  • retired because you’ve reached pension age
  • no longer working because you’re looking after children or you’re pregnant
  • no longer working because you’re sick, disabled, you’ve had an accident at work, you’ve got an industrial illness, or because your partner has died

You’re from Croatia or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

You may be able to get Working Tax Credit as long as you are legally present in the UK and are a national of one of those countries.

You can’t normally get Child Tax Credit unless you’ve been getting payments for your children through Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

You’re from Turkey

You can usually get both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

To get Child Tax Credit, you will have to be both responsible for a child and be one of the following:

  • working in the UK legally
  • retired because you’ve reached pension age
  • no longer working because you’re looking after children or you’re pregnant
  • no longer working because you’re sick, disabled, you’ve had an accident at work, you’ve got an industrial illness, or because your partner has died

To get Working Tax Credit you need to be legally present in the UK and a Turkish national.

If you claimed asylum before 5 February 2006 or 3 April 2000

You may still be able to get Child Tax Credit if you were receiving financial support for your children through Income Support or income-based Jobseekers Allowance.

Help and advice with immigration matters

Source: findlaw.co.uk
Category: Credit

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