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CIH Scotland

New Arrivals

Family members of British and Irish citizens

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser please click here for information more relevant to you.

If you are the partner or child of a British or Irish citizen your rights depend on the immigration status you have.

Partners of British citizens

If you are the family member of a British or Irish citizen who simply had right of abode in the UK, you may have limited leave to remain, indefinite leave to remain or some other type of status. Your rights to housing and benefits will depend on what that status is.

If you are the family member of a British citizen who lived in an EU member state before 1 February 2020 you may have ‘Surinder Singh rights’ and be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Family members of people born in Northern Ireland

If you are not British and not from the EEA, you can apply to the EU settlement scheme if you are the family member of a ‘person of Northern Ireland’. A ‘person of Northern Ireland’ is someone who was born in Northern Ireland to mother or father who (at that time) was either:

  • a British citizen
  • an Irish citizen; or
  • a person with settled status.

You are the ‘family member’ of a person of Northern Ireland if you are:

  • his/her spouse or civil partner
  • aged under 21 and you are the child, grandchild or great grandchild of that person or of his/her spouse or civil partner; or
  • his/her child, grandchild, great grandchild, parent or grandparent or that of his/her spouse/civil partner and you are dependent on that person’s support for your essential living needs.

From 24 August 2020, you are entitled to universal credit/housing benefit (UC/HB) and to housing and homelessness assistance as a family member if:

If you are claiming UC/HB you are also entitled if the person you accompany has (or would have if s/he was an EU national) some other EEA right to reside, other than as a jobseeker or as the parent of a British child.

Family members and the EU Settlement Scheme

If you have applied for and been granted ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme you have the right to housing and benefits even if you no longer have an EU right to reside.

If you have applied for and been granted ‘pre-settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme you will only have rights to housing and benefits to help with your rent (UC/HB) in line with your EU rights to reside.

Parents of a British child

If you entered the UK before 1 January 2021 and you are the parent of a British citizen child, with no other rights to live in the UK, you have the right to live in the UK if it is the only way your child can stay in the EEA (because you are your child's only carer). Your right to reside is derived from EU law and expired on 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 onwards, you can only continue to live and work in the UK lawfully if you made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme before then.

This right allows you to work, to join the council housing waiting list and to get housing as homeless, but it does not allow you to get universal credit, housing benefit or most other benefits except contributory benefits.  If this is your situation and you need help with housing or housing costs, you will need to go to the social work department. But if you are granted EU settled status you can get full access to housing and benefits and you have the same rights as a person with indefinite leave to remain.

More Information

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland