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CIH Scotland

Housing advisers

'Zambrano' Carers

This page is for housing advisers. If you are a new arrival please ckick here for information more relevant to you.

A 'Zambrano' carer is a person from a non-EEA state whose residence is required in order to enable a child or dependant adult who is British to live in the UK (or the rest of the EEA).

If the child/dependant is a UK citizen, a parent/carer or parents/carers with sole care of the child/dependant also have a right to reside and work in the UK. This is known as a Zambrano right after the case that established it and it is now included in the EEA regulations (Regulation 16(5)): see the Home Office guidance on how these are applied.

A Zambrano right is granted to a non-EEA parent/carer of a child/dependant who is a British citizen if it is the only way to guarantee the right of the child/dependant to live in the UK (or the rest of the EEA). But it is not issued where another carer may be available for the child/dependant (e.g. the other parent). Domestic violence may, of course, affect the likelihood of this, and parents in this situation should get expert legal advice.

Although a Zambrano carer has the right to live and work in the UK they are not entitled to means-tested benefits. In some cases it may be possible to apply for leave to remain on the basis of family or private life, and also to ask for such leave to allow recourse to public funds. It is important to get expert legal advice about which of these options is suitable for each case as this is a developing area of law.

Although a Zambrano carer is not entitled to benefits in Scotland they are able to apply as homeless and for a housing allocation. If they need help with daily living expenses or to pay rent they can apply to social work if they cannot accommodate or support themselves. Applicants in this situation are often asked to prove that they are destitute: in fact, since they have a right to reside, the law does not require this and they need only ask for help, under the Children (Scotland) Act or the Social Work (Scotland) Act if caring for a vulnerable adult. It is helpful, when approaching social work, to have good quality proof of the fact that no-one else is available to care for the British citizen child or dependant adult, since that is the essential condition for this right to reside.

Background Topics

How can we improve housing for new migrants in the UK?

A Housing Practitioners' Guide to Integrating Asylum Seekers & Refugees

A Housing Practitioners Guide to Integrating Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Published by the Scottish Refugee Council with support from CIH Scotland

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland