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Child Benefit after Moving to the UK

Check if you and your children qualify for Child Benefit if you move to UK from abroad. Some overseas countries have an agreement with the United Kingdom.

MOVED TO THE UK? Use this section to check if you meet the eligibility rules to claim Child Benefit.

If your family is moving to this country from abroad you may also need to prove:

  • You have the right to set up residence in the United Kingdom.
  • Your child lives with you (as a rule).
  • You are living in the UK based on it being your main home (excludes short period holidays).

How to Claim Child Benefit

As a rule you do not qualify for Child Benefit if you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and your child does not live with you.

But, you may qualify if you are from the EEA or Switzerland and your child lives in Switzerland or a country from within the EEA.

To qualify, you or your partner must pay United Kingdom National Insurance (if employed or self-employed). Or, you can be receiving one of the following benefits:

For those who do not have a job when you arrive in the United Kingdom, to be eligible for Child Benefit you must have been living in the UK for at least three months if you arrived on or after 1 July 2014.

This child benefit rule does not apply if you arrived in the United Kingdom on or after 1 July 2014 and you:

  • Have a family member who works or is self-employed.
  • Were made redundant in the UK (or your family member was) and you are now a jobseeker or in training.
  • Temporarily cannot work because of your health or an accident, but have worked in the UK before.
  • Usually live in the UK and were getting Child Benefit before moving abroad for less than one year.
  • Usually live in the UK and were in the UK for 3 months, before moving abroad for less than one year.
  • Paid Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions while working abroad, and paid these within 3 months of returning.
  • Are Croatian and have a certificate to work, or your family member has one.
  • Are a refugee.
  • Got discretionary leave to enter or stay in the UK, and can get benefits.
  • Received leave to stay as a displaced person and you can get benefits.
  • Received leave to stay and have applied for ‘leave to remain’ as a victim of domestic violence.
  • Received humanitarian protection.

Note: You and your family can apply for ‘settled status UK EU citizens‘ to continue living in the UK beyond June 2021. The scheme is now open following the end of the Brexit transition period.

UK Immigration Control

When you enter the UK if you become subject to immigration control you cannot claim Child Benefit unless you are:

  • A sponsored immigrant (someone else has agreed to be financially responsible for you)
  • From Algeria, Morocco, San Marino, Tunisia or Turkey and working in the UK
  • From a country that has an agreement with the UK for Child Benefit

Countries with a UK Agreement

  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Canada
  • The Channel Islands
  • Israel
  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Serbia

Note: Payments change for Child Benefit if you leave the United Kingdom. You must also inform the Child Benefit Office if you go abroad for more than eight (8) weeks.

Claiming Child Benefit If You Move to United Kingdom