Child Benefit if you move to the UK

Everyone needs to meet the eligibility rules to claim Child Benefit. If you’re moving to the UK from abroad you also need to prove that you:

  • live in the UK as your main home - except for short periods, like holidays (in most cases, your child must live with you)
  • have the right to reside in the UK

If you have ‘settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme you are eligible for Child Benefit. If you have ‘pre-settled’ status check the additional eligibility rules.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Your child does not live with you in the UK

Usually you will not qualify if you’re from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and your child does not live with you.

If your child lives in an EU country, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein (the EEA), or Switzerland

You may be eligible for child benefit if either:

You or your partner must pay UK National Insurance (if you’re employed or self-employed) or get one of these benefits:

  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • State Pension
  • widow’s benefits
  • Bereavement Support Payment
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

You do not have a job when you arrive in the UK

You could be eligible if you:

  • have a family member who works or is self-employed
  • were made redundant in the UK (or your family member was) and you’re 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
  • paid Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance contributions while working abroad, and paid these within 3 months of returning
  • are a refugee
  • have been granted discretionary leave to enter or stay in the UK, and can get benefits
  • have been given leave to stay as a displaced person and you can get benefits
  • have been given leave to stay and have applied for ‘leave to remain’ as a victim of domestic violence
  • have been granted humanitarian protection

You’re ‘subject to immigration control’

You cannot claim Child Benefit if you’re subject to immigration control, unless you’re:

  • a sponsored immigrant - someone else has agreed to be financially responsible for you
  • from Albania, Morocco, Tunisia or Turkey and working in the UK
  • from a country that has an agreement with the UK for Child Benefit

Countries that have an agreement with the UK are:

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