Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ/Часто Задаваемые Вопросы
Q1: I came to the UK from Latvia in 2015 with my wife and 2 children of the school age. Privately rented properties are very expensive. Can I apply for social housing from a local council?
A1: If you are working in employment or self-employment as an European national with the right to reside in the UK you can approach the Local Authority housing department in the area where you have been living for at least 6 months. If you meet their eligibility criteria, for example being homeless or in priority need they have a duty to provide you with a suitable accommodation in the social housing sector, but also in private housing sector.
Q2: I have been refused asylum by the Court and my asylum support stopped a week ago. My solicitor told me that I need to provide a fresh evidence if I want to re-open my asylum case. In the mean-time I am looking for a temporary place to live.
A2: As a refused asylum seeker there is no support available either from the Home Office or from the local Council unless you are a vulnerable person because of your age or illness. If you need a place to stay temporarily you can contact certain charities who can link you with private people who have a spare room available in their homes. Some can provide room only, some can also provide food and essentials.
Q3: I am an European national with a permanent right of residence in the UK. I would like my wife and my step-daughter who are non-European nationals to join me in the UK. How they can they do this?
A3: They need to apply for a family permit, currently free of charge, on-line and they need to provide relevant evidence including evidence of their relationship to you and that they are coming to join you in the UK. Once in the UK they need to apply for a residence card as your family members to prove that they have right to reside and that your wife has the right to work.
Q4: This school term I have been asked by my child’s school to provide nationality and country of birth of my child. Do I have to provide it? And if I do not provide it are there any consequences for me or my child?
A4: There is no legal obligation to supply this information to your child’s school, however this legal right of refusal has not been properly communicated to parents. It is not likely to have a significant impact on Department for Education, unless parents refuse on a mass scale. For those who want to find out more about the campaign see the website ‘Against Borders for Children’ Twitter (@schools_abc).
Q5: My child turned 16 in August this year, does she needs to continue in full time education until she is 18?
A5: The young person does not have to stay in school or college or participate in post-16 education or training. They will be given a choice between a full-time education, work-based learning, part-time education/training (if they are already employed or self-employed) or volunteering for more than 20hours per week.
Q6: My child is too ill to attend school and is in hospital. Their stay in hospital is expected to be for some weeks. What happens to their schooling?
A6: It is the local education authority duty to arrange suitable education for your child. It may be in hospital schools or hospital teaching units. Your child who is admitted to hospital should have their needs assessed as soon as their conditions allow. The child who is at home unwell for more than 3 weeks the local authority’s duty is to arrange for a suitable home tuition.
Q7: I am an EEA national and I wish to continue living in the UK after Brexit. I would like to obtain an official document about my right to live in the UK.
A7: The type of document depends on how long you have lived in the UK. If you have been living in the UK for less than 5 years, then you can apply for a registration certificate to prove that you have the right to live and work in the UK. This certificate make it easier to claim benefits and services. Cost of application is £65 for each applicant.
If you have been living in the UK for more than 5 years working or being self-employed you can apply for a document certifying permanent residence. Cost of application is currently £65 for each applicant.
Q8: I am an EEA national and would like to apply for British citizenship.
A8: British citizenship would give you the automatic right to live and work in the UK. You have to first obtain a confirmation of a permanent residence to prove you have lived in the UK for 5 years. You need to pass Life in the UK test – a multiple choice knowledge of the UK examination. You also need to have a proven knowledge of the English language by passing an acceptable qualification and to have no criminal record. Cost of application is currently £1236.
Q9: Is hospital care free under the NHS in England?
A9: It is free if you are ordinarily resident in the UK (your centre of life is in the UK – home, family, work, etc). If you are visiting or recently moved to England the charges may occur. However, accident and emergency services, family planning services (not pregnancy termination or infertility treatment) treatment for most infectious including sexually transmitted diseases and treatment for physical and mental condition caused by torture, domestic violence and some other forms of violence is free, unless you came to England specifically to receive such treatment.
Q10: I am struggling to pay my phone, internet and TV bill. What do I do?
A10: Contact your service provider as soon as possible and explain the situation. Make arrangements with your provider to set up a payment plan – to spread the payment. Your provider should not ask you to pay more than you can afford. However, if you do not pay and do not tell them about your problems they may charge you extra money for non payment.
Q11: My energy bill is too high, how I can challenge it with my supplier?
A11: Your bill can be high for a number of reasons such as the bill is estimated, there is a mistake with meter reading, billed for wrong meter or a price change.
You need to establish what exactly is a problem and contact your supplier either by giving the actual meter reading or ask them to test the meter if the meter is faulty. If the bill is too high because of a price change you may need to change your supplier. In the case of a price change your supplier has to notify you 30 days prior to the change.
Q12: What is a smart meter and do I have to have one installed?
A12: Smart meter is the new kind of gas and electricity meter. Their introduction is part of a government scheme across the UK. Smart meter can automatically send daily meter readings to your supplier. A smart meter will not automatically save you money and you do not have to have one installed if you do not wish. If you are forced to have one installed against your wish you should contact Citizens Advice Bureau’s Consumer helpline. You can also check www.stopsmartmeters.org.uk to find out more about smart meters.
Q13: My landlord has informed me that they are increasing rent. I cannot afford the increased rent. What can I do?
A13: Your landlord has to follow certain procedures and provide you with a written notice of their intention to increase rent. If you cannot afford increased rent, you can dispute it and appeal to the court against it. But it is not always successful and it depends whether the rent reflects rents of other properties in the area. The landlord can evict you if you do not pay rent as agreed. You will have to look for accommodation elsewhere privately or approach your local council for help.
Q14: I have a problem getting paid for the work I have done for my employer. What steps I need to take to resolve the problem.
A14: Firstly, you to talk to your employer to find out why. If you cannot agree on how much you should have been paid, you can challenge your employer. You should make sure that you have the evidence to show how many hours you have worked, and if after speaking to your employer the problem have not been resolved, you can raise the issue with your trade unions, write a grievance letter, or take your employer to a tribunal.
Q15: I have heard about Universal Credit. What is it?
A15: Universal Credit is a new benefit that is replacing some individual benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance, Housing Benefit or Tax Credit. Not everybody can apply it depends amongst other things on which postal area you live in. It is mainly for people who are unemployed or earn less than £338 a month, but you can get it in some other circumstances.
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