Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Ireland - Habitual residency

Am I a habitual resident?

The term ‘habitually resident’ means that you have to have your centre of interests in Ireland. The term also conveys permanence - a person has been here for some time and intends to stay here for the foreseeable future. A person who does not have a right to reside in the State cannot be regarded as habitually resident.

Determination of habitual residence relies heavily on fact. The manner in which the habitual residency requirements are applied and the factors used to determine if a person is habitually resident in Ireland, for social welfare purposes, are set out in Irish legislation. When determining whether a person is habitually resident all the person’s circumstances including, in particular, the following factors are considered:

  • Length and continuity of residence a person has in Ireland or in any other particular country.
  • Length and purpose of any absence the person has had from Ireland.
  • Nature and pattern of the person’s employment.
  • The person’s main centre of interest.
  • The future intentions of the person as they appear from all the circumstances.

A person must be habitually resident in the State when applying for and in receipt of the following:

  • Back to Work Family Dividend;
  • Blind Pension;
  • Carer's Allowance;
  • Child Benefit;    
  • Disability Allowance;
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance;
  • Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory);
  • Jobseeker's Allowance;
  • Jobseeker's Allowance Transition;
  • One-Parent Family Payment;
  • State Pension (Non-Contributory);
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance (other than one-off exceptional and urgent needs payments) and
  • Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pensions (Non-Contributory).

Your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and any dependent children you have are not required to satisfy the habitual residency requirements in their own right.

Know your rights

The links below set out your rights in law, they are not European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:

Commission publication and website:

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