Claiming Job Seekers after returning from abroad

Claiming Job Seekers after returning from abroad

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So back to the UK.

Obtaining a valid Z visa for a UK national applying outside either the UK or CHINA is nigh on impossible.

Back in the UK

It’s not a social visit. There is nothing that ties me to the UK. I need:

  • A new passport
  • Process a new VISA
  • Get the money to leave the country

Maybe weeks, maybe months. Certainly not long-term unemployed. More transitionary.

Went to the jobcenter in Madeley, just down the road from where I’m living at the moment – Broseley.

The Habitual Residence Test

Since January 2014, the regulations have changed. Whereas before, you would explain your circumstances. They would give you the money to survive whilst you were in the country, then you would get out of their hair when you had things sorted out.

No longer the case.

They ask you to come into the office to take what’s know as a habitual residence test or (HRT). This can tell them whether they are able to entitle you to receive any benefits.

This depends on your class one national insurance payments, plus the length of time you’ve lived abroad.

If you fail this test, you will have to wait three months before you can make a claim.


Went online, filled in the application. I received a text. It simply said:

Your appointment is 09:00 on 29/05/14 at Bridgnorth JCP. Severn Street, Low Town, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15 6BP. You must attend to complete your claim. If you cannot attend call 08456043719 and select option 7 Textphone 08456088551. Remember to bring the information requested. Do not reply to this text

  • It didn’t inform me of the required documents, either online through the link provided OR on in the text message. Didn’t provide me with a hard copy of the request to attend interview.
  • Asked me to attend the interview at a jobcenter which WAS NOT my local jobcenter (£3.50 each way on the bus).
  • Requested that I come in not 1 or 2 times. But 3 times to make a claim at a jobcenter which was not my local jobcenter.

When I arrived at the jobcenter, they informed me I had come without the proper documents.

You commitment to us

Before I had completed the HRT. Before any mention was made as to whether I would receive any benefits or not:

  • It was requested that I make steps to find a job 7 days a week, ringing the agency directly quoting the job in question.
  • At the end of every week, physically attend the jobcenter and ‘discuss’ my jobsearch.
  • Fill in a form every day telling them the name and address phone number of the employer, who I had applied to. The job I was applying for, what I will ‘do next’. ( I never understood what that meant).

How do I pay my rent? How can I buy food? How do I afford the £7 round trip to the jobcenter? Who’s going to pay my phone bills? How will I be able to afford to attend interviews or second interviews?

After fielding these questions and receiving inadequate replies – the lady asked me to come in for two additional interviews. I said no.

So this is basically what you can expect. I’ll update this story as it goes along.

Update 02/07


As I thought, it’s not worth making the application unless you’ve been in the country for 3 months.

Despite what they might tell you at the job center about class 1 national insurance contributions. Unless you’ve worked abroad for a least 12 months, this won’t apply to you.

To have paid into the system, you have to have been in the country, and I’m not aware of why they make this claim.


Save a little before you come home and if you bore easily, expect to be getting a job.

Also, don’t expect any kind of truth or understanding about your profession, circumstances or reasons for returning.
Like the application for your JSA, this just won’t happen.



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