Downing St said David Cameron would say on Monday that councils would have to introduce a residency test to stop immigrants gaining immediate access.
Local authorities can already set their own criteria, but many do not.
The Bishop of Dudley said politicians’ response to immigration was “wholly disproportionate”.
Both Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg have recently given speeches on immigration.
And a poll conducted in Eastleigh on the day of the by-election on February 28 suggested 55% of people who voted for UKIP – which came second – said the issue was their biggest reason for supporting the party