Immigrants: Coronavirus

Home Office written question – answered on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effects of the covid-19 outbreak on people with no recourse to public funds.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is planning to take to support those with no recourse to public funds.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government has put in place a range of measures to support people affected by the covid-19 outbreak and we will continue to review the situation to consider if more can be done.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

The Coronavirus job retention scheme, self-employment income support and statutory sick pay are not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Contribution-based benefits are also not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Additionally, measures we have brought forward such as rent and mortgage protections are not considered public funds and can be accessed by migrants with leave to remain.

In addition, the Government has made in excess of £3.2bn of funding available to local authorities in England to assist them in managing the pressures arising out of the pandemic.

People granted leave under the family and human rights routes can apply to have a condition lifted or for access to benefits if their financial circumstances change. Additionally, the Home Office has confirmed in light of the pandemic, anyone who would normally cease to be eligible for accommodation because their asylum claim, and any appeal, has been resolved, is being allowed to remain in their current accommodation for at least three months. This applies both to those who have been refused asylum and granted asylum.

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