Home Office written question – answered at on 2 May 2024.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential impact of No Recourse to Public Funds on people who are (a) destitute and (b) facing destitution.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)

The Home Office is committed to the continuous review of the NRPF policy and are engaging with public and private sector organisations on a regular basis to understand the impacts of the NRPF condition.

The Government published an overarching Equality Impact Assessment on the Compliant Environment measures, of which No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) is part; Compliant environment: overarching equality impact assessment (accessible) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

In general, temporary migrants are expected to support themselves and any accompanying family members in the UK without recourse to public funds. This is a well-established principle that protects taxpayer-funded public services from becoming overburdened.

Nonetheless, there are important safeguards in place for those in genuine need. Migrants with permission under the Family or Private Life routes, or the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) routes, can apply, for free, to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘Change of Conditions’ application. An individual on these routes can apply to have their NRPF condition lifted if they are destitute or at risk of imminent destitution, if there are reasons relating to the welfare of a relevant child, or where they are facing exceptional circumstances affecting their income or expenditure.

For all other immigration routes (other than Family or Private Life, or the Hong Kong BN(O) routes), the general expectation is that they will return to their home country should they become unable to meet their essential living needs in the UK. If there are particularly compelling circumstances why leaving the UK is not possible, discretion can be used to consider if the circumstances justify access to public funds.

Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support, regardless of immigration status, if it is established either that there is a risk to the wellbeing of a child or there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution: for example, where a person has community care needs or serious health problems. Support provided to a child by local authorities is not dependent on the immigration status of the child or their parent(s).

Migrants with NRPF who have paid the necessary National Insurance contributions or have relevant periods of employment or self-employment, can claim contributory benefits and statutory payments such as New Style Jobseekers Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay, and the State Pension.

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