Lost your income, but your visa says ‘No recourse to Public Funds’ – What can you do?
Many U.K. residents have lost their income in the COVID-19 outbreak. It is a difficult time for everyone, but migrants have particular worries when their immigration status includes a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ restriction (NRPF).
What can these people do?
What counts as Public Funds?:‘Public Funds’ has a special meaning in immigration law, and not all access to Government help is prevented. The restriction does not stop access to the NHS, support for Children in need from Social or Children’s Services or receipt of help directly or through employers from:
– the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
– the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme
– Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay relief
– Coronavirus small business grants;
– Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans- National Insurance contribution-based benefits including ‘new-style’ or contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance, incapacity benefit, retirement pension, bereavement benefit, guardian’s allowance, statutory maternity pay.
Families where one person has a NRPF restriction:If you are part of a couple where only one of you has ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’, for example the Partner of a British Citizen, and you need to claim Universal Credit or other help then a claim can still be made. The claim form should be completed by the British / Settled partner, but should include details of all household members, with an added note that one person has a NRPF restriction. The amount of benefits paid will be that for a single person, plus any eligible children. If the DWP wrongly pay for the whole family this can be corrected later and should not lead to refusal of a future visa. Claimants should keep copies to show that they mentioned NRPF in their claim.Families who have accessed all possible help and still cannot manage:If permission to stay in the U.K. was granted as a Partner, Parent, or for Private life or other Article ECHR reasons an application can be made to lift the NRPF restriction and this will be granted where:
– a person is destitute (homeless or unable to meet essential living needs); or
– there are compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child.
A formal application needs to be made to the Home Office, with evidence, and we can help with this. I’ve found a new job but my visa says I can’t take it: COVID-19 has closed business and ended some jobs, but new employment is available in the Food and Health sectors, amongst others. Migrants in the U.K. as Tier 2 workers, Sole Representatives, Entrepreneurs, the Ankara agreement and under some other categories are not automatically free to take up new employments. They should seek specialist advice before making any changes and we can help with this.We’re working remotely during these difficult times, but we can still help you. Get in touch by email or telephone. We can deal with most applications by way of email, telephone calls and scanned documents.