What is NRPF?
The ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition excludes people from accessing certain welfare benefits and state support.
Migrants in the UK live in what the government calls a ‘hostile environment’, with barriers to healthcare, housing, education and legal advice. In 2013, the government began routinely granting people with human rights cases leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF). People with this status can work and pay tax, but are unable to claim benefits or access most state support.
Who is most affected?
The NRPF condition is imposed on almost all migrants granted limited leave to remain. The condition is discretionary – and can therefore be challenged – where someone’s leave is based on certain human rights grounds and:
- the applicant is destitute (without the means to afford adequate accommodation and essential living needs);
- there are ‘particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child of a parent in receipt of a very low income’
These are the people that we aim to support.
What’s the problem?
What’s the solution?
Find out more:
Working fulltime on minimum wage does not usually cover the cost of London rents and supporting a family.
Typically, we see single parents who are working fulltime around childcare commitments and relying on overstretched friends for support and accommodation. Their status means they are not entitled to support including working tax credits or free school meals for their children. We also see people are unable to work at all due to their physical health or age.
Debts and arrears accrue over time and make people vulnerable to exploitation in dependant relationships and exhausting employment. Broken relationships or redundancy can quickly lead to homelessness.
The legal remedy is an immigration application. This involves a high level of literacy and collating stacks of documents (finished applications typically weigh over a kilo). There is no legal aid available for this particular application, but only OISC registered advisors are legally allowed to assist. This essentially means that people have to make the applications alone, pay hundreds of pounds that they don't have for a private lawyer or seek pro bono support.
These applications have to be remade every 2.5 years for a period of 10 years, when the person finally becomes eligible to apply for settlement.
We can provide pro bono legal support.
We also want to support people in the short term through solidarity and empathy. We want to support people in the longer term by challenging the policy and encouraging and equipping people to navigate future legal complications.
We continue to seek solutions.