KEY POINTS

It is important to check a person’s immigration status, you can check documentation such as passports or contact the Home office via email: ICESSVECWorkflow@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

  • When a person has leave to remain with NRPF, ‘no public funds’ will be written on their immigration documents, for example a Biometric Residence Permit or Home Office letter.
  • If there is no such statement then it can be assumed that a person does have recourse to public funds.

This chapter was added to the APPP in December 2018.

1. Who has NRPF?

No recourse to public funds (NRPF) applies to people who are ‘subject to immigration control’ and, as a result of this, have no entitlement to certain welfare benefits, homelessness assistance and an allocation of social housing through the council register.

The definition of ‘subject to immigration control’ is set out in section 115 (9) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and applies to people with the immigration status types specified in the table below.

A non-EEA national who… Examples
Requires leave to enter or remain in the UK but does not have it
  • Visa overstayer
  • Illegal entrant
Has leave to enter or remain in the UK which is subject to a condition that they have no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
  • Spouse of a British citizen or settled person
  • Tier 4 student and their dependants
  • Leave to remain under family or private life rules
Has leave to enter or remain in the UK that is subject to a maintenance undertaking
  • Adult dependent relative of a British citizen or person with settled status

People with the following types of immigration status will have recourse to public funds:

  • indefinite leave to enter or remain or no time limit (apart from an adult dependent relative – see note B);
  • right of abode;
  • exempt from immigration control;
  • refugee status;
  • humanitarian protection;
  • discretionary leave to remain, for example:
    • leave granted to a person who has received a conclusive grounds decision that they are a victim of trafficking or modern day slavery;
    • destitution domestic violence concession;
  • limited leave to remain granted under family and private life rules where the person is accepted by the Home Office as being destitute;
  • UASC leave.

When a person has leave to remain with NRPF, ‘no public funds’ will be written on their immigration documents, for example a Biometric Residence Permit or Home Office letter.

If there is no such statement then it can be assumed that a person does have recourse to public funds, although they would need to satisfy the relevant benefit or housing eligibility requirements in order to access these.

1.1 EEA Nationals

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their non-EEA family members (who are lawfully present by having a right to reside or derivative right to reside in the UK) are not ‘subject to immigration control’ under section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. They are not excluded from claiming benefits and housing assistance. However, where they are ineligible for these because they fail the right to reside and/or habitual residence tests, they are often referred to as having NRPF. Immigration documentation issued to non-EEA family members with a right to reside or derivative right to reside will not make any reference to public funds.

All Adult Care staff working with people that may have no recourse to public funds should read the Assessing and supporting adults who have no recourse to public funds (England)

2. Checking Immigration Status

When a person requests care and support the local authority will establish their nationality and immigration status for several purposes:

  1. to ascertain any possible entitlement to welfare benefits, housing assistance, employment or Home Office asylum support;
  2. to identify whether the person is in an excluded group and so can only be provided with care and support where this is necessary to prevent a breach of their human rights or EU treaty rights;
  3. where a person is in an excluded group, find out whether there are any immigration claims pending with the Home Office or appeal courts, or other legal barriers preventing them from leaving the UK or returning to their country of origin.

Evidence of nationality and immigration status may be established on the basis of documents provided by the person requesting support but local authorities will routinely check immigration status directly with the Home Office Free email status checking service: ICESSVECWorkflow@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

3. Resources

The NRPF Network has developed comprehensive guidance for local authorities to refer to for information​ about providing people who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) with social services’ support. It is intended to provide a reference for local authorities in England to use in order to apply statutory duties and powers in relation to providing housing and financial support to vulnerable adults who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). Assessing and supporting adults who have no recourse to public funds (England)

The guidance provides information on the specific considerations that must be made when assessing and meeting needs of person with NRPF under the Care Act 2014, applying discretionary powers, and implementing exclusions to support that affect people with certain nationalities and immigration status types. Practitioners must in all cases adhere to the Department of Health and Social Care’s Care and Support Statutory Guidance, referred to as ‘the Statutory Guidance’.

List of resources: