S.115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 states that a person will have ‘no recourse to public funds’ if they are ‘subject to immigration control’. This means they have no entitlement to most welfare benefits, including income support, universal credit, housing benefit and a range of tax credits.
People ‘subject to immigration control’ include those with limited leave to remain, and this also extends to family members. For example, spouses/partners, children, adult dependant relatives and parents of children in the UK all have this condition imposed on their leave in these cases. Additionally, this is commonly imposed on asylum seekers and those who have overstayed their visas.
Failure to comply with the No Recourse to Public Funds condition may result in:
- Your current permission to stay in the UK being revoked
- Refusal of your visa extension application
- Refusal of future settlement applications, including Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or British citizenship.
Applying for a change of conditions
Paragraph GEN.1.11A of Appendix FM provides that certain types of leave will normally be granted subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds, unless the applicant has provided the decision-maker with:
(a) satisfactory evidence that the applicant is destitute as defined in s. 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; or
(b) satisfactory evidence that there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child of a parent in receipt of a very low income.
For these purposes, a person is ‘destitute’ if they do not have adequate accommodation or enough money to meet living expenses for themselves and any dependants.
When leave has been granted subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds, an application must be made to lift that condition before public funds can be accessed. The Home Office provides for two circumstances in which a person can apply for a change of conditions:
- since being granted leave, your financial situation has changed and you have become destitute, or there are now particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of your child on account of your very low income, or there are now exceptional circumstances in your case relating to your financial circumstances; or
- you were destitute, or there were particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of your child on account of your very low income, or there were exceptional circumstances in your financial circumstances at the time of your application, but you failed to provide evidence of this and would now like to rely on this.
You may be able to apply for this change of conditions to allow access to public funds if you have leave to remain under the 10-year parent or partner route, and where the refusal of your application for leave to remain would breach your rights under ECHR Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life).
If you require immigration advice in relation to the issues above, we can help. Please contact us on 020 7401 6887 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org