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No Recourse to Public Funds needs Urgent Reform - Statement

Latest figures from the Home Office demonstrate the need for urgent reform around the government’s No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) policy. Their own statistics show over 14,000 applications to remove these harmful restrictions have been lodged since the start of the pandemic, with approximately 76% of applications being successful.

Generally, applications for conditions to be lifted are because the person has become destitute or there is a grave concern for the welfare of a child. We believe that the fact that 76% of applications have been successful shows that the policy is defunct and requires urgent reform.

At Vauxhall Law Centre we regularly see people left homeless and destitute as a result of this cruel policy which restricts access to social and government support. As a consequence underfunded local authorities are pushed to replace this support using their already overburdened budgets and services.

Meanwhile, for those who are living in destitution with NRPF and need to have the condition lifted it can be extremely hard to find an immigration advisor able to make an application to do so. Advisors must be OISC accredited and there is a lack of accredited advisers in this area. This restricts vulnerable people’s ability to access justice and leaves them as victims of ongoing NRPF conditions which are wholly unfair and unsafe.

We believe that the no recourse to public funds policy is fundamentally failing, it forces destitution on individuals and families and strains local communities and councils. Without this awful policy, many migrants would have access to vital homelessness support and benefits, and a nosedive into destitution could be avoided. We also believe that the removal of this policy would avoid the spiralling costs related to homelessness, deteriorating physical and mental health and the welfare of vulnerable children and adults.

It is within the government’s power to ensure migrants and their families are not forced into destitution. Yet, the Nationality and Borders Bill passing through Parliament does nothing to eradicate destitution within migrant populations. The Bill further strips back the rights of migrants and reduces routes to achieving a legal immigration status. Vauxhall Law Centre stands strongly against the Nationality and Borders Bill and calls on decision makers to pass legislation that allows migrants and their families to live in dignity, without fear of destitution.

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