No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)
Individuals with BN(O) visas will have a ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition attached to their leave. They will not be able to access benefits and services classed as public funds. However, they will be able to apply for a change of conditions to have their NRPF condition lifted in the case of destitution or where there is a risk of imminent destitution, a risk to the welfare of a child or if the applicant is experiencing exceptional financial circumstances. They will also have permission to work and study. Those on the BN(O) route are entitled to access a state funded school for their children if they live in the UK.
Destitution and the lifting of NRPF status
In line with other immigration routes across the system that allow for a change of conditions, a person is considered destitute if:
- they do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not their other essential living needs are met).
- they have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it but cannot meet their other essential living needs.
- they are at risk of destitution if either or both of the above are imminent.
What is a Public Fund?
There is a difference between a “public fund” and public money, not all public money is a “public fund”. So what is a “public fund”?
Certain benefits are classed as ‘public funds’ for immigration purposes and cannot be claimed by a person who has no recourse to public funds, unless an exception applies. These benefits are listed at paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules and in the Home Office guidance on public funds.
The following benefits are classed as ‘public funds’ for immigration purposes:
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Council Tax Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction (also called Council Tax Support)
- Discretionary payment made by a council in England under section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 (some types of local welfare assistance), not including any payment made under the Energy Rebate Scheme 2022
- Discretionary support payment made in accordance with any regulations made under article 135 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015
- Disability living allowance
- Domestic Rate Relief (Northern Ireland)
- Housing Benefit
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Payment made from a welfare fund under the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015
- Personal Independence Payment
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Social fund payment – includes:
- Budgeting loan
- Sure start maternity grant
- Funeral payment
- Cold weather payment
- Winter fuel payment
- State Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
More information about each of these benefits is available on gov.uk.
You can also contact your local advice service for information such as Citizen’s Advice.
This information was taken from the NRPF network, you can find more information on what is a public fund on there website here NRPF Network
What is the process for BN(O) status holders who need to apply for a change of condition?
Applicants who wish to apply for a change of conditions can do so online via the following link: Change of Conditions (visas-immigration.service.gov.uk).
Advice and assistance with a change of conditions application would need to be provided by an immigration adviser registered at OISC level 1 or above. All immigration advisers in the UK must be registered with Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner or be a member of an approved professional body, for example The Law Society. Immigration advisers can help with most things to do with immigration, but they do not make immigration decisions. Check if the adviser is registered and if they charge a fee before you use them: find an immigration adviser.
No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF Network) has also produced some resources on destitution funding, change of conditions, and Leave to Remain with NRPF.