‘No recourse to public funds' campaign

Thank you for contacting me about the ‘no recourse to public funds campaign’ as the Coronavirus outbreak continues.

As the MP for Penrith and The Border, I am doing everything I can in Westminster and Cumbria to address the concerns of my constituents. I am feeding in requests to Government for support for all areas of our economy and community and will continue to do so. Equally, I am feeding in to Government regularly and pushing for more flexibility and breadth in the very welcome support schemes that the Government has introduced during this crisis.

Those who arrive in the UK to establish their family life must do so on a basis that prevents burdens on the state and the wider taxpayer. It is a key principle that those who benefit from the state should contribute towards it. 

As I understand it, those who have leave to remain in the UK on human rights grounds can apply to have their no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition removed if they would otherwise be destitute. Local authorities can also provide a safety net for those in a genuine need for care that does not solely arise from destitution. These include cases where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health issues or family cases. 

The protection of public funds through NRPF is a standard condition applied to those staying in the UK with a temporary immigration status. Indefinite Leave to Remain is set as the general threshold for permitting migrants to access public funds.

You may be reassured to hear that these measures have been developed over many years and by successive Governments. I also welcome the fact that they are consistent with legislation in comparable countries and our position was approved by Parliament in primary legislation.

I very much welcome the fact that Coronavirus has been included in the list of infectious diseases. This means that anyone experiencing symptoms, irrespective of their immigration status will be treated free of charge. A dedicated Coronavirus immigration help-centre is available to provide assistance and this can be accessed by emailing CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Thank you again for contacting me and please keep safe.

With best wishes
Neil