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Home Office softens no recourse to public funds policy following High Court defeat


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Revised Home Office guidance should make it easier for migrants with family visas to claim benefits if necessary. The change follows a recent High Court decision which John has explained in some detail, along with the wider context of no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

As of today, the updated policy includes the following new paragraph:

The position in Appendix FM

Paragraph GEN.1.11A provides the basis in the Immigration Rules for exceptions to the wider policy on migrants not having recourse to public funds. In all cases where an applicant has been granted leave, or is seeking leave, under the family or private life routes the NRPF condition must be lifted or not imposed if an applicant is destitute or is at risk of imminent destitution without recourse to public funds.

A later paragraph, also in bold, rams home the point that imminent destitution can now be factored in:

It is good practice to check before concluding consideration of an application where a specific request has been made for access to public funds that the risk of imminent destitution has been properly addressed.

There is plenty more additional material; for those who need to go through it in detail, the old version of the policy (version 6.0) can be found here and compared with the new one (version 7.0).

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister indicated that the government may rethink the no recourse to public funds policy more generally, but these High Court-ordered changes are not connected to that development.

The Unity Project provides free legal support to migrants facing homelessness or extreme poverty because of the no recourse to public funds condition: www.unity-project.org.uk.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.