No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)
What is NRPF?
‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) applies to a person who
- is subject to immigration control;
- does not have the right to work (with the exception of people granted leave as spouses or civil partners, and those registered to work); and
- has no entitlement to welfare benefits, public housing or UK Border Agency asylum support.
Who has NRPF?
- refused asylum seekers whose appeal rights are exhausted
- people who have overstayed their visa
- people on sponsorship visas
- people who originally arrived in the UK on a visa and have subsequently put in further representations to remain in the country
- people on student visas
- some EEA (European Economic Area) migrants
What responsibilities do local authorities have for people who have NRPF?
Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide support, including accommodation and subsistence, to certain categories of people who have NRPF and have assessed care needs or where certain adults have responsibility for children that are destitute. This is a complex area of work involving the interface of immigration, community care and human rights legislation.
On what basis might someone be eligible for local authority support?
On account of having care needs, including:
- mental or physical ill health, disability or age
- being pregnant or a nursing mother
- being an adult with responsibility for children
- Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC)
- Being ‘destitute plus’ by itself or alongside any of the above this may include cases where a person has suffered or is threatened with domestic abuse
Who is excluded from local authority support?
Under immigration legislation there are four categories of people who are excluded from support by local authorities. The four categories are:
- nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA)
- people with refugee status granted by a country within the EEA
- people unlawfully present in the UK (including those whose visa has expired)
- refused asylum seekers who have refused to co-operate with removal directions
However, there may still be a duty on a local authority to provide support where failure to do so would result in a breach of an individual’s or family’s human rights.
What do I do if I think someone has NRPF?
All cases of suspected NRPF should be reported to Social Services.
When this happens a Social Worker will undertake a community care assessment reviewing the specific circumstances of an individual or family using the relevant legislation and will reach a decision.
Where there is a legal duty to provide support the Social Worker will clarify this to all relevant council departments and partner agencies.
What happens to people for whom the local authority is not allowed to provide support?
A range of faith groups, community groups and voluntary organisations provide support to vulnerable people including those who have No Recourse to Public Funds.
Through partnership working the council would seek to identify alternative support systems.
Where can I find out more information about NRPF?
The NRPF Network was established to provide information and guidance to local authorities on NRPF issues. It is hosted by Islington Council.