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No recourse to public funds is a familiar phrase to many immigrants in the UK. The Home Office will stipulate this as a condition on most visa’s granted under the Immigration Rules.

What does No Recourse to Public Funds mean?

The impact of having this stipulation on a visa is that it prevents the visa holder from having access to public funds, i.e. state benefits. If someone in this situation was to try and access state support, they would usually be prevented from doing so, and potentially in breach of the conditions of their leave.

However, it is possible to apply for this condition to be removed. In fact, at Batley Law, we have successfully applied on behalf for this condition to be removed. See our case studies below.

Is it possible to remove a No Recourse to Public Funds condition?

The Home Office provides for two circumstances in which a person can apply for a change of conditions:

  • since being granted leave to remain your financial circumstances have changed and you have become destitute, or there are now particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of your child on account of your very low income, or there are now exceptional circumstances in your case relating to your financial circumstances; or
  • you were destitute, or there were particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of your child on account of your very low income, or there were exceptional circumstances in your case relating to your financial circumstances, at the time your application was being considered, but you failed to provide evidence of this and you now wish to send in this evidence

Case Study

We were approached by social services in relation to a client that had recently been granted leave to enter. She had been granted entry to enable her to partake in care proceedings in relation to two of her children and ultimately for the children to be placed with her.

Although the client had successfully been granted leave to remain and now had both her children in her care, she was unable to care for them properly as she was not entitled to benefits. As a result, she relied heavily on social services and local community organisations.

We prepared an strong application, backed up by evidence of the client’s financial circumstances (bank statements) and evidence from social services (letters, reports and Court orders) and submitted the application to the Home Office. We asked for urgent consideration because of the client’s circumstances.

The Home Office approved the application within 14 days, and the client was issued with a new BRP card to reflect the change in her visa.

What do I need to show to remove ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ from my visa?

The Home Office have issued guidance setting out the circumstances in which an application to change conditions will be granted. The guidance explains the main requirements and the kind of support evidence required.

The guidance states that you will need to show:

  • you’re destitute;
  • there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of your child on account of your very low income; or
  • there are exceptional circumstances in your case relating to your financial circumstances

The Home Office guidance then provides further detail as to the definition of ‘destitution’. It states that a person is destitute if:

  • they do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not their other essential living needs are met); or
  • they have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet their other essential living needs

How can I apply for a change of conditions to remove ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ from my visa?

You can apply using the application form, available from the gov.uk website. Alternately, you can now also make an online application.

What evidence do I need for a change of conditions to remove ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ from my visa?

The Home Office policy provides a non-exhaustive list of examples of relevant documentary evidence to provide when applying for a change of conditions to allow access to public funds:

You should provide evidence of your financial circumstances and living arrangements. This should include documents that are applicable to your individual circumstances which could include the following:

  • 6 months bank statements for all accounts held by all members of your household, even those belonging to children or ones that are rarely used. These should be fully annotated to explain significant/regular transactions
  • recent payslips accounting for the last 6 months
  • breakdown of monthly income and expenditure
  • recent tenancy agreement or mortgage statement
  • recent utility and other relevant bills
  • recent P45 / P60
  • letter confirming duration of employment, the hours worked and salary (the person writing should state their position in the company and provide contact details)
  • recent letter from Local Authority confirming that support is being provided
  • recent letter from registered charity or other organisation providing support
  • recent letters from family or friends who are providing support, giving full details regarding the extent of this and how often it is provided
  • recent letter confirming that you or your spouse or partner is in receipt of public funds

By Umaira Kausar

Umaira Kausar is one of the specialist immigration lawyers at Batley Law. If you would like to speak to Umaira or any of our team, you can fill out your details on this contact form, and one of our team will be in touch.

The Law Society - Immigration & Asylum

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