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Migrants: Coronavirus

Question for Home Office

UIN 38004, tabled on 20 April 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial support her Department is providing during the covid-19 outbreak to people that hold visas that restrict their access to public funds.

Answered on

29 April 2020

The Government has put in place a range of measures to support people affected by the covid-19 outbreak and we will continue to review the situation to consider if more can be done.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home, and I can assure you that the applications are being dealt with swiftly and compassionately.

The Coronavirus job retention scheme, self-employment income support and statutory sick pay are not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Contribution-based benefits are also not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Additionally, measures we have brought forward such as rent and mortgage protections are not considered public funds and can be accessed by migrants with leave to remain.

The Government has made in excess of £3.2bn of funding available to local authorities in England to assist them in managing the pressures arising out of the pandemic.

Answered by

Home Office