To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of covid-19 on people with no recourse to public funds.
1 June 2020
The Home Office is working closely with other government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), through this crisis. Departments are sharing what they are learning from other bodies and charities with each other to ensure we continue to take a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.
Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF 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 applications are being dealt with swiftly and compassionately.
Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the government has put in place are not public funds and therefore are available to migrants with NRPF. The Government has published advice and information about the support available to migrants living here, including where they are subject to NRPF. This information covers statutory sick pay, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk
Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question. The Government has provided more than £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.
In addition, on the 8th April the Chancellor announced an additional £750m package of support for charities across the UK to ensure they can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 pandemic.