Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

No Recourse to Public Funds

No Recourse to Public Funds is a condition attached to work, family and study visas which restricts access to much of the welfare safety net for almost 1.4 million people, including around 175,000 children. This includes vital benefits like Universal Credit and child benefit and a range of other support like homelessness assistance or access to refuges that rely on public funds to operate.

Why things need to change

New Citizens Advice research reveals some of the heart-breaking challenges people with NRPF face with little or no help from the benefits system. Many have been pushed into crisis by the pandemic, others struggle with low pay or insecure work.

  • People with NRPFare four times more likely to be behind on at least one essential bill (81% against 20% for the UK population) with rent, utilities and council tax the most common bills missed.

  • Almost half (48%) report living in overcrowded accommodation and 1 in 5 (18%) have experienced homelessness or housing insecurity.

  • Three-quarters (75%) have suffered from at least one negative consequence of having NRPF, including not being able to feed themselves or their family, or afford clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather.

  • 1 in 4 (23%) already can’t afford to heat their homes. With big price rises now kicking in for fuel bills, many more are likely to face impossible choices this winter.

The research also shows that people with NRPF are finding it hard to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Rates of part-time and insecure work have both increased and a huge majority of people with NRPF (79%) are earning less now than before the pandemic.

What we’re asking for

Citizens Advice is asking the government to provide people building their lives in the UK with access to the welfare safety net, by removing the NRPF condition for those who are habitually resident here.

What we’re saying

Read our latest report: