No Recourse to Public Funds: data and developments (December 2020)
Most migrants who are non-EEA nationals and have been in the UK for less than 5 years will have No Recourse to Public Funds attached to their visa. It means they’re not entitled to most welfare benefits, including Universal Credit, Child Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. In the 9 months since the pandemic began, we’ve seen a 91% year-on-year increase in NRPF issues. Four in five people who have come to us with an NRPF issue since the pandemic began have been from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background. This should be looked at urgently in the Home Office’s ongoing evaluation of the hostile/compliant environment policy and measures, with findings from this evaluation made public.
As of 1 December 2020, the Immigration Rules changes mean rough sleeping is a ground for refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK. More than a million people with NRPF attached to their leave to remain fall into the group of those potentially affected by this change. Our evidence shows a major rise in people with NRPF issues also needing support with rent arrears and homelessness. Early indications prior to the lifting of the eviction ban in January suggest a risk of significant levels of evictions and homelessness for people with NRPF in 2021, at the same time that rough sleeping can potentially mean someone can be deported or have their permission to remain in the UK cancelled.