The immigration status of a person who is not a British citizen (non-UK national) will determine whether they are able to work and access public funds.
All non-UK nationals are required to obtain leave to enter or remain in order to live in the UK, unless they have the right of abode or are exempt from immigration control. For example, Irish citizens are exempt from immigration control, so are not required to obtain leave to enter or remain to visit or live in the UK.
When a person is granted leave to enter or remain for a limited period, their leave will be subject to conditions relating to employment and whether they can access public funds. Different conditions apply depending on the type of leave that the person has been granted. When limited leave to enter is granted to a person to visit, study, or work in the UK, they will have a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) condition imposed. When a person has a NRPF condition, they will not be able to claim most benefits or access local authority housing.
When a person is granted indefinite leave to remain or settled status, they will not be subject to any restrictions relating to work or access to public funds. The only exception to this rule is a person with adult dependent relative leave.
European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are required to obtain leave to enter or remain in order to live in the UK, but some will have leave to remain granted under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) or be entitled to apply for EUSS leave. A person with EUSS leave can access public funds but may need to meet a right to reside test in order to qualify for benefits.