There are several different ways that a person can confirm their immigration status in order to show that they can access public funds.
A person may have an immigration document, which confirms their immigration status, such as a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or Home Office letter.
An immigration document will usually state the length of a person's leave and whether the person is subject to any immigration conditions. For example, a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will state ‘no public funds’ on the reverse side when a person has leave to remain with a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) condition. There will be no statement on a BRP if the holder has access to public funds.
Many people now have a digital status, rather than a physical document. Currently, a person will have a digital status if they have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme or used the ‘UK Immigration ID check’ to prove their identity when they applied for their visa. They can get a share code to prove their immigration status and entitlements by using the Home Office view and prove service.
Government departments, the NHS, and councils using NRPF Connect, can access a person’s digital status automatically in order to confirm the person's immigration status and whether they can access benefits or local authority housing assistance.
There will be some instances where it appears from a person's digital status that they can access public funds but they may not be eligible to claim certain benefits. This would apply to a person with pre-settled status or a pending EU Settlement Scheme application, who can only access means-tested benefits and local authority housing assistance if they meet a right to reside test.
It is important that a person with a digital status informs the Home Office when any of their personal details change.
Digital status will become more common as the Home Office extends its use.
There may be some instances when a person does not have a document or digital status to prove their immigration status. For example, European Economic Area nationals, and nationals of certain other countries, who have entered the UK as a visitor through e-gates will not have a stamp in their passport or any other immigration documentation. Some long-term residents may have indefinite leave to remain or the right of abode in the UK but do not have a document to confirm their status. A person who cannot prove their immigration status should not automatically be refused a service without further investigation into their circumstances to ensure that they are not wrongly denied a service they might be entitled to.