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Who has no recourse to public funds (NRPF)?

A person will have no recourse to public funds when they are ‘subject to immigration control’. This is defined in section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. A person who is subject to immigration control cannot claim public funds (benefits and housing assistance), unless an exception applies. 

A person will be ‘subject to immigration control’ if they are a non-EEA national and have one of the following types of immigration status:

  • Leave to enter or remain in the UK, which is subject to the 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF) condition, for example:
    • Leave to remain as a spouse
    • Leave to remain as a student
    • Leave to remain granted under family or private life rules 
  • Leave to enter or remain in the UK that is subject to a maintenance undertaking, for example:
    • Indefinite leave to remain as the adult dependent relative of a person with settled status (five year prohibition on claiming public funds)
  • No leave to enter or remain when they are required to have this, for example:
    • Visa overstayer
    • Asylum seeker
    • Appeal rights exhausted (ARE) asylum seeker 

When a person has leave to enter or remain that is subject to the NRPF condition, the term ‘no public funds’ will be stated on their residence permit, entry clearance vignette, or biometric residence permit (BRP).

Immigration terms

Appeal rights exhausted (ARE)

The status of a person whose asylum or immigration claim has been refused when they have come to the end of the appeal process without success or have no further right of appeal. 

Asylum seeker

A person who has made a claim to the UK government for protection (asylum) under the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951 and is waiting for a decision from the Home Office or final decision from the appeal courts (following a refusal).

Indefinite leave to enter or remain

Immigration permission with no time limit on the length of stay in the UK.

Leave to enter

Immigration permission issued on entry to the UK, usually after prior entry clearance has been obtained before arrival.

Leave to remain

Immigration permission issued to a person in the UK, usually after a person has made an application to Home Office.  

Visa overstayer

A person who had leave to enter or remain in the UK for a limited period and has no current immigration permission because they either did not make an application to extend their leave before their previous leave expired, or made an application that was refused after their previous leave expired.