No Recourse to Public Funds campaign

May 2020


Dear Constituent,


Thank you for writing to me about the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ campaign. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.


Those who arrive in the UK to establish their family life must do so on a basis that prevents undue burdens on the state and on the taxpayer. It is a key principle that those who benefit from the state should contribute towards it. 


It is my understanding that those who have leave to remain in the UK on human rights grounds can apply to have their no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition removed if they would otherwise be destitute. Local authorities can also provide a safety net for those in a genuine need for care that does not solely arise from destitution. These include cases where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health issues or family cases. 


The protection of public funds through NRPF is a standard condition applied to those staying in the UK with a temporary immigration status. Indefinite leave to remain is set as the general threshold for permitting migrants to access public funds.


You may be reassured to hear that these measures have been developed over many years and by successive Governments. I also welcome the fact that they are consistent with legislation in comparable countries and our position was approved by Parliament in primary legislation.


I very much welcome the fact that coronavirus has been included in the list of infectious diseases. This means that anyone experiencing symptoms, irrespective of their immigration status will be treated free of charge. A dedicated coronavirus immigration help-centre is available to provide assistance and this can be accessed by emailing


I appreciate your strength of feeling on this matter, and would also like to reassure you that Surrey County Council is providing information and support for those with NRPF. This includes:


  • A Community Helpline to serve as a first port of call for any Surrey residents, including those with NRPF. The helpline number is 0300 200 1008
  • Services signposted include the Surrey Crisis Fund, which can assist with food and other emergency costs
  • Temporary accommodation can be provided on public health grounds
  • Families and adults with care needs can also claim social services support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 or the Care Act 2014 due to being homeless, at risk of homelessness or being unable to meet their basic needs


For more detailed information please see below some useful links:


Thank you again for writing to me about this important matter.


With best wishes.


Kind regards,


Jonathan Lord

Member of Parliament for Woking