Do you have access to Public F

Do you have access to Public Funds in the UK?

Most migrants, subject to immigration control in the UK are familiar with the term ‘no recourse to public funds, as this is very clearly stipulated in the terms of most UK visas and permits.

Do you have access to Public F

The term ‘No recourse to public funds’ means that the migrant is not able to claim most benefits, tax credits, or housing benefits provided by the UK Government to persons in the lower-income bracket.

Fortunately, migrants subject to immigration control, do have access to some benefits. These benefits are based on their National Insurance contributions. National Insurance (NI) is paid the same way as income tax and is based on a person’s earnings in the UK.

The migrant in the UK, paying National Insurance, is able to claim the following benefits based on NI contributions;

• Contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance,
• Incapacity benefit,
• Retirement pension,
• Widow’s benefit and bereavement benefit,
• Guardian’s allowance, and
• Statutory maternity pay.

Circumstances where one can claim Public Funds

In some cases, it is, however, possible for migrants subject to immigration control to claim some forms of Public Funds. We briefly discuss some of the exceptions, but strongly recommend that you speak to your immigration consultant if you have any queries or doubts.

State-funded Schooling

All children in the UK of school going age have to have access to education, regardless of their nationality. Local Education Authority (LEA) is not considered as ‘Public Funds’ for the purposes of the UK Immigration Rules. Foreign national children of compulsory school age, thus have access to UK state school education.

Family members of other nationalities

A person will not be considered as accessing Public Funds if it is their UK or EEA partner or family member receiving the funds they are entitled to.

This is also the case with child and working tax credits. These benefits are claimed jointly by couples. Where only one person in the couple is subject to UK immigration control, neither will be treated as such for the tax credit purposes.

Countries with reciprocal agreements with the UK

Nationals of some countries are able to claim some Public Funds, as their countries have reciprocal agreements with the UK and the European Union.

Public Sector workers and Housing

Key public sector workers, subject to immigration control, may in some cases receive housing assistance without this counting as a Public Funds.

What will happen if I illegally claim UK Public Funds?

There are checks and balances in place to ensure that persons do not claim UK Public Funds to which they are not entitled. The UK Government departments and agencies share information and data. Should a person be caught illegally claiming Public Funds, there could be dire consequences.

It is also very likely that it will be discovered in the checks and balances that are done in visa extensions and citizenship applications. In all likelihood, the visa or permit application will then be refused.

However if a person has received Public Funds in good faith and was not at fault, repayment may be sought, and the application will not necessarily be refused.

We highly recommend that readers who have any doubts or queries about their access to public funds, speak to one of our immigration consultants. Please visit our website or please fill out the form below.