The 'no recourse to public funds' (NRPF) condition is imposed on most people who are granted leave to remain for a limited period, including those who are applying on the basis of their family or private life in the UK.
In certain circumstances, the Home Office may not impose the NRPF condition when a person is applying for leave to remain on a 10-year settlement route and they can show that they are destitute, at imminent risk of destitution, there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child on account of the parent’s very low income or the person has established exceptional circumstances relating to their financial circumstances. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘NRPF policy’.
If leave to remain with the NRPF condition is granted but a person’s circumstances change at a later date, for example, they lose their employment, they may be able to apply for a Change of Conditions to request that their leave to remain is varied to allow recourse to public funds.
The policy only applies to a person who is applying for leave to remain on one of the following grounds:
The policy applies when a person is making a first application or is applying to extend their leave to remain on one of these routes. If a person meets the requirements of the policy then they would need to check that their legal representative is addressing this in the application and that supporting evidence is being submitted. Failure to do so could results in leave to remain with the NRPF condition being issued, even when a person was previously allowed recourse to public funds. The person would need to make a Change of Conditions application if they think that they meet the requirements to be granted access to public funds.
The Home Office policy is set out in detail in the guidance: Family life (as a partner or parent), private life and exceptional circumstances.
A Change of Conditions can be applied for when a person has been granted leave to remain on one of the following grounds:
The application is free and can be made online. However, it is recommended that a person obtains legal advice from an immigration adviser about the application. In some instances, a new leave to remain application may need to be made instead or a person may be moved from the 5-year to 10-year settlement route, which would be a much longer pathway to obtaining indefinite leave to remain.
The Home Office provides the following important information for people on the 5-year settlement route:
'You can also be eligible to apply if you have leave to remain under the 5 year partner/parent route. If you’re accepted you would be considered to have moved on to the 10 year route to settlement and as such any future applications for leave will be considered under the 10 year route. However, when you come to reapply if you feel that you again meet the criteria under the 5 year route you should be aware that any leave you had previously accumulated under the 5 year route will not count towards your new 5 year period.’
See the government information about applying for a change of conditions. The Unity Project, a small charity that specialises in making change of conditions applications, have produced guidance to help applicants.