Thank you for contacting me about the immigration system.
Those who arrive in the UK to establish their family life must do so on a basis that prevents burdens on the state and the wider taxpayer. It is a key principle that those who benefit from the state should contribute towards it. The general expectation of the Government is that migrants coming into the UK should be able to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds. This reflects the need to maintain the confidence of the general public that immigration brings benefits to our country, rather than costs to the public purse.
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.
Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply, for free, to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income.
Change of conditions decisions are being prioritised and are being dealt with compassionately. Data published in February 2021 shows that 86 per cent of change of condition applications are granted and the average time taken to make a decision is now just 18 days, down from 22 days in the previous quarter.
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.
These measures have been developed over many years and by successive Governments. The fact that they are consistent with legislation in comparable countries and our position was approved by Parliament in primary legislation.
The Immigration Rules already provide a route for undocumented migrants to regularise their immigration status. These rules are kept under constant review and evolve in light of feedback and findings of the courts.