No recourse to public funds

Your immigration status affects your right to receive support.

If you have limited leave to enter or remain, you will typically have 'no recourse to public funds (NRPF)'.  

Having NRPF or lacking valid immigration permission means you are not eligible for homelessness assistance or housing allocation.

To determine if you have NRPF, you can refer to your residence permit card, biometric residence permit (BRP), or any relevant documents issued by the Home Office.

Where to seek advice

Accessing legal advice is crucial. You may wish to consult with a lawyer.

Depending on your financial situation and the details of your case, you may be eligible for public funding, also known as legal aid.

Public funding allows individuals who cannot afford legal advice to receive it free of charge, including legal representation if necessary.

  • Civil Legal Advice (CLA) allows you to search for a solicitor or immigration representative in your area. Call 0345 345 4345. They are available Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 8.00pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 2.30pm.
  • Hillingdon Law Centre offers professional advice on housing and immigration matters to people who live in Hounslow. They are available from Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.
  • Citizens Advice Hounslow offers free and confidential information and advice on various issues, including finance, legal matters, consumer rights, and more. 
  • London Friend offers specific services for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees. While they provide counselling and confidence-building services, they do not offer legal advice on immigration matters.

If you have young children

If you have a child under the age of 18 in your family, we may be able to provide you with accommodation and financial assistance through children's social services. To see if we can help, please contact us at 020 8583 6600.

Not all cases are eligible for support from social services. The main exclusions are:

  • European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who are not British citizens
  • people who are unlawfully present in the UK. This includes visa overstayers, illegal entrants, and refused asylum seekers who submitted their asylum claim within the country instead of at the port of entry
  • people with refugee status granted by an EEA country
  • refused asylum seekers who have failed to comply with the removal window
  • refused asylum-seeking families that have been issued certification by the Home Office, confirming their failure to take steps to leave the UK voluntarily

If any of these exclusions apply to you, social services will conduct a human rights assessment and a needs assessment to determine the level of assistance that can be provided.

If a parent falls into an excluded group, the entire family may not be eligible for housing and financial support.

If you have physical and/or mental health support needs

If you have physical and/or mental health support needs, local authorities must provide accommodation and/or financial assistance to destitute individuals with NRPF in specific circumstances.

For adults without children, such assistance can only be provided if the migrant has eligible needs for care and support due to a disability, illness, or mental health condition under the Care Act 2014.

You can use our tool to establish whether or not you have eligible needs.

Your right to rent

In most cases, individuals with no recourse to public funds will not have a right to rent. Landlords in England are required to verify the immigration status of new tenants and other adult occupants in their properties.

People who can be considered for tenancy are:

  • relevant nationals: citizens of the UK, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland
  • people with indefinite leave to remain or right of abode in the UK
  • people with limited leave to remain in the UK or a right to live in the UK under EU law

This refers to non-European citizens who are relevant nationals, such as a non-European husband or a non-British parent of a British child.

These criteria determine the eligibility for renting a property in England based on immigration status.

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