Leave to Remain and visas granted by the UKVI are routinely subjected to a condition preventing recourse to public funds. This makes sense to protect the public purse but causes financial crisis to those who lose their income in either short or long term situations and more so if they have children to support. There has been a procedure to submit applications to remove the condition in exceptional circumstances, but many of our clients have been discouraged with concern of future applications to extend leave being at risk of refusal, and the process in the past has been subjected to long delays.
In these unprecedented times, any immigrant with a NRPF condition who has lost their job or been furloughed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic can seek support from today, by submitting an application for the removal of the condition.
Deighton Pierce Glynn have been doing amazing work with the support of the Unity Project to challenge the NRPF policy by way of Judicial Review. They submitted a claim to the High Court seeking an order to permit those unable to work due to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation to be able to claim public funds/benefits. As a result of a High Court hearing, the Home Office made concessions to issue revised guidance for its staff to provide ‘sympathetic and expeditious’ decision making in applications seeking to have their NRPF conditions being lifted in the Pandemic. The application can be submitted at this link.
Therefore, use the link to apply for the NRPF condition to be removed if you are left vulnerable at this time financially due to COVID-19 coronavirus. You should report any problems you have or delays in getting a decision to The Unity Project as they have agreed to help you at https://www.unity-project.org.uk
It is hoped that the Home Office will act reasonably in future applications and use discretion to ensure that migrants are not adversely affected due to COVID-19 coronavirus, but at present there are no Government statements on this issue. If you are currently on a 10-year route to settlement there would be no concerns seeking to remove the condition. However if you are on a 5-year route to settlement, it is important to show that you meet the immigration rules at all times, so applications should only be submitted if you are in absolute need to secure recourse to benefits at this time.
How Barnes Harrild & Dyer Solicitors can help
Barnes Harrild & Dyer Solicitors are committed to doing whatever we can to help you in this tricky time and to give you peace of mind. We will continue monitoring the situation closely and providing updated guidance in due course.
If you are unsure whether or not to apply, you can contact my team of immigration solicitors at either of our City of London or Croydon offices to seek advice, via the blue contact us boxes above. Our Senior Paralegals can assist you on this matter, who charge lower rates than our Senior Lawyers.
Barnes Harrild & Dyer continue to provide full legal services during this COVID-19 pandemic.