Could rules restricting migrants to public funds be interfering with the rights of children?

The no recourse to public funds rule was introduced in order to prevent migrants coming into the UK from having access to mainstream benefits and housing assistance. However, there are certain circumstances in which a family will not have the no recourse to public funds condition imposed on them; this is where the applicants find themselves in a financial situation that means they have become destitute or after the case of W, A Child in the High Court, the applicants are at risk of becoming destitute. 

We are now aware, following the recent High Court decision in the case of ST (a child, by his litigation friend VW) &VW v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1085, that parts of the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy result in the obstruction of a child’s rights. Particularly the rights found under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration Act 2009 where the secretary of state has a duty to consider the welfare of the child of the applicants when making a decision on the visa application. 

Lady Justice Laing and Mr. Justice Lane in the above case held that the no recourse to public funds scheme does not in fact comply with section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration Act 2009. As a result of this ruling, children that have migrants as parents that earn a low income should be allowed access to public funds such as housing benefit and universal credit. 

It is unclear what the next steps are for the Home Office after this case’s decision. It is hoped that there is a possibility of reform of the provisions that make up the NRPF policy. 

How NA Law Solicitors can help

If you have any questions or queries regarding the article above and/or would like assistance in a visa application, NA Law Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge in immigration law and human rights. Please get in touch for a consultation now.

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