If you are not a British citizen but have limited leave in the UK, you may not be automatically entitled to public funds (i.e. benefits and public housing).
Who is allowed to access public funds?
You will be permitted to access public funds if you have any of the following:
- British or Irish citizenship
- Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Indefinite Leave to Remain (unless you came as an Adult Dependent Relative – please refer to our blog regarding this visa route here)
- Refugee Status or Humanitarian Protection
- Right of Abode
How to check your entitlement to public funds in the UK?
If you do not fall into any of the above categories, you can check your entitlement by reviewing the following:
- Your biometric residence permit card (this will usually say “no recourse to public funds” or “no public funds”, if you do not have entitlement)
- The decision letter from the UKVI
- Your online status (if you have access to one)
If there is no mention of the “no public funds” condition, you should normally be permitted to claim public funds.
If you are entitled to public funds
If you are entitled to claim public funds, there are additional conditions attached to individual benefits. For example, to claim Personal Independence Payment, you must have been living in the UK for a certain period of time. Additionally, if you are looking to get help with housing, you will need to demonstrate that you are habitually resident in the UK (i.e. the UK is your permanent home and you intend to remain here).
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.