No Recourse to Public Funds
No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) is a condition imposed on someone due to their immigration status. Any adult and their family who have a NRPF status are not entitled to mainstream welfare benefits, local authority housing or homelessness assistance, and most do not have the right to work, rent properties or open their own bank account.
The Manchester City Council NRPF Team is the Council’s response to its obligations under the Children Act 1989 and the Care Act 2014. The team is made up of specialist practitioners who empower people to take the necessary steps to regulate their immigration status; to prevent further destitution.
The NRPF team navigate changing immigration legislation to provide advice and knowledge around eligibility and signpost to formal legal support.
Beyond legalities, this highly motivated team take time to build trust with this vulnerable and often invisible group. They advocate on a person’s behalf, work with providers to ensure people get the support that they need and signpost people into local community provision.
The specialist team consists of a Service Manager, Team Manager and Case Workers.
A Case Worker within the team will carryout evidence-based, holistic needs assessments and Human Rights Assessments, supporting people to access immigration advice, regularise their stay in the UK and become financially self-sustainable. This could include supporting people to return to their country of origin (if requested)
The No Recourse to Publuc Funds team uses a multi-agency approach to work collaboratively with the person, alongside internal and external colleagues, to ensure the provision of accommodation, legal aid and subsistence support. They work with partners across the city for a consistentcy of approach and to ensure everything from homeless provisions to adult education is accessible. Partners include: Wood Street Mission, Safety for Sisters, Trussell Trust, Mustard Tree, Coffee for Craig, Booth Centre, Shelter and Citizens Advice.
The team works on a set of principles to assist people with legal support needed with their immigration status.
- Building trust – Taking time to build relationships that will help and guide people.
- Empowering – Supporting the person to take the action needed to support themselves.
- Listening – Being empathetic whilst decisive in applying legislation, case laws, policy and guidance.
- Outcome-focused – Driven by results for the person to achieve positive wellbeing and financial sustainability.
Practitioners in this team are results-driven and often go the extra mile. An example might be coaching people in preparation for their formalised status, equipping them with the tools they need to move forward and thrive.
For an idea of situations that the team can assist with, please read the following case examples.
Atifa is a British National. Now in her 30’s, she’d been living in Libya since she was four years old. Her seven children (all 13 years or younger) had British passports but had never been to the UK – until now. Atifa relocated her family to Manchester under the misapprehension that she would be immediately eligible for benefits and housing support. As a British National living outside the UK for a period, it could take a few months to re-establish her rights to access these services (she would have to pass the Habitual Residence Test). When Case Worker Naomi first met with her, Atifa claimed she had no funds and no friends or family in the UK.
Naomi, (Atifa’s case worker) tells us… Truthful and difficult conversations were required with Atifa. Her English was good – however if we discussed something she didn’t agree with, she would say she needed an interpreter, which created delays. I sourced a new accommodation provider and placed the family in temporary accommodation with a private landlord. I set up subsistence and an emergency payment for Atifa and the children and would drop the money off at their accommodation whilst Atifa didn’t have access to a bank account and was unfamiliar with the city. I supported Atifa to register for Universal Credit and a UK bank account and signposted her to Citizen’s Advice for additional support, as well as helping her to budget plan with limited finances. I also managed the relationship with the landlord – seven children can create quite a lot of challenges! Upon Atifa being able to claim Universal Credit, I liaised with Housing Solutions who were struggling to find alternative accommodation due to the size of the family. The relationship I developed with the landlord lead to the family being made an offer to continue the tenancy in the accommodation I had sourced them.
Mina moved from Ghana to the UK with her father and brothers when she was 5 years old. When she was 10 years old, they moved to Nigeria where she remained, gained a degree in Library Sciences, married and had a daughter. Following a divorce, in 1991 Mina successfully applied for a role as Librarian at the Ghana embassy in the UK. The role required a year’s study and during the Christmas break she came to Manchester from London, met a pastor in a church in Withington and began working as a cleaner to earn money to support herself. She quickly created a network of friends, increased her cleaning jobs and decided instead of returning to London, she would stay and make a life in Manchester.
In 1997 the Home Office asked employers to request their employee’s immigration status and Mina was unable to provide evidence to support this so was then unable to work. The Church Pastor supported her with a bedsit at the back of the Church and food between 1997 and 2017. Mina has not registered with a GP or Dentist. The Pastor also introduced her a lawyer who supported her to apply for leave to remain. Despite various attempts to prove Mina had lived in the UK over 20 years, and various people attesting to her having done so, the Home Office repeatedly rejected the request. The Church Pastor left the church due to health issues, and Mina ended up was living on the street, at which time she sought support from NRPF team. The NRPF team referred Mina to Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) for assistance and she finally granted her leave with recourse to public funds in 2020.
Winny, (Mina’s caseworker) tells us… I put together a timeline of Minas history, alongside the evidence available and she was eventually granted leave to remain. I supported her to get a free bus pass (as she’s now over 65 years old). She was so appreciative. She’s currently living in the Longford Centre and is so happy to have her own room. She told me that the NRPF team changed her life completely. She now voluntarily cooks for the pastor who is struggling himself with disabilities. She told me, “So many people helped me, I want to make myself useful now”. Without access to a dentist for most of her life, Mina had very few teeth. Her social worker helped her to get a dentist and she came to visit me afterwards to show me her teeth! She was so happy and said, “Now I can smile at people, and I don’t have to hide.”
The team operates Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 4:30pm.
- Main contact number – 0161 227 3901 (duty) / 0161 219 2064
- Other duty phone number – 0161 227 3901
The No Recourse to Public Funds team receive referrals via the City Council’s Contact Centre, contactable via:
Phone: 0161 234 5001
Referrals can be self-referrals, made by members of the public, organisations or internally. Individuals and families can be referred where the adult/(s) in the household has a no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition attached to their immigration status. The list includes the following:
- Asylum Seekers
- Refused asylum seekers
- Appeal Rights Exhausted Asylum seekers
- Visa overstayers
- Illegal entrants
- Leave to enter/remain as a visitor
- Leave to enter/remain as a spouse
- Leave to enter/remain as a student
- Leave to remain granted under family or private life rules
- British returning nationals (families) or individuals with care needs who have not passed the Habitual Residence Test
- EU / EEA nationals who are unlawfully present in the UK
Single individuals should be in need of care and support to potentially meet our criteria for support.