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Call for Evidence

Children in poverty: No recourse to public funds

Earlier this year, the Committee launched an inquiry into children in poverty. This is a complex subject, so our work will be in different parts.

The first part of our inquiry focused on how child poverty is measured. For the second part, we are looking at the experiences of children who have no recourse to public funds.

As a condition of their visa, most categories of migrants in the UK have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). This means that they, and their children, are ineligible for most welfare benefits. Undocumented migrants and people whose immigration status is insecure are also unable to claim benefits.

There is no official published data on the number of people with NRPF, although the Children’s Society has previously estimated that over one million people have NRPF, including nearly 150,000 children. Some of those children are British citizens.

People with certain categories of visa can apply to have the condition lifted if they are facing serious hardship; figures published by the Home Office show that applications rose sharply following the start of the pandemic.

Call for written submissions

The Committee would like to hear your views on the following questions. You don’t have to answer all the questions. You can respond on behalf of an organisation, or as an individual. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 30th September 2021.

  • Approximately how many children in the UK live in households that have NRPF? What are the challenges involved in estimating this accurately?
  • Is it possible to determine how many children who live in households with NRPF are British citizens?
  • How many children in the UK are undocumented or have an insecure immigration status?
  • What proportion of children with NRPF are living in poverty? How does this compare to children whose families do have access to public funds?
  • What impact has the pandemic had on children with NRPF? Has the lifting of restrictions made any difference?
  • What other financial support from the Government is available for families with NRPF who are facing financial hardship? How effective is this support?
    • How have families with NRPF benefited from the new support that the Government introduced in response to the pandemic, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the COVID Local Support Grant?
    • The Government has extended eligibility for free school meals to some categories of children with NRPF on a temporary basis. What has been the impact of this policy?
  • What role do other bodies, such as local authorities and third sector organisations, play in supporting children with NRPF?
    • What impact has the pandemic had on these organisations’ capacity to support children with NRPF?
  • People with leave to remain on family or human rights grounds can apply to have the NRPF condition lifted in some circumstances. How effective has this measure been at preventing families from falling into serious hardship?

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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