Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 07 April 2020)

Bail reporting suspended

The Home Office website now says that “reporting as a condition of immigration bail is temporarily paused”.

People out on immigration bail should have received a text message telling them not to report for now. Anyone worried about missing an appointment when reporting resume should “let us have an up to date telephone number then we will be able to maintain contact with them to update them on any developments”. This can be done by emailing the relevant reporting centre.

No recourse to public funds

Migrants whose visa stipulates that they can have “no recourse to public funds” are in a difficult position. Without access to benefits to make up for loss of work, many face destitution.

A High Court hearing on the continued legality of the no resource to public funds condition is scheduled for 6 May. The solicitors acting in the case, say that the Home Office has:

issued revised guidance to staff instructing them to ‘provide sympathetic and expeditious decision making’ during the pandemic when dealing with applicants seeking to have their No Recourse to Public Funds condition lifted.

The Unity Project, which supports migrants affected by the no recourse condition and is involved with the case, comments:

We have had assurances from the Home Office before that they will deal with applications to lift the “no recourse to public funds” condition quickly and compassionately, but that has never been our experience. Quite the opposite. We have no reason to expect this time will be different. However, we urge anyone in this situation to apply for a change of conditions as soon as possible, and let us know how they get on. We will be amassing evidence to show the court that the whole scheme is inhumane and needs to be dismantled.

Separately, Solicitors has secured a promise from the Department for Education to extend free school meals to families with no recourse to public funds.

Posted on Apr 06, 2020.

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