Enhancing data and statistics about those subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
Thank you for your letter dated 13 January 2022 in which you provided an update on the Home Office’s work on No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) statistics.
As you will be aware, NRPF is a condition attached to work, family and study visas which restricts access to much of the welfare safety net. As noted in the Home Office letter to us on 3 July 2020 the majority of migrants visiting, studying, working or joining family in the UK are subject to a NRPF condition until they have obtained indefinite leave to remain. Migrants who are here without leave are also subject to NRPF.
NRPF is an area of public interest, with media reports on the topic, and the Work and Pensions Committee is carrying out an inquiry on children in poverty with a current focus on NRPF.
It is good to see the release of more statistics about NRPF, specifically the latest update on applications to the Home Office to have the NRPF condition changed. However, it is disappointing that the delays to the new Home Office IT system mean that work to produce further statistics on this topic, including the data on repeat applications for a change of condition, has also had to be delayed.
Some indicative figures about repeat applications were included in your letter to me, with a note that these are initial estimates based on the current systems. I also understand that you are planning to include these as an ad-hoc table within the change of condition transparency outputs, along with a link to your letter to us. We fully support this plan as it will ensure equality of access for all users.
As you note, you have discussed with colleagues the lack of available data on migrant poverty more generally. We fully support your further work in this area and the bringing together of relevant actors from across central and local government and civil society to investigate what insight can be provided to help fill this data gap. I understand that the Department is committed to publishing its plans for further data and statistics on NRPF, and exploratory work on migrant poverty, as part of its annual update to users on its future plans for Home Office statistics which is due to be published later this month. We look forward to seeing this update and how the Department has taken account of user needs when determining these plans. I also welcome the ongoing discussions with colleagues in the Home Office around analysis in the Department more broadly.
I am copying this letter to Simon Palmer, Director of Home Office Analysis and Insight & Chief Analyst.
Director General for Regulation