Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK

2022 - 2024
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No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) is an immigration condition prohibiting access to the welfare safety net. This project will provide an evidence base on support for precarious migrants – those living in and at risk of destitution. The project builds on our existing research focussing on children in families with NRPF, adding two additional groups – single adults and EEA nationals – reflecting the post-pandemic and Brexit context. The pandemic has seen more comprehensive visibility for NRPF issues, with the ‘everyone in’ policy of supporting single adults with NRPF with accommodation giving a broader scope to the policy area. Post-Brexit changes mean that more EU nationals are likely to be affected – both those already present in the UK who do not have Settled Status and new arrivals.

We will work closely with local authorities to inform and improve policy and practice. This will include both directly supported families and the much larger group of people subject to the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition whose situation is precarious and who are at risk in the medium to longer term of destitution, helping to increase understanding of the characteristics of the group and how a more proactive approach to NRPF provision can have broader impact on overall levels of poverty and destitution. As much research and advocacy in this area are focused on influencing central government, this project will focus on how local governments operate what is essentially a parallel welfare system, how it is justified and administered, and how it could be improved.

Principal Investigator

Jacqui Broadhead, Director, Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity


Lucy Leon, Researcher, Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity

Dr Mariña Fernández-Reino, Senior Researcher, The Migration Observatory


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