Public Funds for the Benefit of Immigration

For the purposes of the Immigration Rules the following benefits and forms of support count as public funds:

  • Attendance allowance

  • Carers allowance

  • Child benefit

  • Child tax credit

  • Council tax benefit

  • Council tax reduction

  • Disability living allowance

  • Housing and homelessness assistance

  • Housing benefit

  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance

  • Income related employment & support allowance – ESA (IR)

  • Income support

  • Personal independence payment

  • Severe disablement allowance

  • Social fund payment

  • State pension credit

  • Universal credit

  • Working tax credit


Please note: Child and Working Tax Credits

These were not included as public benefits until 15 March 2005 therefore applicants who receive these before that date has not breached their conditions of leave.




Housing Benefit

A British citizen or a person settled in the UK who receives housing from a local authority

can include their partner’s name on the tenancy agreement, even if their partner is subject to immigration control.

Because it is not the person subject to immigration control making the claim they are not considered as claiming public funds.


Claiming through Nationality of Family Members

A person subject to immigration control is not considered as accessing public funds if it is

their partner who is receiving the funds they are entitled to.

Child and working tax credits are claimed jointly by couples. If only one member of a couple is subject to immigration control, then for tax credits purposes, neither are treated as being subject to immigration control.

A person subject to immigration control can claim certain public funds when they have a

right to reside in the UK if they live with a family member who is:

  • a British citizen, or

  • a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Benefits and Support that do NOT count as public funds

Benefits not considered as public funds under the Immigration Rules include:

  • Contribution based jobseeker’s allowance

  • Guardian’s allowance

  • Incapacity benefit

  • Contribution-based employment and support allowance (ESA)

  • Maternity allowance

  • Retirement pension

  • Statutory maternity pay

  • Statutory sickness pay

  • Widow’s benefit and bereavement benefit

  • Council tax discounts, such as sole occupancy discounts

  • National Health Service Treatment

  • Attending Local Education Authority Schools (public schools)


NHS Treatment

NHS treatment does not count as public funds for the purposes of the Immigration Rules. Depending on your immigration status you may be entitled to a free treatment or you may have to pay.


However If a person has been granted leave to receive private medical treatment they are not eligible for NHS treatment for the same treatment they were granted leave for.


Attending Public School

The law requires all children of compulsory school age (5-16 years old) to have access to education. Because of this, compulsory school age education does not count as public funds for the purposes of the Immigration Rules.

If a person has been granted leave to study at an independent fee-paying school but studies at a state-funded school instead, they may have breached their conditions of stay in the UK.


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