If you are applying to immigrate to the UK, you may be wondering if your immigration status makes you eligible to receive public funds. Today’s blog will therefore address which public funds are available to immigrants in the UK. Read on for UK public funds guidance, and for answers to commonly asked questions like, “What are public funds?”, and, “Is tax relief a public fund?”, and finally, “How do I access the UK Public Funds list?”.
What are public funds?
- Public funds are a form of financial support (money) distributed by the state, usually available exclusively to citizens and residents (of that state).
- Usually, public funds are available to persons whose income level is lower than that of the average citizen/resident. Those who make under a certain amount of money (i.e. those who the state would classify as “poor”) are usually eligible to receive public funds.
- Public funds are also known as welfare or benefits.
Which public funds are available to immigrants in the UK?
- Whether or not UK public funds are available to you as an immigrant depends almost entirely on what category and type of UK visa you hold, and whether you are considered a resident in the country.
- However, the majority of immigrants to the UK are not eligible to receive public funds.
- When you apply for your UK visa, you will be informed whether you will be eligible to apply for public funds.
- Broadly speaking, most UK Business and study visas do not allow their holders to apply for public funds; in contrast, the holders of refugee and other humanitarian categories of visas are usually eligible to pursue UK benefits.
- Immigrants who have resided in the UK for longer periods and who apply for and achieve Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) are usually eligible to apply for public funds.
- Holders of Visitor visas are ineligible for public funds.
- Holders of most kinds of long-term UK visas, including the following, are largely ineligible to apply for public funds:
- Skilled Worker
- Health and Care Worker
- Overseas Worker
- Turkish Businessperson
- Turkish Worker
- Minister of Religion
- Sportsperson visa
- Holders of the following short-term visas, including the following, are largely ineligible to apply for public funds:
- Youth Mobility Scheme
- International Agreement Worker
- Seasonal Worker
- Charity Worker
- Religious Worker
- Creative and sporting
- Government Authorized Exchange
- Holders of the following types of visas are also largely ineligible to apply for public funds:
- UK Ancestry
- Domestic Workers in a Private Household
- Immigration staff guidance is available for applicants for UK visas who have questions about public funds in the country.
UK Public Funds List
- The Public Funds List includes all of the benefits that are considered “public funds”. They include income relief, a jobseekers allowances, and a housing benefits.
- To view the complete list of public funds, click here.
- For complete UK public funds guidance, including Immigration staff guidance, you can access this document.
Is tax relief a public fund?
- Yes. Tax relief, also known as tax credits, are considered to be a public fund. Tax relief include child tax credits, council tax benefits, and working tax credit.