No Recourse to Public Funds
There are some refuges that accept victims with no recourse to public funds although there is limited availability.
There is limited support available from the council if you do not have recourse to public funds. For more information on whether you are eligible for assistance by the council contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Law Centre.
There are some ways you can apply to remain in the UK and become eligible for more assistance:
Individuals who are in the UK on a spouse or partner visa usually have leave to enter or to remain in the UK for between 24 and 30 months, this is often referred to as the probationary period. If you have come to the UK on a spouse or partner visa and you are experiencing domestic abuse you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain straight away. You can apply at any time during the probationary period (you do not have to wait until it comes to an end) and even if you have overstayed your visa (however you will have to justify your reasons for not applying before).
If you are thinking of applying for ILR under the domestic violence rule it is very important that you try and get legal advice. A legal representative will be able to collect evidence for you and help make your application.
Women making applications under the domestic violence rule can get accommodation and access to welfare benefits whilst they make the application through the Home Office Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC). You can apply for this through the gov.uk website.
Please see below for organisations that can provide support with DDVC and asylum applications:
- Rights of Women provide an advice line with free, confidential legal advice on immigration issues. Contact women lawyers on: 020 7251 8887 or 020 7490 2562 (text phone) on Mondays 2-4pm and Wednesdays 11am-1pm
- The Citizens Advice Bureau and Law Centres will also be able to provide advice. Brent Citizens Advice Bureau Address: 270-272 High Road Willesden, London, NW10 2EY. Visit www.citizensadvicebrent.org.uk for online support and resources. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the Brent advice line 020 8438 1249 – (busy, please keep trying) (available 10am-4pm)
- You can look for a solicitor or immigration representative in your area using Civil Legal Advice (084 3345 4345 Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm. Saturday, 9am-2.30pm).
Local authorities may be required to provide NRPF families with accommodation and/or financial support when there is a child under 18 in the family. If this is a situation that applies to you, you can contact your local authority’s social services department.
Brent Family Front Door (Social Services) can be contacted on: 020 8937 4300. If you are calling outside normal office hours (9am-5pm) please call the emergency duty team on: 020 8863 5250.