Urgent plea to the Government to remove NRPF restriction to help the desperate families

Urgent plea to the Government to remove NRPF restriction to help the desperate families

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Shoukat R started this petition to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) and

In the current pandemic situation of COVID 19, the government has announced a number of measures to ease the pressures on businesses, employees and self-employed persons. However, these steps do not include a group of people, who have limited leave to remain with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). This is despite the fact that most of them work and regularly pay NI and Taxes and contribute towards the economy.

The people with NRPF status have to pay home office fee (£1,033) and health surcharge (£1,000) per person every two and a half years (30 months). Most of these families have children and have limited resources. They are hardly able to rent one or two-bedroom accommodations due to meagre earnings and a huge burden of home office fee and health surcharge. In current circumstances, it will be extremely difficult if these people contract COVID-19 and need to self-isolate. This may not be possible if they have no government support for them to meet the basic needs of their families and children.

There is a huge sense of insecurity and worries about the impact of this situation on such families. These families have children, who are born in Britain and they are British nationals. They may face insurmountable difficulties in making the two ends meet and provide basic needs of food and shelter to their families in case of no regular earnings or support.

There is no government policy of help and support for these most vulnerable group of people, most of who are otherwise useful members of society and communities. Most of them work and contribute by paying NI and taxes. The people among this group if they lose jobs or cannot earn either because they are self-employed or do not get paid due to lockdown, they will have nothing for their sustenance.

We request to the government to give sympathetic consideration to the plight of this group of people, announce an urgent relief package and consider the following steps, which may go a long way in ameliorating not only their financial difficulties but also help their rapidly increasing anxieties and sense of insecurity.

1)    It is requested to kindly grant automatic extention of the leave to remain for another period of 30 months and waive off the home office fee and health surcharge.

2)    The people who have already paid these fee and surcharge from 1st March 2020, should be refunded to enable them to use this money for their needs during this period of financial difficulties.

3)    Temporary suspension of NRPF status for these families to take the benefit from Government financial schemes during COVID-19 period.

4)    The children who are already British nationals may not be discriminated against because of the immigration status of their parents. They may be treated just like all other British children.

We are truly thankful to The Honourable MPs Stephen Timms, Stuart C. McDonald who have already raised this important issue in the parliament and 98 cross-party MPs including Taiwo Owatemi have written a letter to Prime Minister to suspend the NRFP policy due to COVID-19 situation.

We hope that Prime Minister, Home Secretary, and government will show magnanimity during these exceptional circumstances which require exceptional steps.

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