Stuart McDonald MP (pictured), has called on the UK government to fix immigration policies – including ‘no recourse to public funds’ rules – to ensure that all can access the support they need during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The SNP’s Shadow Immigration Minister has tabled an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill – which will pass through the House of Commons – to fix ‘no recourse to public funds’ rules; implement a fast and managed approach to moving people on from immigration detention; ensure asylum procedures and accommodation provision is fit to support the current public health measures; and, automatically extend visas that have expired or will expire during the crisis.
The SNP are also calling on the UK government to take action to help people struggling to pay immigration fees – including the NHS surcharge – and those unable to meet the minimum income threshold because they cannot work as another crucial step in its response to the impact of Coronavirus.
Commenting, Stuart McDonald MP said:
“There are thousands of people caught in limbo in the UK’s immigration system whose situation will be impacted further by the Coronavirus pandemic – these people need to be able to access the help available to everyone else, regardless of their immigration status.
“My SNP colleagues and I have welcomed the measures that have been introduced so far – but the UK government needs to introduce measures to protect those who currently have no recourse to public funds, are in immigration detention, caught up in the asylum process, or whose visas have expired or will soon expire.
“People unable to meet the minimum income threshold or pay high immigration fees because this Coronavirus outbreak has left them unable to work also need help.
“My amendment shows how to close many of these loopholes and we desperately need the Home Office to consider these issues urgently”