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Immigration: Females

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimates she has made of the cost of providing support for migrant women who have no recourse to public funds while their application for indefinite leave to remain is considered; (241027)

(2) what recent discussions she has had on the application of the recourse to public funds rule to migrant women subjected to domestic violence;

(3) what estimate she has made of the number of migrant women who are victims of domestic violence and have no recourse to public funds;

(4) when she plans to begin a consultation on policy relating to migrant women who are victims of domestic violence and have no recourse to public funds;

(5) what estimate she has made of the number of migrant women subject to the no recourse to public funds rule who would become eligible for retrospective support if their application for independent leave to remain were successful.

In March, the Home Office announced a new scheme where those supporting victims of domestic violence who have no recourse to public funds may be eligible to receive financial support towards their housing and living costs. Under the new scheme victims of domestic violence whose applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) are successful may qualify for a contribution towards these costs, following their grant of leave. Support will not be provided by UKBA to women while their applications are outstanding. The development of the new scheme is currently being negotiated in partnership with the UKBA, the No Recourse to Public Funds Network and stakeholders.

The UK Border Agency does not routinely collect data on the number of all women who are victims of domestic violence and who have no recourse to public funds. Information is available on the number of victims who have applied for ILR on the basis of domestic violence. In the last three years there have been approximately 3,500 applications for ILR as the victim of domestic violence. It is estimated, from figures supplied by UKBA and the voluntary sector, that there are approximately 1,500 migrant women per annum who apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the domestic violence rule, approximately one in three claim to be destitute and may therefore be eligible for support under the scheme (500 per year).

There are currently no plans to launch a consultation on migrant women who are victims of domestic violence and have no recourse to public funds.

The figures quoted have not been quality assured and are not a national statistic. It should be treated as provisional management information and may be subject to change.