Coronavirus (COVID-19): get support if you’re a migrant living in the UK

This page explains the support you can get if you do not have permission to live permanently in the UK.

You may not be able to access public funds but you may be able to get support from the UK government if you’re a migrant living in the UK.

You can apply for access to public funds by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if you have a UK family or private life visa and either:

  • you’re destitute or at risk of destitution
  • your child’s welfare is at risk due to low income
  • you’re in other exceptional financial circumstances

If you need medical treatment in the UK

You will not have to pay for diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes if you’re tested and the result is negative.

Your immigration status won’t be checked if you seek a test or treatment for coronavirus.

Find out more about the healthcare you’ll get in the UK.

If you’re considered vulnerable because of a medical condition

If you have a medical condition that makes you vulnerable to coronavirus, you may have been contacted by your GP or the NHS telling you to stay at home and avoid leaving the house. This is called shielding.

If you’re shielding, you can get help, such as deliveries of medication and food.

You can find further information and register for assistance on GOV.UK.

You should consult your GP If you think you have a medical condition that makes you vulnerable and you have not been contacted.

If you are asked to self-isolate

If you are asked to self-isolate you can find out more information about why you have been asked to do so and what you should do:

If you’re employed in the UK

Your employer can apply for government support if the business is unable to open or there is no longer work for you to do because of coronavirus.

If your biometric residence permit (BRP) has ‘NRPF’ or ‘no public funds’ printed on the back of the card, you may be able to access:

If you’re self-employed

If you’re registered as self-employed, you may be able to apply for a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

If you’re studying in the UK

If you’re absent from your place of study due to coronavirus, your sponsor should not report you.

You can also contact your embassy or consulate for support.

Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents is available on GOV.UK.

If you cannot afford housing costs

If you’re renting housing

The government has offered support for both renters and landlords.

Advice is also available for tenants in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you’re paying a mortgage

Mortgage lenders will offer repayments holidays of 6 months if you’re in financial difficulty due to coronavirus. If you’ve not yet had a mortgage repayment holiday, you’ll be entitled for a 6 month holiday.

If you’ve already started a mortgage repayment holiday, you’ll be able to top up to 6 months. This will not be recorded on your credit file.

If you’re concerned about your financial situation, you should contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible if you think you might need support.

Local authority support

Local authority social services may be able to provide support if you or a family member have specific care needs, including adult social care and children’s services.

Local authorities can assist people with illnesses, disabilities or mental health conditions and provide accommodation if you need care.

You can contact your local council for more information.

If you’re an asylum seeker

If you’re waiting to find out if you’ll be given asylum, you can access government support for asylum seekers.

Published 23 April 2020
Last updated 11 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance on mortgage repayment holidays.

  2. Guidance updated.

  3. First published.