No recourse to public funds
A BN(O) visa has a ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition. This means that a BN(O) visa holder cannot get government benefits or any other support classed as public funds. This includes benefits like Universal Credit and Child Benefit. However, if you are at risk of destitution, you can apply for a change of conditions of leave. This will allow you to claim benefits. The government website explains what is meant by destitution.
If you need to apply for a change to your conditions, you will need to fill in a form to show that you are eligible for the change. You will have to provide evidence to show that you meet the terms of the policy. This includes evidence of your financial circumstances and living arrangements.
You can apply for a change of conditions on the government website.
You may be able to get some benefits that are not classed as public funds. Generally, they are non-means tested benefits (which means they are not based on your income or savings). The No Recourse to Public Funds website has more information about which benefits are not classed as public funds.
Getting a bank account
You will need to prove your rights as a BN(O) visa holder to banks and other services. If you have a physical biometric residence permit (BRP), you can use this to prove your right to access services. If you have digital status, you can generate a share code to prove your right to access services. Services can use your share code to check your immigration status.
The Refugee Council offers a guide to bank accounts for refugees. It provides a step-by-step guide to opening a bank account, and the documents you will need to show the bank. It also includes information about the different kinds of bank accounts, and explains some of the words used by banks.
Citizens Advice also provides guidance on getting a bank account. It includes an explanation of the different kinds of bank accounts, and how to open a new bank account.