My colleague and I are both foreign nationals, but we come from different countries. I recently moved to the UK, while he has been in the UK for a number of years. Both of us have children and both of us applied for child benefits last year. My application was granted, while his was not. What could be the reasons for the different outcomes? Note: both of our visas have the words 'no recourse to public funds' printed.
The UK tax credit system is devolved from the UKBA. What this means is that it is possible to apply for and get the child tax credit (and other tax credits) even if you have "no recourse to public funds" and are therefore technically not entitled to the benefit. If you receive a tax credit for which you are not entitle you will be in a world of hurt when it comes time to renew your visa or apply for settlement. The UKBA provides a long guidance document
This guidance tells you what UK public funds foreign nationals can claim and what action you must take if they claim funds they are not entitled to.
Basically, when it comes to claiming tax benefits it is buyer beware if your immigration status does not permit recourse to public funds.