This page explains what services and support are available to you as an asylum applicant, while you are waiting for our decision on your application.
Some services and support are available to everyone. Others will depend on your income. Your case owner can give you more information about this, and about applying for support.
We will assess your circumstances and needs. If you cannot support yourself and your family while we are considering your application, you may apply to us for money and somewhere to live. However, if you did not apply for asylum until some time after your arrival in the UK, we may not be able to give you support unless it is necessary to do so to prevent a breach of your rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
If you meet the requirements to receive support, you will be given suitable housing and your case owner will arrange for you to collect money from a post office near where you live. The money will enable you to buy essential things such as food, clothing and toiletries. If you do not need accommodation but you do need money for essential things, or if you need accommodation but not money, we will be able to give you this partial support.
We give you support on certain conditions, and you must sign an agreement to say you will obey those conditions. If you do not obey them, we may stop your support. For more information, see Asylum support agreement.
If we provide your housing, you will not be able to choose where you live. You will be sent to wherever suitable housing is available in the UK. For more information, see Accommodation.
For information about the money you may receive, see Cash support. To collect your cash support, you must show your application registration card.
For information about sending your children to school, see Education.
For information about the healthcare available to you, and help for people with disabilities, see Health.
You will not normally be allowed to work while we are considering your asylum application. For more information, see Employment.
If we have rejected your asylum application, you may be able to receive short-term support while you are waiting to return to your country of origin. This is known as section 4 support, because it is given under the terms of section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. You must meet strict requirements in order to qualify for section 4 support, which is not provided in the same way as other asylum support. For more information, see Section 4 support. If your asylum application has been rejected, you will not normally be allowed to work. For more information about this, see Employment.
Who to contact with questions about support
If you have a case owner, he/she is the person to contact for advice about support.
If you do not have a case owner, you can contact our asylum support customer contact centre.
For full details of the policy and process that our case owners follow, see Policy and law.
MORE NEWS AND UPDATES
- Advisory services for asylum seekers
- Immigration Bill introduced
- Calls for evidence for balance of competences reviews
- Changes to the Immigration Rules come into effect on 13 December 2012