Section 4 support
This page explains how you may qualify for short-term support if your application for asylum was unsuccessful, but you temporarily cannot return to the country you came from and will otherwise be homeless or unable to afford food. (We call this 'destitute'.)
If your asylum application has been rejected and you have exhausted your appeal rights, you must make arrangements to return to your country of origin as soon as possible. However, you may be able to receive short-term support while you are preparing to return to your country. 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. You must be destitute and satisfy one of the following requirements:
- you are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or you are placing yourself in a position where you can do so; or
- you cannot leave the UK because of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason; or
- you cannot leave the UK because, in the Secretary of State's opinion, no viable route of return is currently available; or
- you have applied for a judicial review of your asylum application and have been given permission to proceed with it; or
- accommodation is necessary to prevent a breach of your rights within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998.
If you are already receiving section 4 support and you want to apply for additional services or facilities, use the section 4 provision of services or facilities application form on the right hand side of this page.
Please note that if you intend to apply for section 4 support on the basis that you are unable to leave the UK because of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason, which does not relate to pregnancy, you must submit with the section 4 support application form a completed section 4 medical declaration, which is located on the right hand side of this page.
You will not receive any cash. You will be provided with suitable accommodation and will receive a section 4 Azure payment card to use to buy food and essential toiletries to the value of £35.39 per person per week. In some cases you may be allocated full board accommodation where all your meals will be provided. The list of supermarkets and other retail shops where you can use your Azure section 4 payment card (PDD 28KB, opens in a new window) is on the right hand side of this page. You cannot use your Azure payment card to obtain cash from a cash point nor to purchase petrol, diesel, alcohol or tobacco.
For detailed policy guidance on section 4 support, see the Section 4 page in the Working with migrants from outside the EU section.
Section 4 Bail Accommodation
If you are a failed asylum seeker, a dependant of a failed asylum seeker, or have never had an asylum application but you are otherwise in detention under any provision of the Immigration Acts, and require section 4 bail accommodation for the purposes of a bail application due to not having alternative bail accommodation available to you, you can apply for section 4 bail accommodation using the Section 4 Bail Application Form on the right side of this page. For information on how to complete the Section 4 Bail Application Form, read the Section 4 Bail Application Guidance on the right side of this page.
Asylum section 4 support
- Section 4 additional services or facilities application form PDF 86KB opens in a new window
- Section 4 medical declaration PDF 133KB opens in a new window
Section 4 Bail
- Section 4 bail application form PDF 74KB opens in a new window
- Section 4 bail guidance notes PDF 126KB opens in a new window
- List of supermarkets and other retail shops where you can use your Azure section 4 payment cardPDF 205KB opens in a new window
- Form and process for nominating specialist Halal meat suppliersPDF 34KB opens in a new window