This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Asylum seekers

This content applies to England

Housing and support rights for asylum seekers who have applied to remain in the UK and are awaiting a decision, or who have received a decision.

It also provides information about whether an asylum seeker can receive assistance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), or from a local authority under community care provisions, ie the Children Act 1989 or the Care Act 2014. UKVI, a part of the Home Office, is responsible for the provision of accommodation and support for the vast majority of asylum seekers in the UK (previously this role fell to the UK Border Agency, and before that to the National Asylum Support Service).

For information about eligibility for assistance under homelessness legislation, see the section on Eligibility: non-EEA/EU nationals and the section on Eligibility: EEA/EU nationals.

Housing and welfare rights

The legislation that determines the eligibility of asylum seekers to housing, welfare support and legal aid. 

Eligibility for UKVI support

Details of the criteria that an asylum seeker must fulfil to be eligible for support. 

Exclusion from UKVI support

Asylum seekers who have been excluded from receiving support under section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. 

Applying for support

The process of applying for support from the UK Border Agency. 

UKVI support conditions

The type of support that UKVI (formerly UK Border Agency) can provide, the factors taken into account when deciding whether to provide support, and excluded items . 

Voluntary sector assistance

Help that asylum seekers may receive from voluntary organisations while their application for support is being considered. 

UKVI decisions

The application process and decisions that the UK Border Agency may make. 

UKVI dispersal

Information on when asylum seekers are dispersed throughout the UK and challenging dispersal. Also given are details on accommodation centres and the level of support that dispersed asylum seekers can receive. 

End of UKVI support

Reasons why the UK Border Agency may suspend or withdraw support, the relevant notice period, and re-applying after withdrawal. 

Security of tenure

What security of tenure an asylum seeker in UKVI accommodation has, and issues around housing conditions, harassment and domestic violence. 

Positive asylum decision

When an asylum seeker is granted refugee status, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave to remain in the UK. 

Negative asylum decision

Where an asylum seeker receives a negative decision on her/his application; claiming 'section 4' support. 

Challenging decisions

Challenging UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) decisions by way of appeal and judicial review. Also section 4 support. 

Care Act or Children Act support

Assistance asylum seekers may be entitled to under community care legislation and the Children Act. 

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