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Support from UK Visas and Immigration

This content applies to England

Assistance that may be available to asylum seekers from UKVI (formerly the UK Border Agency).

Asylum support is intended as a replacement for welfare benefits, social services support and local authority housing for people claiming asylum in the UK. The system is administered by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), a part of the Home Office. Previously the system was administered by the UK Border Agency and before that by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS). The system of support for asylum seekers is sometimes still referred to as 'NASS support'.

All asylum seekers who applied for asylum in the UK on or after 3 April 2000, whether at the port of entry or in-country (whatever their previous status), are the responsibility of UKVI, provided they pass the eligibility criteria (see the page on Eligibility for support for details).

Voluntary sector assistance

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

Eligibility for support

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

Late claim for asylum

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

Type of assistance provided

The type of support that the UK Visas and Immigration can provide, the factors taken into account when deciding whether to provide support, and excluded items. 

Applying for UKVI support

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

UKVI decision

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


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. 

Conditions attached to support

Conditions might be attached to an offer of support. 

Suspension or withdrawal of support

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

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