UKVI asylum claim support decisions

Decisions that UK Visas and Immigration can make following the asylum seeker’s application for support.

This content applies to England

Time limits for asylum support decisions

Although the regulations do not specify a time limit within which a decision must be made, it is intended that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will make a decision within two working days of receiving an application for asylum support.

In practice, the process usually takes longer than two days. Where a decision has not been made within seven days, UKVI is required to write to the applicant, stating the reasons for the delay. It may be possible to challenge any delay by judicial review.

Asylum seekers should contact specialist advice agencies immediately for help with the application procedure, as asylum seekers falling into certain categories can be removed from the country two weeks after submitting their applications.

Support pending an application decision

A voluntary sector agency such as the Migrant Helpline, Refugee Action and the Refugee Council may arrange temporary section 98 support to an asylum seeker awaiting a decision on their application.

Refusal of asylum support

If UKVI decides that an applicant is not eligible for asylum support, it must send the applicant a refusal letter and a reasons letter, explaining why their application for asylum support has been rejected. The applicant must also be given a notice of appeal form, together with an explanatory letter.[1]

Failure to follow this procedure will give the applicant a valid ground for requesting an extension of the deadline for submitting an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal (Asylum and Immigration).

If support is refused or withdrawn and there is no successful appeal or reinstatement of support, it is only possible to reapply for support if there has been a change of circumstances, or if there are exceptional circumstances.

Appeals against refusal of asylum support

An asylum seeker whose application for asylum support has been rejected has a right of appeal to the Asylum Support Adjudicators.[2]

The asylum seeker has no entitlement to any support up until and during the appeal.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, appeals must be lodged within three working days of notification of refusal.

Successful asylum support application

If UKVI decides that an asylum support applicant is eligible for support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, it writes a letter to the applicant telling them that the application has been successful.

UKVI also provides details of the level of support that the applicant is to receive, which should be full asylum support. The applicant is also told where their accommodation will be located and any arrangements for travel to a dispersal area.

The support provided by UKVI is subject to conditions, which are set out in writing. Conditions include travelling to the allocated accommodation in a dispersal area and not leaving accommodation without informing UKVI first for a specified period.

An asylum applicant who breaches any of the specified conditions may have their support suspended or withdrawn.

Entitlement to NHS prescriptions

Asylum seekers whose applications for support from UKVI have been successful are issued with an HC2 certificate that enables them to get free NHS prescriptions, dental treatment and sight tests.

Successful applicants may also be reimbursed for travel expenses to and from hospital for National Health Service treatment, and for any costs they have already incurred in paying for treatment.

Last updated: 11 March 2021


  • [1]

    Policy Bulletin 12.

  • [2]

    s.102 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.