This resource page provides information on asylum support. This includes information on section 95 support and section 4 support.
This page does not deal with unaccompanied asylum seeking children as those children will be looked after and accommodated by the local authority – please see our fact sheets on claiming asylum as a child and local authority support.
For information on support for care leavers, please see our fact sheet on leaving care support.
For more information on local authority support for undocumented migrant families who are ineligible for asylum support, please see our fact sheet on section 17 support.
What is asylum support?
Asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers are unable to work or claim benefits. There are some exceptions – for example, an asylum seeker can apply for permission to work after 12 months if they have not received an initial decision.
Asylum support is the system to provide support for asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers financial support and accommodation.
Support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is provided to asylum seekers who have not received a final decision or have an appeal pending and are destitute or likely to become destitute. For further information on section 95 support, please see the ASAP fact sheet.
Support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is provided to refused asylum seekers who are destitute/likely to become destitute and meets one of these conditions:
- Taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK
- Unable to leave the UK because they are physically unable to travel or as a result of a medical issue
- There is no viable route of return (in the opinion of the UK government)
- A judicial review has been lodged and permission to review has been granted
- Human rights would be breached if accommodation was not provided.
For further information on section 4 support, please see the ASAP fact sheet.
Please note that the Immigration Act 2016 proposed significant changes to asylum support. However, these provisions are not in force and there is no indication they will come into force in the near future.
Resources & Useful links
The Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP) is one of the leading organisations working on the issue of asylum support. They provide:
- free legal representation at the Asylum Support Tribunal.
- a second-tier advice line for organisations – 020 3716 0283 (Monday, Wednesday & Friday 2pm-4pm).
- a number of fact sheets on a range of asylum support issues, including appeals, dependents, domestic abuse and pregnancy.
Refugee Action have a number of local projects and services that can provide help and advice on getting support while claiming asylum and homelessness support. This includes services in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Asylum Advice UK & Asylum Support Application UK are helplines for advice on claiming asylum support.