Claiming asylum in the UK
If you have come to the UK and you need to stay because you fear persecution in your home country, you may be eligible to apply for asylum.
You can find information about the asylum process and how to apply on the government website - GOV.UK.
If you need immigration advice, you can search for an immigration adviser who can help with getting permission to stay in the UK.
Pending immigration status
If you have already applied for asylum and your immigration status is pending, you should note that asylum support from the Home Office (money and/or housing), will stop after 21 to 28 days from the day you will get your refugee status.
If you are currently staying in a Home Office accommodation, you should consider looking into alternative housing, such as renting an apartment or a room.
The Department for Work and Pensions also has a guide for refugees on applying for benefits during the 28-day period after which you have to leave your asylum accommodation. It also briefly covers getting a bank account and finding housing.
For further help whilst going through the asylum process, visit the Migrant Help website or call their 24/7 helpline on 0808 8010 503 for support in your language. If you have recently received either a positive or negative decision, Migrant Help’s Move on Service can support you. You can request this through the helpline.
Support for asylum seekers
It can be difficult to find information and help on the asylum process but there are a number of organisations who provide dedicated support to asylum seekers. The organisations listed below can help you to find resources, services and advocates you need to help you stay healthy and safe in the UK.
- Afghan Association Paiwand offer wide-ranging support to those in need, including advocacy, employment assistance, and welfare help. Paiwand focuses on youth integration, mental health advice, and immigration guidance. The organisation also provides community support, youth activities, and parenting classes in Brent. Their mental health team offers counselling for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Advocacy | Employment | Immigration Advice | Mental Health Support | Youth Activities
- Citizen Advice Brent (CAB) provides valuable support to Asylum Seekers and Refugees living in Brent. They offer advice and resources for understanding housing and benefits entitlements, and operate an immigration helpline for those in need. They are equipped to give level 1 immigration advice and offer assistance with cost of living support.Housing Support | Benefits Advice | Cost of Living Support.
Housing Support | Benefits Advice | Cost of Living Support
- Brent Start offers workshops to help residents develop their skills further and gain new qualifications. Courses include beauty, health and social care, business and ICT and languages.
English Classes | Education
- Brent Talking Therapies is part of the NHS 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' (IAPT) program, provides various talking therapies for anxiety, depression, and related issues. You can refer yourself by phone, email, or online form, or ask your GP to refer you. They offer interpreters, including British Sign Language, for accessibility.
Mental Health Support
- Brent Works is a no cost service providing job and apprenticeship opportunities for local people, across a range of sectors, from construction and hotels to cafes and cultural venues.
- ELATT offers a wide range of courses, including ESOL, IT for ESOL, Functional Skills Maths and English, Teaching Assistant, and tech courses like web design and software development. They also provide support in areas such as wellbeing, employability, and debt and welfare to their learners. Additionally, they offer digital classes and have a sixth form provision.
English Classes | Employment Support | Education | Wellbeing
- Freedom From Torture provides therapy and legal advice services for asylum seekers and refugees. This includes counsellors, psychotherapists and other specialists helping people through the long recovery journey.
Legal Advice | Mental Health Support
- Groundswell collaborates with hospital Pathway teams and St Mungo’s Outreach to support verified rough sleepers. They assist clients in addressing their health concerns, providing information on health services, and helping them schedule, attend, and understand medical appointments. The organisation offers practical support during follow-ups and hospital stays, advocating for clients when necessary to overcome barriers in accessing healthcare. Additionally, they support clients in applying for HC2 certificates to help with healthcare costs.
Housing Support | Wellbeing
- Little Village run baby banks to support families living in poverty with children aged 0-5. They provide essential items including clothing and equipment, often sourced from pre-loved donations in line with their key value of sustainability. They work on a referral basis and offer a signposting and guidance service for additional support. They are currently assisting families living in hotels and also offer volunteering opportunities for those looking to help.
Families and children | Volunteering
- Migrant Help is a UK charity dedicated to supporting refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking. They offer a wide range of services, including asylum support, trafficking support, and integration assistance. Through tailored advice and essential support, Migrant Help is committed to helping vulnerable individuals navigate the challenges of their circumstances and transition into a more stable life.
Mental Health Support
- Peepal Tree support services provides comprehensive support for unaccompanied minors (UMs) settling in the UK. They assist with education and language development, help with registering for services such as GPs, dentists, and colleges, and oversee asylum claims in conjunction with the local authority. Additionally, they provide life skills development in areas such as budgeting, cooking, and general home and task management skills. They also oversee other miscellaneous support needed by the UMs during their time in the UK.
Advice and guidance
- Salusbury World provides extensive refugee support, including school programmes, volunteering opportunities, 1:1 educational mentoring, classes for mothers, children’s holidays, housing and legal assistance, health guidance, ESOL classes, and assistance with accessing benefits like Universal Credit through Hubs. They also advocate for school placements, uniforms, and organise holiday programmes for children aged 8-16.
Families and Children | English Classes | Legal Advice | Education Support | Wellbeing
- Springboard Youth Academy provides newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking youth (aged 13-18) with a vital opportunity to make friends, acquire English language and life skills, and begin to rebuild their lives in the UK. Their Saturday Programme runs weekly during term-time at Newman Catholic College, their Half-term Programme runs daily during all half-terms (also at NCC), and their Summer Programme runs daily for three weeks in August at Capital City Academy. Each day (10am-3pm) consists of a participatory English session, sports, a hot, halal lunch and a life skills or arts workshop, plus the opportunity for additional 1:1 support if needed. Open to young people being age disputed.
Education Support | Wellbeing | Youth Activities
- Sufra provides emergency food aid to refugees and asylum seekers and offers the Open Arms resettlement programme to empower asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to become independent and start a new life in our community. They give advice to asylum seekers and refugees and run social inclusion activities on Fridays. They also offer an introduction to ESOL, asylum and protection and level 2 immigration advice. In addition, they make referrals to other services.
Cost of Living support | Wellbeing | Legal Advice
- Refugee Education UK (REUK) supports young people in accessing education, offering mentoring and wellbeing support. They provide training for educational practitioners on assisting refugees, offer ESOL classes, and give advice to refugees aiming for higher education. They host free monthly workshops for young refugees and provide scholarships for asylum seeking students.
English Classes | Educational Support
- Young Roots advocates for young refugees and asylum seekers aged 14-25 in Brent, providing 1-to-1 support to access education, social services, healthcare, and legal advice. They assist throughout the asylum process, including age assessments, appeals, and appointments. Their youth development programme reduces social isolation, improves mental health, and creates a sense of belonging through youth activities, women's groups, holiday trips, and residentials. The Youth Welfare Project supports the wellbeing of newly arrived young refugees aged 18-25 living in Home Office accommodation in Brent.
Educational Support | Wellbeing