News and Information
People refused asylum by the government

If a person seeking asylum is unsuccessful in their application to live in the UK, the government expects them to return to their country of origin either voluntarily or through assisted voluntary return. In many circumstances, following a negative decision, refused asylum seekers may be detained and removed from the UK by the Immigration Enforcement Teams.

If a person is unable to leave the UK due to a physical impairment or is unable to be removed by the immigration service, they may qualify in the short term for Home Office support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act. If so, they will often be relocated to other accommodation and moved from cash support to a voucher system. Section 4 support is intended as a minimal stop gap support system pending departure from the United Kingdom.

For those who do not qualify for Section 4 support (this would not include families with dependent children), if they do not voluntarily leave the UK, they remain ineligible for any state benefits and are prohibited from taking up employment. This is classified as having “no recourse to public funds” and leaves a person who has been refused asylum in a situation of being destitute. No home and no income or entitlement to benefits. In this situation, if a person takes up employment, both they and their employer are breaking the law.

At the same time they are not entitled to claim any benefits or receive local authority support unless it was within the needs of a full care and support package under the 1948 National Assistance Act (NAA) Recent changes in legislation has meant that support for refused asylum seekers under the NAA has become increasingly rare. It will now be considered only if there is a very serious health need or severe disability. This area continues to be the subject of challenges within the courts systems.