Refugees are people who have fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and have crossed an international border to find safety in another country.

They often have had to flee at a moments notice, leaving behind their homes, possessions, jobs and loved ones.

The UN 1951 Refugee Convention (known as the Geneva Convention) defines that a refugee is “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”

In the UK, a refugee is someone who has applied for asylum and been accepted as a refugee here.

Asylum Seeker

An asylum seeker is a person who has applied for refugee status (or another form of international protection) in another country and is waiting on a decision for their application. A person can only apply for asylum once they physically reach a country.

In the UK, people seeking asylum are banned from working and cannot claim benefits. If they are destitute, they can apply for Asylum Support.

Asylum Support

If a person seeking asylum is destitute and has no other means of supporting themselves, they can apply to receive asylum support (previous NASS Support).

If a person recieves subsistence support, this is equates to £5.66 per day to pay for food, toiletries, medicines and other essentials.

We are actively campaigning to lift the ban on work for people seeking asylum. The right to work would allow people seeking asylum to support themselves, to use their talents and experience, and help them to feel part of their community.

People seeking asylum can also receive temporary accommodation, usually in a dispersal area. If they have additional care needs, such as chronic illness or a disability, they may also be eligible for support from their local authority.

No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)

No recourse to public funds (NRPF) is a condition imposed on someone due to their immigration status. Section 115 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 states that a person will have ‘no recourse to public funds’ if they are ‘subject to immigration control’.

This means they cannot access receive any benefits or housing from the UK government.

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