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Asylum and Immigration


An asylum seeker is someone who comes to the UK, often fleeing persecution, torture or war, and applies for refugee status. Until refugee status is granted, such a person remains an asylum seeker. Asylum seekers often encounter homelessness and face difficulty in obtaining accommodation.

The council has a statutory responsibility to offer assistance to asylum seekers under the National Assistance Act of 1948. We have a duty to provide accommodation and benefits to asylum seekers whilst they await the outcome of their case with the Home Office.

However, following changes in the law due to the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999, asylum seekers that arrived after April 2000 no longer have a right to assistance and do not have to be provided for by the council. Instead, the Home Office provides support through the National Asylum Support Service (NASS). Further information and Asylum support helpline numbers can be found on the Gov.UK website.

The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) provides support, accommodation and financial help for asylum seekers whilst their claim is being considered by the Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND). They administer the various benefits asylum seekers are entitled to and also make provisions for temporary accommodation.