Journey of the UK’s Asylum Process

Destitution among asylum seekers and refugees in the UK – The British Red Cross 

Asylum seekers do not have permission to work or claim state benefits in the UK. Nearly half of the destitution cases witnessed by the British Red Cross in 2016 concerned people relying on asylum support of approximately EUR 41.00 per week. Asylum seekers most commonly become destitute when there are problems with the imbursements, or when the payments stop upon rejection of their asylum claim.

New refugees are particularly vulnerable, as governmental asylum support is withdrawn 28 days after protection status is granted. However, research shows that the process of finding work and somewhere to live takes much longer than 28 days. Due to the time it takes to get set up on the system, many are becoming destitute through no fault of their own. Of the destitute people given support by the British Red Cross last year, 21 per cent were new refugees suffering from this problem.

“It’s clear that our asylum system can leave anyone destitute, including individuals who the Home Office has deemed in need of international protection” said British Red Cross Chief Executive, Mike Adamson. “No one should be left homeless after fleeing the devastating conflict in Syria or persecution in Eritrea,” he added. “We want to work with the government to address this largely hidden crisis.”

Services such as these in Sweden and the UK emphasise how the Red Cross works to help people based on need alone, and not on the basis of their administrative or legal status. The latter is subject to change. The former is unchallengeable and must always take precedence. See full British Red Cross article here.

Information and Facts

Other sources

House of Commons Library – Asylum Statistics 

The UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency)