Information for asylum seekers and access to NGOs and UNHCR

United Kingdom

Country Report: Information for asylum seekers and access to NGOs and UNHCR Last updated: 24/04/24


Refugee Council Visit Website

The Immigration Rules provide that asylum applicants should be informed ‘in a language they may reasonably be supposed to understand and within a reasonable time after their claim for asylum has been recorded of the procedure to be followed, their rights and obligations during the procedure, and the possible consequences of non-compliance and non-co-operation. They shall be informed of the likely timeframe for consideration of the application and the means at their disposal for submitting all relevant information’.[1]

Further, they shall be informed in writing and in a language they may reasonably be supposed to understand ‘within a reasonable time not exceeding fifteen days after their claim for asylum has been recorded of the benefits and services that they may be eligible to receive and of the rules and procedures with which they must comply relating to them.’

The Home Office is also required to provide information on non-governmental organisations and persons that provide legal assistance to asylum applicants and which may be able to help or provide information on available benefits and services.[2] The Home Office has contracted with charity Migrant Help to provide those services to everyone in the asylum system, mainly via a free telephone helpline, as well as some face to face services.[3] This contract was renewed in January 2019,until 31 August 2029.[4]

Information on the asylum process is given by Migrant Help in the initial accommodation centres, both in person and by video presentation. Information is also available about the asylum process on the Migrant Help website.[5] One-to-one appointments are offered in initial accommodation centres, and at some outreach locations, at which applications for support can be made, and asylum seekers can make appointments with legal representatives. However, these are limited;[6] the service is resources to provide advice primarily through a phone line and web-chat and specifically mentions on its website that it is unable to provide legal advice but would provide a list of legal representatives on request.

At the AIU a Point of Claim leaflet is provided,[7] which explains the next steps if the case is put into the regular procedure, and what it means to be granted or refused asylum. This leaflet was updated in 2022. Unaccompanied children are also given a leaflet about the Refugee Council Independent Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Support Service and a specific Point of Claim leaflet aimed at children is still being developed by the Home Office, in consultation with NGOs.[8] A letter prior to the screening appointment also gives information and the Home Office website explains what documents the asylum seeker needs to bring to the screening interview, and rights and responsibilities throughout the asylum process in English only.[9] If the Third Country Unit considers that the claim may be considered inadmissible, the will issue the applicant with a ‘notice of intent’ which states the country of possible return.





[1] Para 357A Immigration Rules Part 11B.

[2] Para 358 Immigration Rules Part 11B.

[3] Migrant Help, ‘Asylum services’, accessed 24 March 2024, available at:

[4] GOV.UK Contracts Finder, 6 February 2019, available at:

[5] Migrant Help, ‘Advice and guidance’, see:

[6] Practice based observation by the expert, January 2024.

[7] Point of claim leaflet, available at: (English Version; also available in 14 other languages).

[8] The leaflet is not available online but contains contact details, amongst other information.

[9] Home Office, How to claim asylum, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection