Freedom of movement

United Kingdom

Country Report: Freedom of movement Last updated: 30/05/23


Refugee Council Visit Website

There are no restrictions on freedom of movement for refugees, those with humanitarian protection or their family members. Some difficulties arise when people want to move away from where they have been dispersed and relocate to a place where they have no previous connection. New duties in the Homelessness Reduction Act which came into force in April 2018 should alleviate this problem although there is still a high incidence of homelessness amongst newly recognised refugees. New research reports relating to this issue from NGOs in 2018 include Mind the Gap from the No Accommodation Network (NACCOM),[1] and Still an Ordeal from the British Red Cross.[2] The government’s Integration Action Plan, published in February 2019,[3] includes commitments to improve the information provided to new refugees and to better coordinate government departments to improve new refugees’ access to existing services. New information was published during 2019, one general document,[4]  translated into eleven languages and one specifically advising how to claim welfare benefits,[5] available in English only.




[1]  NACCOM, Mind the Gap, May 2018, available at:

[2]  British Red Cross, Still an Ordeal, December 2018, available at:

[3] Government, Integrated communities Action Plan, February 2019, available at:

[4] Welcome: a guide for new refugees, available at:

[5] Claiming Universal Credit and other benefits if you are a refugee, 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