Provision of information on reception

United Kingdom

Country Report: Provision of information on reception Last updated: 24/04/24


Refugee Council Visit Website

Paragraph 358 of the Immigration Rules is the only provision in law on information concerning reception conditions. It says that asylum applicants should be informed no later than 15 days after their claim is registered of the benefits and services that they are entitled to. They should also be told of the rules and procedures they must comply with, and be provided with information on non-governmental organisations that can provide legal or other assistance. Where possible this should be provided in a language understood by the applicant. Paragraph 344C requires a person who is granted asylum to be provided with access to information, as soon as possible, in a language that they may reasonably be supposed to understand which sets out the rights and obligations relating to refugee status.[1]

The charity Migrant Help has been providing the Asylum Support Applications UK and Asylum Advice and Guidance services since 2013. In 2019 they retained the contract under a new tender, called Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility. They provide general information, advice and guidance through a Telephone Advice Centre, or face-to-face appointments at the initial accommodation centres or outreach sessions. In the first few months of the new contract the organisation was heavily criticised for failing to respond to the number of calls they were receiving. A number of NGOs wrote to the government to highlight their concerns in this regard.[2] Migrant Help’s regular newsletters have sought to address concerns with regular updates about what action they are taking to improve the access to the service.[3] Multilingual information is given via Migrant Help’s website in different forms: web/video presentations, audio briefings and written briefings. These are in 15 languages and may be downloaded.

Asylum seekers are asked at the screening interview if they wish to apply for support. Apart from the difficulties in claiming (see section on Criteria and Restrictions to Access Reception Conditions), there are no other significant reported problems in obtaining access to initial support including s.95. Initial information appears to be adequate.



[1] Para 344C Immigration Rules Part 11.

[2] Letter to Minister of State, 30 October 2019, available at:  

[3] Migrant Help, AIRE newsletters, 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