Short overview of the reception system

United Kingdom

Country Report: Short overview of the reception system Last updated: 24/04/24


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First time applicants, that prove to be destitute, are entitled to accommodation and/or a weekly sum of money, the Home Office is responsible for providing this.

Most asylum seekers are provided with initial accommodation (reception centres) designed for two or three weeks, and then further accommodation, if assessed as eligible for longer term support – usually self-contained for families and shared housing for other adults.

This further accommodation consists of hotels, privately-owned flats and houses, managed by the companies contracted to the Home Office, or by their sub-contractors. Those on longer term support are also eligible for a weekly cash allowance. Asylum seekers choosing to live with friends or family are eligible for the cash support but not any contribution to the accommodation costs. Those refused asylum but supported to avoid a breach of their human rights can be moved to specific accommodation.

Those awaiting a decision on the longer-term support are not given any cash. As the use of full board accommodation for those on longer term support increased from 2020 (e.g. hotels, repurposed military barracks and the Bibby Stockholm barge) a small amount of cash is now given in addition to the full board.

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