Asylum seekers and refugees


Further to the Asylum Accommodation factsheet published by the Home Office SMPs have received a more detailed supplementary document regarding Home Office most recent position on asylum accommodation and support. the document outlines key changes that have been made in following policy areas: 

  • 1.    Asylum Policy and Process
  • 2.    Asylum Accommodation
  • 3.    Accommodation Procurement
  • 4.    Support for Service Users
  • 5.    Asylum Support



27/04/2020- Service update: ARC Service Customer Contact

A new method to allow Asylum Applicants to report issues with ARC fulfilment including data accuracy has been launched on Gov.UK on Monday 20th April 2020.

The tool allows users to report ARC issues in a logical and rules based way, which re-enforces assurance activity by providing better data, and speeds up resolution, and delayers processes.

For more details visit The UK Government website HERE




The UK Government has published a factsheet on asylum accommodation and applications in the light of the coronavirus pandemic on the web page. You can access it HERE



NHS Inform COVID-19 treatment and immigration statu

NHS inform updated their website to clarify following key messages:

• Covid-19 treatment is free for all and that anyone with symptoms, regardless of their immigration status, should follow the guidance in exactly the same way as those that are ordinarily resident in Scotland.

• Anyone that requires immediate or urgent healthcare in Scotland, not only for Covid-19, will receive it regardless of their immigration status or their ability to pay at the time if charges apply.

• Healthcare provision in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Government and is in no way linked to immigration control, which is a matter for the Home Office.   NHS Boards in Scotland never pass on patients’ details to the Home Office for the purpose of immigration enforcement.


Useful NHS Inform web links:

Asylum and refugee healthcare

Overseas visitor healthcare 

Coronavirus (Covid-19 page) 


This includes advice and information in other languages and formats; as well as linking to guidance on a range of matters, including mental wellbeing, parent club and support for businesses.



22/02/2020 Asylum Operations Update: Regional Asylum Intake Units

Following measures introduced by Her Majesty’s Government in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Home Office has temporarily introduced additional locations to register asylum claims. These are temporary arrangements which will be kept under review to align with HMG guidance.

An additional unit has been established in Glasgow. Customers are still to phone the AIU appointment line on 0300 123 4193, once a call is logged, a member of staff within the Glasgow team will return the call to book an appointment. The appointment line operates Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4:45pm; and Friday, 9am to 4:30pm.

For more details of the announcement click HERE




Evictions from asylum accommodation paused

On 27th March 2020, the Home Office Minister Chris Philp sent a Letter to the Local Authorities who are dispersal areas, announcing that for the next three months people will not be asked to leave their asylum accommodation.   This applies to both people whose asylum cases are refused and those who are granted status.  In the letter, the Minister sets out that this will be reviewed towards the end of June. 


Asylum support payments

People on section 95 support whose asylum claim, and any appeal are refused will need to apply for section 4 support and therefore will continue receiving financial support.  They should receive a letter notifying them of this.

People who have received a positive decision on their asylum claim are expected to apply for mainstream welfare benefits, however, their asylum support payments will continue until they have received their first benefit payment.


The only likely discontinuations of asylum support for the next 3 months are where the person is found to be no longer destitute or where there has been a serious breach of the relevant regulations.  The Home Office expect these cases to be few in number.



SERVICE UPDATE: Issued by the Home Office 27.03.2020

Suspension of discontinuations of support for asylum seekers  

In line with the general ban on evictions for 3 months we will, with as immediate an effect as possible, cease asking people to vacate their asylum accommodation when their claim or appeal is concluded.  This means that both those who are granted and those who are refused will continue to be accommodated and supported by the Home Office.




On 25/03/2020 The Home Office shared a Frequently Asked Questions document on resettlement to the UK. 



SERVICE UPDATE: Issued by Glasgow City Council Thurs 19 March 15:30

Glasgow School closures and provision of food and resources

Schools will be closed from the beginning of next week (Mon 23/03/20).  There is no date when schools will reopen but it may not be until after the summer holidays.  Glasgow City Council will no longer be accepting new enrolments while schools are closed.  

Individual schools are sending information about home learning to their children. Some additional resources can be found on Glasgow City Council GDSS website HERE 

The Glasgow Times will be publishing resources and ideas which will be accessible to families who don’t have internet access.  This will include ideas for children who are new to English and activities that parents and children can do together.

Education Services in Glasgow will be providing free school meals to vulnerable families in schools throughout the city.  This service will be available in a number of schools across the city.  Children of asylum seeking families would be eligible for this, including those who have recently arrived and have not been able to enrol in school. 



SERVICE UPDATE: Issued by Home Office Wed 18 March 12:00

Reporting Requirements

UKVI Reporting and Offender Management (ROM) Team have now confirmed reporting frequencies for reportees in light of the COVID-19 developing situation.  The decision taken is that they will initially suspend reporting for all reportees and an SMS message will be sent out to reportees shortly advising them of this – see below in bold. The agreement is that reporting will be suspended for Non Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) for 3 months.  For FNOs, they will all be moved to monthly reporting.  UKVI will then, via SMS, inform reportees of the change to their reporting and when they should next report.

SMS Message: 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, your bail condition requiring you to report has temporarily been suspended.  The other conditions of your bail still apply. We will text you nearer the time with a date of when you are required to report back to your local reporting centre.  For up to date information on COVID-19 please go to   



SERVICE UPDATE: Issued by the Home Office Wed 18 March 08:40

Further Submissions

Applicants wanting to make further submissions can send them in via post, or via e-mail to our inbox. They should not travel to Liverpool to hand them in.

Postal address:

FSUThe Capital BuildingOld Hall StreetLiverpoolL3 9PPE-mail  

This new process will be a temporary measure due to the Coronavirus problems. We will notify you all when the temporary process is going to end.

We will be updating the messages on the website, on our phones and on our inboxes. We will send a message to all applicants who have already booked an appointment.



Temporary suspension of resettlement programmes

On 17th of March, resettlement programmes operated in the UK, including the Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme, the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Programme and Gateway Programme have been suspended until further notice. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNHCR and IOM released the below statement:

“As countries drastically reduce entry into their territories owing to the COVID-19 global health crisis, and restrictions around international air travel are introduced, travel arrangements for resettling refugees are currently subject to severe disruptions. Some States have also placed a hold on resettlement arrivals given their public health situation, which impacts on their capacity to receive newly resettled refugees.

Refugee families are being directly impacted by these quickly evolving regulations in the course of their travel, with some experiencing extensive delays while others have been stranded or separated from family members.

In addition, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the International Organization for Migration, are concerned that international travel could increase the exposure of refugees to the virus.

As a result, IOM and UNHCR are taking steps to suspend resettlement departures for refugees. This is a temporary measure that will be in place only for as long as it remains essential.

As resettlement remains a life-saving tool for many refugees, UNHCR and IOM are appealing to States, and working in close coordination with them, to ensure that movements can continue for the most critical emergency cases wherever possible. The suspension will begin to take effect within the next few days as the two agencies attempt to bring those refugees who have already cleared all formalities to their intended destinations.

Resettlement provides a vital lifeline for particularly vulnerable refugees, and IOM and UNHCR will continue their work in refugee-hosting countries, in collaboration with all relevant partners, to ensure that the processing of cases for resettlement continues. We will also remain in close contact with refugees themselves and all of the agencies that work to support the use of resettlement as a critical protection measure.

Both agencies look forward to resuming full resettlement travel as soon as prudence and logistics permit.”

The statement was published on UNHCR website. 



SERVICE UPDATE: British Red Cross

Following the UK Government guidance British Red Cross had to close the Refugee Support operations at Cambridge House. A temporary enquiry number was set up for clients and external partners and will operate during office hours: 07590 445367

Any emergency casework and regular queries should be directed to staff via email or their mobile phone. 



SERVICE UPDATE: Scottish Refugee Council

To help protect the health of everyone the community Scottish Refugee Council temporarily changed the way we run services. From Friday 13 March 2020, full advice service is provided by phone and access to offices is limited to absolutely essential appointments only. For more information visit SRC website.  


updated: 29/04/2020