Life in the UK

You might be considering travelling to the United Kingdom as an irregular migrant. Irregular migrants who choose to apply for asylum in the UK face strict border controls. 


Life for Irregular Migrants

Migrants who enter the UK irregularly are not allowed to work. As such, those who take on work while undocumented may be vulnerable to unfair treatment and exploitation. They are also not eligible to receive benefits from the UK government, such as financial support or aid. 

Because life in the UK can be quite costly, many undocumented migrants find it challenging to make ends meet. 


Seeking Asylum in the UK

If you are seeking asylum in the UK, you should apply for asylum as soon as you arrive in the country; your asylum claim is more likely to be denied if you wait. You can learn more about how to apply for asylum on the UK Government’s webpage here.

Prior to exiting the European Union, the UK was bound by the Dublin Regulation, which stipulates that asylum seekers must claim asylum in the first safe country they enter. However, the UK’s participation in this regulation expired on 31 December 2020. The UK Government is seeking new legislation on immigration. This may impact where asylum seekers are processed or can be returned to. 

Learn more about applying for asylum in the UK in the section below.


Life for Asylum Seekers in the UK 

Asylum seekers who are waiting for their claim to be considered and who do not have the financial means to support themselves can access assistance. Those with an active application can also access free primary and secondary healthcare and children must attend school. 

Housing is provided for asylum seekers in the UK. This housing is assigned, and asylum seekers cannot choose where they live. Financial support is also available and is currently set at £39.63 per person per week, which is £5.64 a day for all daily essentials, with extra support available for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children 

The majority of asylum-seekers do not have the right to work in the UK, unless they have waited more than a year for a decision on their application, and possess a unique skill which fills a gap in the job market. The large majority thus rely on support from the British government.

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