Asylum seekers and refugees
Anyone in the world has the right to seek sanctuary in another country if they are at risk of persecution in their own country. 'Asylum' is a form of legal protection granted by a state to refugees fleeing persecution.
An asylum seeker is someone who has made an application for asylum and is waiting for a decision on their claim. If their claim is successful, they may be granted 'Refugee Status' and are given permission to live in the UK for an initial five years. After that time, they may be allowed to stay here permanently.
The laws and policies about applying for asylum and getting support from the government while your claim is being processed are very complex and change frequently. Asylum seekers cannot claim ordinary benefits to live on. Generally financial support and housing for asylum seekers is provided by the United Kingdom Border Agency, part of the Home Office. Once someone has been granted Refugee Status or another form of leave to remain, they are entitled to seek work or claim benefits like anyone else.
Asylum seeking children and young people under 18 who arrive in Brighton & Hove separated from their parents or other caregivers are assessed for support by the council's Young People's Asylum Service.
For further information about about issues concerning vulnerable migrants in the city, contact the Community Safety Team on (01273) 292572.