3 common questions about refugees answered
We often get asked the same few questions, so we thought it would be useful to put the answers to these down in one place. We get asked these 3 questions the most:
- What is a refugee?
The UN Refugee Convention says a refugee is a person that has a well-founded “fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”
A person must apply for refugee status in the UK. They are given ‘leave to remain’ in the UK if they are successful, which means they can legally live and work here.
2. Can refugees work in the UK?
Refugees can obtain a National Insurance Number once granted refugee stats and have full rights to live and work in the UK.
There is a 28-day ‘move on period’ after a refugee gains refugee status, in which they stop receiving asylum support and are removed from asylum accommodation. Many refugees are forced into homelessness at this stage.
3. Can asylum seekers work or claim benefits?
An asylum seeker is someone that is applying for, and is yet to be granted, refugee status. The process often takes months and, in some cases, years.
Asylum seekers are not allowed to claim benefits or work in the UK. If they are destitute and have no other means of supporting themselves, they can apply to receive asylum support. This is set at around £5.39 per day.