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Becoming a Refugee

Finally – you’ve received leave to remain – now you’re a Refugee! You might think that everything will be ok from here onwards. But not quite…..What are the changes between a refugee and an asylum seeker?

When a person is given refugee status, they have just 28 days to find accommodation and apply for mainstream benefits before they are evicted from asylum accommodation. In this time they need to apply for a bank account, and acquire a national insurance number. Mainstream benefits typically take 6 weeks to process. Many refugees become homeless at this stage. This is a huge upheaval and causes many complex ongoing issues – especially as so many have been in the asylum system for months or even years.

Some refugees have certain restrictions on their leave to remain – namely ‘No recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) which means they cannot apply for universal credit or housing benefit.

RISE (2022)

Discussing their experiences of living in Manchester as an Asylum Seeker and Refugee.


Reflect on the videos above.

What do you think are the most challenging aspects of claiming asylum?
What did you learn from watching the videos?