Asylum seekers

Information for Asylum seekers

There are many reasons why people around the globe seek to rebuild their lives in a different country. Some people leave home to get a job or an education. Others are forced to flee persecution or human rights violations such as torture. Millions flee from armed conflicts or other crises or violence. Some no longer feel safe and might have been targeted just because of who they are or what they do or believe – for example, for their ethnicity, religion, sexuality or political opinions.  

Definitions: What exactly is a refugee, an asylum seeker and a migrant?

The terms “refugee”, “asylum seeker” and “migrant” are used to describe people who are on the move, who have left their countries and have crossed borders.

An asylum seekers is a person who has left their country of origin and formally applied for asylum in another country but whose application has not yet been concluded.

A migrant is someone who has moved to another country because they want to work, study or join family, for example. Others feel they must leave because of poverty, political unrest, gang violence, natural disasters or other serious circumstances.

The terms “migrant” and “refugee” are often used interchangeably but it is important to distinguish between them as there is a legal difference.

In Norfolk and Waveney, the People from Abroad Team who are co-located who work with refugee families to support their journey to independence in the UK. The team is greatly supported by a network of volunteers who give their time to assist refugees here in our local community . To find out more about the work they do watch this short video.

Useful links:

Local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise groups:

Great Yarmouth Refugee Outreach & Support:

Asylum seeker Health team within the People from Abroad Team –

Homeless Link have, with funding by the Greater London Authority, produced a toolkit to help frontline staff and managers working with non-UK nationals experiencing homelessness. This toolkit aims to help said staff better understand migrants’ rights and entitlements to drug and alcohol services.  

It also provides guidance to help staff make decisions around accessing services and support, making best use of available resources and improving outcomes for service users. You can access the toolkit here

Contact numbers:

  • Red Cross – Contact 0808 196 3651 (Norfolk and Waveney wide)
    • Suffolk Refugee Support – contact 01473 400785 (Waveney)
    • Migrant Help – Free asylum helpline: 0808 8010 503