Get help as a refugee
If you are a refugee, asylum seeker or vulnerable migrant, the British Red Cross may be able to help you.
If you are an asylum seeker who uses an Aspen card, you will not be able to use it between 5:00 pm on Friday 21 May and 9:00 am on Monday 24 May, 2021. To help you get through this period, please make sure you:
- Withdraw your funds from your Aspen card before Friday at 5:00 pm.
- If you have trouble with your card and need help, please contact the Migrant Help line on 0808 8010 503. They can take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are extra staff on duty to help you. You can also contact them via WebChat.
- If you are still having problems, contact your British Red Cross caseworker during normal working hours for help.
Help we offer
Refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants can get free emergency support from us. Support can include:
- small amounts of cash
- baby items
What we can offer depends where you are in the country. Help could also include:
- reuniting with family
- travel vouchers
- benefits and career advice
- help registering with a doctor or dentist
- coming with you to appointments
- learning about life in the UK
- getting to know your local area
Contact us, we will listen to what you need. If we cannot help, we will tell you who to contact next. We:
- provide an interpreter if you do not speak English
- are not political or religious
- will not report you to the authorities.
People who have been trafficked
We may be able to give support and advice on what to do next, and where to get more help, if you are a refugee or asylum seeker who has been trafficked. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are between 15 years old and 25 years old, you can get help as a young refugee.
Reuniting with family
You could get support with family reunion visa applications, like collecting evidence together and completing forms, and travel assistance, like arranging flights for your family to join you.
Get help to apply for a family reunion visa
We may be able to offer support with your application if you:
- live in London, Leeds, Liverpool, Preston, Plymouth or Glasgow
- have refugee status or humanitarian protection
- want to bring your wife, husband, partner or children to the UK from other countries.
Apply for travel assistance
We may be able to offer you support if you:
- have a visa for your family members
- get government benefits, or earn the national living wage or less.
And if your family members travelling to the UK are either:
- a child or children without a parent (we also call this ‘unaccompanied children’), or
- three or more members of the same family.
We try to help as many people as possible, but we are a charity, so our support is limited.
We work with the International Organisation for Migration to make sure family members know what coronavirus (Covid-19) pre-departure checks are needed. When they arrive in the UK, we help them understand quarantine rules and tell them about local restrictions.
Refugee family reunion guide
Use our guidance to submit family reunion visa applications if professional legal support is not available. It also outlines who is eligible, how to submit an application, and what evidence will be needed.
Providing immigration advice if you are not qualified and not regulated is an offence under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
Most countries, version updated: July 2020
This guide covers making an application using the website gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk. It contains guidance for uploading evidence electronically.
Download guide to refugee family reunion (PDF, 2MB)