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.

Get help as a refugee in the UK

Arrow icon Help we offer

Arrow icon Looking for family in Afghanistan

Arrow icon People who have been trafficked

Arrow icon Young refugees

Arrow icon Reuniting with family

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Help we offer

Refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants can get free emergency support from us. Support can include:

  • food
  • small amounts of cash
  • clothes
  • toiletries
  • blankets
  • 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
  • counselling

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:

Young refugees

If you are between 15 years old and 25 years old, you can get help as a young refugee.

Reuniting with family

Family members affected by the recent developments in Afghanistan

We are sorry that our Refugee family reunion travel assistance service in Afghanistan is currently suspended due to the security situation.

For information on how to request assistance for family members in Afghanistan, and for the Afghan resettlement scheme, please visit the dedicated UK government web page.

For information on resettlement routes for Afghan nationals, please refer to the dedicated UK government factsheet

Get help to apply for a family reunion visa

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.

We may be able to offer support with your visa application if you:



If you live elsewhere in the UK and would like to apply for visas to bring family members, please seek legal advice.

Look for an immigration advisor on the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioners website (OISC) or the Immigration Law Practitioners’ association.

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 It contains guidance for uploading evidence electronically.
Download guide to refugee family reunion (PDF, 2MB)

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.


Coronavirus restrictions

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.

Government guidance on travel to the UK during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

Government guidance on UK visa applicants and temporary residents during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

Ask your local refugee service if they offer help with family reunion