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.

This page is available in more languages

Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

For information about coronavirus please visit the NHS advice page or read the translated leaflets.

Arrow icon Help we offer

Arrow icon People who have been trafficked

Arrow icon Young refugees

Arrow icon Reuniting with family

 

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: antitrafficking@redcross.org.uk.

Young refugees

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.

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

Replace expired refugee family reunion visa

Refugees or their legal representative can ask for replacement visas for their family by emailing CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, with the subject line: “Replacement 30-day visa”.

In your email include:

  • subject line: “Replacement 30-day visa”
  • sponsor’s name and date of birth
  • names and date of birth of all family members who have a visa
    your reference number (find this on your grant of visa letter, usually begins ‘GWF’)
  • contact number and email
  • name of the Visa Application Centre where the application was submitted
  • a request that the visa is valid for 90 days.

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 

 

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)