The glossary below may help you understand some of the terminology that you may hear your guests or our team use about the immigration and asylum process.

Legal status of guests

Asylum Seeker

An asylum seeker is a person who has fled their country of origin and is seeking international protection. In the UK, an asylum seeker is someone whose claim for asylum has not yet been decided on by the Home Office. Not every asylum seeker will ultimately be recognised as a refugee by the Home Office, but most refugees are initially an asylum seeker.


A refugee is a person who has fled their country of origin and is unable or unwilling to return because of a well- founded fear of being persecuted. In the UK, refugees have been granted some form of leave to remain. Refugees also arrive through government-led programmes where right to remain in the UK is offered.

Appeals Rights Exhausted

A person whose request for asylum or immigration application was refused, and who has made all of the appeals that they are allowed to make, without any success. Someone who is ARE can make a fresh claim if they have further evidence to submit.

Discretionary Leave

Permission to remain in the UK granted by the UK government and bypassing standard immigration laws.  Granted in situations where it would be unreasonable to expect a person to leave their family or personal life.

Humanitarian Protection 

Permission to stay in the UK, if a person does not meet criteria to be granted refugee status, but face serious risk if they return to their home country they will be issued with Leave to Remain for a limited period, usually 5 years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILtR)

Permission to stay in the UK without any time limit.

Leave to Remain (LtR)

Permission to stay in the UK for a specific period of time,  for refugees that would usually be 5 years.

Refused Asylum Seeker

A person whose asylum application has been unsuccessful and who has no other claim for protection awaiting a decision.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC)

A young person who has made a claim for asylum in their own right while they were under 18 years of age, and who is not lawfully being cared for by an adult. We do not host people under the age of 18 unless they are engaged in an age assessment, however, we do host former UASC so you may see reference to this.

Types of statutory accommodation

National Asylum Support Service

You will also hear this called NASS.  It is a section of the Home Office,  responsible for accommodating people seeking asylum while their appliactions are being considered.

Schedule 10

This applies to an individual who is subject to immigration bail for example, their claim for asylum has been withdrawn, they have overstayed their visa or they have not made an asylum claim.  The Home Office can provide accommodation and financial support temporarily either within the community or in immigration detention.

Section 4 Support

Home Office support in the form of accommodation and a payment card for people who are refused asylum seekers facing destitution.  To receive this support people must demonstrate that they fit the narrow eligibility criteria, for example that they are not currently able to return to their country of origin or that they have been granted a judicial review of the decision on their asylum claim.

Section 95 Support

Home Office support in the form of housing and/or basic living expenses for asylum seekers whose claims are ongoing, and who are destitute or about to become destitute. This is usually in shared housing accommodation.

Section 98 Support

Home Office support for people seeking asylum, often referred to as initial accommodation. Generally full-board accommodation in Home Office hostels and meant to be emergency and short-term.  Most people will then move onto Section 95 Support as above, which is more permanent.


Asylum process terms

These terms are only designed to give you an overview, for more information, please visit the Right to Remain website.


If the Home Office refuses an application for asylum, a person may have the right to appeal this decision in court.


The process by which the Home Office moves destitute asylum seekers to different areas across the UK to stay in supported accommodation while their claims are considered.  People generally have no influence over where they are sent.  Requests may be made but the threshold is exceptionally high.

Fresh Claim

An asylum seeker who is appeals rights exhaustedmay be able to submit further evidence to the Home Office, who will then make a decision as to whether they consider that this evidence merits that they consider the person’s asylum claim again.

Further Submissions

Additional evidence and information submitted to the Home Office after a refusal of an immigration claim, upon which basis the Home Office will decide whether to consider a person’s Fresh Claim.

Judicial Review

A review by a judge of the lawfulness of a decision or action made by the Home Office or other public body.  Refused asylum seekers may use this to challenge the way a decision was made about their case.

Home Office

Ministerial department of the UK government responsible for immigration.


Asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their application to remain in the UK are required to regularly report to the UK Visas and Immigration Agency (UKVI; a division of the Home Office) in person.  Also known as ‘signing’.

Screening Interview

First interview by the Home Office to take place when a person claims asylum.

Substantive interview

Interview by the Home Office when a person will be asked in detail why they are claiming asylum – often the most pivotal stage of a person’s asylum claim.

Subject Access Request

Request that the Home Office sends a person a copy of all the documents, information, records, decisions and notes which the Home Office holds about this individual in their database.

Other useful terms

Community Care Solicitor

Solicitors who challenge decisions made by public bodies. For example local authority housing decisions.

Conclusive Grounds

A decision made by the Competent Authority, the Home Office, that someone is a victim of modern slavery and trafficking.   There are support services and accommodation available to individuals.

Immigration Solicitor

Solicitors that represent individuals on their immigration matters. Some of these solicitors will be under the Legal Aid Agency, which helps people with little or no income to pay for the cost of receiving legal advice.

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)

Government body which regulates provision of immigration advice and services throughout the UK. Only someone qualified can provide legal advice.

Reasonable Grounds

A decision made by the Competent Authority, the Home Office, the someone is a potential victim of modern slavery and trafficking. 


Back to top…