Host information: About our guests

At Refugees at Home we offer hosting to those with refugee status or those currently engaged with the asylum system in the UK.

Our guests are those who would otherwise be facing homelessness and/or destitution. Not every refugee or person seeking asylum will require hosting, as they may be able to access other forms of statutory support.


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 before they arrive in the UK.

Asylum seekers

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.

Immigration status

When we host asylum seekers, it is usually because they have a ‘refused’ asylum claim.  This means that the Home Office have refused their first application.  People seeking asylum will have a right to submit a fresh claim, and in the vast majority of cases, the refusal is overturned.  Our hosts are able to provide a safe place to be as guests prepare their fresh claim.  This is a complex process, and guests will be supported by an immigration advisor, and it’s important that hosts don’t offer immigration advice.  If you are interested in finding out more about this process, you can access the Right to Remain Toolkit:

A refusal means an end to statutory support and the entitlement to access NASS accommodation or up to £45 per week that a person with an asylum claim may receive.  Any right to work or study and recourse to public funds is removed. They will now have to appeal the decision, or to submit evidence for a fresh claim.

Once the appeal or fresh claim is submitted, statutory support can be reapplied for. However, this process can take many months and the person will need support from experts and professionals – and being offered accommodation bya generous host can be a key part to helping someone through this challenging time.

The process to claim asylum in the UK is complex, and we do not ask hosts to be experts in this, however, if you would like to learn more, we recommend the Right to Remain Toolkit.

We also host people who have recently been granted leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office – their asylum claim has successfully concluded, and they have been granted Refugee status. When this happens, people are given 28 days to exit their statutory support, needing to register for bank accounts, benefits, arranging for their national insurance number, find work and somewhere to live.  Often these 28 days are not even enough time for their National Insurance number to come through or a bank account to be set up. At what should be a happy and relieving time after the difficult asylum process, people can find themselves needing the support of hosts to help them avoid homelessness while they make arrangements to move into independent living.  In some cases, refugee status, or leave to remain has been granted to our guests prior to arriving in the UK through government led programmes such as the Ukrainian visa routes, family reunion or resettlement programmes.

You’ll always be told the immigration status of any guest when we approach you to host.

Our guests may be coming to you from another host, asylum accommodation, a hostel or from street homelessness. Your Placement Coordinator will explain this when they approach you.

Guest demographics

We offer hosting to individuals over the age of 18, to couples and to families.  We do not offer hosting to unaccompanied children.

The majority of our guests are single people, and the majority are male, although the situation in Ukraine has meant that more women and families have been looking for hosting in recent years.

On occasion, we will host guests who are disputing their age that the local authority or Home Office have found them to be, when they are actively engaged with specialist services who can help them return to the care system in the UK.  We work with an expert partner, Together with Migrant Children, to assess the suitability in these cases for hosting.

Our guests have come from over 70 different countries, including Ukraine (this is currently the main country of origin for our guests), Eritrea, Sudan, Iran and Afghanistan.

We will carefully match guests with the preferences a host has told us before making a placement.


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