Asylum seekers contingency accommodation - FAQs (2023)

Why have the asylum seekers been placed in the hotel?

The Home Office recently told Oldham Council that they intended to use the hotel due to the significant pressures currently in the national asylum system during this Coronavirus outbreak.

The use of hotels is happening across the country, and not just in Oldham.

The provision will be managed by Serco, who are the Home Office contractor for the North West region.

Was Oldham Council asked if the hotel could be used for this?

Oldham Council was not asked if the hotel could be used, it was a decision made by the Home Office.

Are the council receiving any funding for this?

No, the council are not receiving any funding for this.The Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) are specific schemes for people who have been evacuated from Afghanistan.The people placed in the hotel are asylum seekers and are not part of the ARAP or ACRS.

The Council Leader has recently written to the Home Secretary requesting that funding is made available to provide support for asylum seekers.

For information - Earlier in the summer there was a lot of publicity about government funding being made available for support for people who have had to flee Afghanistan. That is a different scheme.

Will the people being accommodated be single persons or families?

The council does not have this information, it is held by the Home Office.

Who stays at the hotel is based on need and pressures within the asylum system.

How long will they remain in Oldham?

The council has been advised by the Home Office and Serco that the initial period is for up to 3 months and people will be moved out as other accommodation in the asylum system is made available to them.

(Video) Inside Serco: The company housing England's asylum seekers - BBC Newsnight

This means that the people staying in the hotel will change over time.

Will they be given permanent housing in Oldham?

After the hotel they will be moved on to other temporary dispersed accommodation managed by Serco whilst their claim for asylum is considered. This could be anywhere in the North West, the Midlands or the East of England. These are the contract areas managed by Serco.

Will the people have access to local health services?

Yes, they will be able to access local health services in the same way as any person visiting Oldham on a temporary basis would have.

Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which every family doctor in Oldham is a member of - has been having discussions with local health services to try and manage this.

The Council Leader has recently written to the Home Secretary requesting that additional funding is made available to provide support for essential services.

The NHS locally is given funding from the Home Office for this.

Will school-age asylum seekers be placed in local schools?

Were children to be placed in Oldham they would be given access to education. This could be through temporary attendance at local schools or through other ways dependant upon the needs of those placed here.

How long will the asylum seekers have been in the country and where will they have come from?

The council has not been informed - the Home Office does not comment on individual cases.

Some of the asylum seekers may be newly arrived in the UK and others may have been in the UK for some time whilst awaiting a decision on their asylum claim.

(Video) Afghan refugees still living in UK hotels - BBC Newsnight

Asylum seekers come from many parts of the world. Government statistics suggest that for the year ending March 2021 highest numbers came from Iran, Albania, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Have they been tested for COVID-19?

Asylum seekers who are newly arrived in the UK will be required to isolate for a 10-day quarantine period and will undergo day 2 and day 8 PCR testing.

This will not apply to individuals who have not recently arrived in the UK, but they will still be required to follow Covid-19 guidelines in place at the time.

Regular testing will also be available on an ongoing basis to everybody at the hotel. Anyone testing positive or displaying symptoms will be required to isolate in line with the Public Health England (PHE) guidance.

Are the asylum seekers allowed to leave the accommodation and if so, do they know about guidelines for Coronavirus e.g., social distancing?

In line with PHE guidance, asylum seekers are permitted to leave their accommodation.

Information is provided to them in a number of different languages to explain rules around social- distancing and also the need to self-isolate if they are demonstrating symptoms or have come into contact with someone who has the Omicron variant.

What additional security has been put in place?

Serco are providing additional staff to ensure appropriate 24-hour on-site cover.

What is being done to ensure their behaviour inside and outside of the hotel is acceptable?

On arrival, individuals are given induction information and provided with written guidance on adhering to social-distancing, self-isolation and are expected to comply accordingly.

Any resident found not adhering to that guidance can be reported to the police so appropriate action can be taken. Breaches of Covid-19 regulations can be reported to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) online at

(Video) Asylum Accommodation - webinar

GMP is aware the hotel is being used to accommodate asylum seekers and is working closely with partner agencies.

Officers will deal with any reports or concerns as they would normally do so.

Can asylum seekers claim welfare benefits?

Asylum seekers are not able to claim welfare benefits, nor are they allowed to work, however they may be able to get help with accommodation and financial support from the Home Office if they are destitute.

Asylum seekers in hotel accommodation where food and some services are provided, currently receive £8 per week.

Why are most asylum seekers male?

They’re not.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), women and girls make up about half of any asylum seeking, refugee or internally displaced population.

However, women and children may be left in refugee camps in neighbouring countries while the men leave the camp to take the risky and often deadly trip to another country.

Families that travel together in a big group have a harder time with the logistics. Women and children are also at much higher risk of sexual abuse, violence and exploitation by traffickers and organised criminal gangs on the route. Therefore, families may stay behind and wait until the men have applied for asylum and the rest of their family will then follow in a much safer way. This is often facilitated by the British Red Cross.

Does the UK have more asylum seekers and refugees than other countries?

No. The vast majority - 80% - of the world’s asylum seekers and refugees are living in countries neighbouring their country of origin, often developing countries.

(Video) Asylum seekers win legal battle over ‘unsafe’ housing against UK government

More than 6.7 million people have fled the conflict in Syria, and many more are displaced in different areas inside the country. Turkey is the biggest refugee hosting country in the world.

When compared with EU countries, the UK ranked 14th out of the individual countries in terms of the number of asylum applications per capita. In the year ending March 2019 (before the pandemic) the UK received 39,840 applications for asylum compared with Germany (157,875), France (113,625), Spain (69,735), Greece (67,970) or Italy (42,825).

Why don’t asylum seekers stay in the first safe country?

Most do stay in the first safe country. 80% of the world’s asylum seekers and refugees are living in countries neighbouring their country of origin.

The number one reason that asylum seekers give for continuing their journey to the UK is that they have family ties here. This covers over 50% of cases. Other factors that people will take into account are more practical, for example, if you speak the language you have more chance of being able to find a job and you can navigate everyday tasks like understanding public transport or going shopping.

It is also not uncommon for asylum seekers to also state their belief that the UK is a safe, tolerant and democratic country and refer to previous links between their own country and the UK.

There is no legal requirement for an asylum seeker to make their claim in any particular country.

What about bogus/illegal asylum seekers?

There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ or ‘bogus’ asylum seeker.

Under international law, anyone has the right to apply for asylum in any country, that has signed the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and to remain there until the authorities have assessed their claim.

It is a legal process.

(Video) Government spending £7m a day housing asylum seekers


What is contingency accommodation? ›

This contingency accommodation is being used to accommodate single, adult male asylum seekers. These are people who have claimed asylum in the United Kingdom, and whose asylum claims are under consideration. They are not being detained and so are free to come and go but are expected to be on site overnight.

Can asylum seekers leave their accommodation? ›

It is not always possible to stay in the same property. When your asylum claim (including any appeals) has been fully determined you will need to leave asylum accommodation and your Home Office support will stop.

How long do asylum seekers stay in initial accommodation? ›

How long can you stay in asylum housing? You can usually stay in asylum support housing until the Home Office or a court make a decision on your asylum claim. You might have to move during this time. If you get refugee status, you will usually get 4 weeks' notice to leave your asylum housing.

Can I offer my spare room to a refugee? ›

As a “refugee host”, you decide how long you can offer a spare room or property. We screen all referrals to ensure a safe match, and our team are there to support you and your guest throughout the placement. Find out more about how it works. “It's like living with any other housemate.”

What are 3 reasons for contingency plans? ›

“The purpose of any contingency plan is to allow an organization to return to its daily operations as quickly as possible after an unforeseen event. The contingency plan protects resources, minimizes customer inconvenience and identifies key staff, assigning specific responsibilities in the context of the recovery.”

What are the four 4 major components of a contingency plan? ›

The Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Guidelines for Humanitarian Assistance endorsed by the IASC outlines four key steps in the contingency planning process: preparation, analysis, response planning, and implementing preparedness.

Can asylum seekers return home? ›

It is essential that the asylee not return to her home country until she has become a U.S. citizen and can travel with a U.S. passport. If the asylee does return to her home country, DHS could refuse to allow her to reenter the United States on the grounds that she implicitly no longer fears persecution.

What are the new asylum seekers Rules 2022 UK? ›

The 2022 Act and Part 11 of the Immigration Rules contains the legal framework within which a person granted refugee status in the UK will be provided with permission to stay. A recipient of refugee status will either be granted refugee permission to stay or temporary refugee permission to stay.

Can asylees travel to home country? ›

A person with refugee or asylum status who wishes to travel outside the United States needs a Refugee Travel Document in order to return to the United States. In most cases, a refugee or asylee may use the Refugee Travel Document for travel in place of a passport.

Can temporary accommodation become permanent? ›

Temporary accommodation owned by the Council cannot be offered to you as permanent housing. I do not agree with the Council's decision on my homeless case – what should I do?

How long are people kept in temporary accommodation? ›

If you are in emergency housing and the council decides that they have a duty to help you secure accommodation, there is no limit as to how long you can stay in the temporary accommodation so long as: it remains suitable for you (see below) you stick to any conditions that the council has included in your agreement.

How long is a asylum valid for? ›

Be valid for four years (unless it is withdrawn or ceases before that), Be granted to the main file holder as well as all dependents included in that holder's refugee file (these are the dependents listed at the initial application, or who have been successfully added in your file)

Can an asylum seeker rent a room? ›

Asylum seekers also do not have an automatic 'right to rent' but should be granted permission to rent once their claim is lodged on the Home Office system.

Can I rent my house to refugees? ›

Letting your property to refugees really is a win-win – you get your regular rental payments and a refugee family gets a home. On top of this, the community is enriched by the refugee family's presence. You benefit, the family benefits, and the community benefits. I can't recommend it enough.

Is it good to buy flat on refuge floor? ›

A flat near to refugee area are more safer than a normal flat. Your life is more important than anything else. Yes, in some cases the refugee area are misused but you will also use that area for your personal purpose since your staying just close to that place.

What are the disadvantages of contingency planning? ›

Time: Contingency planning is time-consuming, especially where the external environment is constantly changing. Risks: The firm will need to assess the range of risks and decide which of these requires plans to be updated. Safety: Breaches of health and safety legislation could have huge financial consequences.

What are some examples of contingency plan? ›

A contingency plan is a plan for a “what if” scenario that could ruin your project or business. A simple example of a contingency plan is to back up all website data in case a website gets hacked. If this scenario happens, it's easy to restore the data after regaining access and changing passwords.

What are examples of contingencies? ›

A contingency is a potential occurrence of a negative event in the future, such as an economic recession, natural disaster, fraudulent activity, terrorist attack, or a pandemic.

What are the 2 types of asylum? ›

Forms of asylum

There are two paths to claim asylum in the U.S. The affirmative asylum process is for individuals who are not in removal proceedings and the defensive asylum process is for individuals who are in removal proceedings.

Can you switch from asylum to work visa? ›

So, according to the rules, if an asylum seeker's application is pending for more than a year, he can apply for permission to work. He will be required to present evidence that the delay is not his fault. He must also have attended all the scheduled interviews.

Can I buy a house with asylum pending? ›

Refugees and asylum grantees: Anyone granted refugee status or asylum can seek out a home loan via the same government-backed services available to U.S. citizens. After a year, refugees and those granted asylum can apply for a green card and pursue homeownership after the status is granted.

Do asylum seekers get free housing in the UK? ›

When someone gets refugee status, they can no longer stay in asylum accommodation. They can choose where to live, but they have to pay for their rent or ask for government help – like any UK citizen.

Do asylum seekers have the right to rent in the UK? ›

A person has no right to rent if they do not have leave to enter or remain in the UK, and they have not been given permission to rent by the Home Office.

How long do asylum seekers wait for a decision UK? ›

“The backlog of asylum seekers waiting more than six months for a decision to be made on their case has trebled [this means that it has increased 3 times as much] since Priti Patel took over as Home Secretary in 2019. While the pandemic might have made the issue harder to remedy, the trend began long before it began…

Can asylee bring parents? ›

Unfortunately, asylum seekers are not able to bring family members to the U.S. until after they receive asylum. If you are granted asylum, you may bring qualifying children and your spouse to the United States by filing an I-730 petition.

How long does it take for asylee to get citizenship? ›

In general, after a certain number of years as a lawful permanent resident, you can apply for naturalization. Refugees and asylees may apply for naturalization 5 years after the date of their admission to lawful permanent residence.

Can I renew my passport as an asylee? ›

Please note that while your asylum application is pending, or after your asylum is granted, or even after receiving your green card based on your asylum claim, you SHOULD NOT travel to the country of persecution and you SHOULD NOT renew your passport issued by the country of persecution.

Can you decorate temporary accommodation? ›

Please do not decorate or make alterations to your temporary accommodation without permission. You will be charged for any items removed from or damaged in the property other than fair wear and tear. You will be required to purchase your own TV licence.

Does temporary accommodation come with furniture? ›

This means that you will have your own kitchen, bathroom, living and sleeping space. All temporary accommodation is fully furnished. However, bedding and kitchen utensils are not provided except in the council's own reception centres.

What is unsuitable temporary accommodation? ›

If temporary housing is not suitable

Temporary housing could be unsuitable if, for example, it is: unaffordable. overcrowded, in need of repairs or in poor condition. too far from your workplace or your children's schools.

Do I have to pay rent in temporary accommodation? ›

Paying for temporary accommodation

You'll be expected to pay for whatever type of temporary accommodation we provide. If you fail to pay, you'll be evicted and we'll have no further housing duty towards you. You can pay your rent by using our secure online payment system.

Is temporary accommodation expensive? ›

Temporary accommodation can be expensive and the “benefit cap” may mean that not all your rent is covered by housing benefit. You are expected to keep up to date with your payments and not get into arrears. If you are in arrears you will not be eligible for an offer of permanent housing.

Do people in temporary accommodation pay rent? ›

You would be responsible for the weekly rent in temporary accommodation. Your rent is calculated weekly from Monday to Sunday in advance.

Can an asylum seeker travel abroad? ›

Special Consideration for Travel for Asylees and Refugees

Any person who was given asylum or refugee status in the United States is allowed to travel internationally. However, he or she must receive refugee travel documents to be able to return to the United States.

Can asylum get deported? ›

People can be deported while seeking asylum if they do things that disqualify themselves. A person can be disqualified for committing a crime, such as an aggravated felony. In those cases, they can be detained and the case can be expedited, but may only be eligible for protection under the convention against torture.

Can asylum seeker open a bank account? ›

Opening a bank account is an urgent priority for refugees once they have been granted refugee status – without a bank account they cannot receive any income, pay bills or start a tenancy.

Who needs to prove right to rent? ›

Private landlords and agents are legally required to check the immigration status of all tenants, lodgers and any other adults who will be living in the property. This is called a 'right to rent' check. It has to take place before the tenancy starts.

Do asylum seekers get free electricity? ›

Support provided under section 95 of the 1999 Act is usually provided in the form of free, furnished accommodation (with no utility bills or Council Tax to pay) and a weekly cash allowance to cover the asylum seeker's other essential living needs. Free access to healthcare and schooling is also provided.

Do asylum seekers pay for university? ›

As an asylum seeker you will pay tuition fees at an 'international/overseas' rate. This cost may vary depending on the university and course chosen. Living costs may also vary each year, depending on where you study, whether you need to pay for accommodation and other factors.

Are asylum seekers allowed to leave hotels? ›

In line with PHE guidance, asylum seekers are permitted to leave their accommodation.

Who is responsible for hosting refugees? ›

The UN agency that helps refugees is UNHCR (also known as the UN Refugee Agency), which emerged in the wake of World War II to help Europeans displaced by that conflict. UNHCR was established on December 14, 1950 by the UN General Assembly with a three-year mandate to complete its work and then disband.

Which is better higher or lower floor? ›

Even if it is a 100% urban landscape, having a higher floor will ensure that you are not bored whenever you look out from your window or stand in the balcony. You will have brighter natural light and better ventilation in the higher floors when compared to the lower ones.

Which is better high floor or low floor? ›

Higher floors tend to benefit from the cooler breeze (especially at night), stronger winds, and cleaner air as you're further away from traffic pollution. Being higher up away from the roads and generally unobstructed airflow has its perks – but it's these same qualities that might pose a problem too.

Which floor is better to live on? ›

Living on a higher floor has its advantages. You get better views of your locality, better light and ventilation, and there is lower impact of street-level disturbances compared to those on the ground and lower floors. Higher floors are also usually free from the menace of mosquitoes and rodents (mainly rats).

What is an example of a contingency? ›

A contingency is a potential occurrence of a negative event in the future, such as an economic recession, natural disaster, fraudulent activity, terrorist attack, or a pandemic.

What is an example of a contingency on a house? ›

Real estate contingencies in a home purchase contract are "walk-away" clauses that let you back out of the deal and get your earnest money back if certain conditions aren't met. Think of a contingency as an “if-then” proposition. For example: “If I'm able to sell my current home, then I'll buy yours.”

What does contingency mean in a contract? ›

A contingency clause is a contract provision that requires a specific event or action to take place in order for the contract to be considered valid. If the party that's required to satisfy the contingency clause is unable to do so, the other party is released from its obligations.

What is an example of a contingency plan? ›

A contingency plan is a plan for a “what if” scenario that could ruin your project or business. A simple example of a contingency plan is to back up all website data in case a website gets hacked. If this scenario happens, it's easy to restore the data after regaining access and changing passwords.

What are the most common contingencies? ›

Common contingencies in real estate include an appraisal contingency, inspection contingency, sale contingency or funding contingency.

What happens during a contingency? ›

What Is A Mortgage Contingency (Or Loan Contingency)? A mortgage contingency is a clause in real estate transactions that gives home buyers a timeframe to secure a mortgage loan for a home. If the loan can't be secured, the buyer can walk away without legal repercussions and have their earnest money deposit returned.

Who benefits from a contingency? ›

A home sale contingency protects the buyer because they won't be obligated to purchase the new house if their old one doesn't sell. It also protects the seller because they don't have to wait eternally for the buyer's existing home to sell.

What are the types of contingencies? ›

The Five Most Common Home-Buying Contingencies, Explained
  • Inspection Contingencies. In the home buying process, inspections are for your benefit, as the buyer. ...
  • Financing Contingency. ...
  • Appraisal Contingency. ...
  • Title Contingency. ...
  • Home Sale Contingency.
27 Aug 2018

How long is a typical contingency? ›

The contingent period usually lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 days. If you have a mortgage contingency, the buyer's due date is usually about a week before closing. Overall, a home stays in contingent status for the specified period or until the contingencies are met and the buyer closes on their new house.

What are contingency items? ›

Contingency Line Item means the line item in the Budget identified as “Contingency” which is intended to cover the eventuality of unforeseen costs or cost overruns.

What are legal contingencies? ›

A contingency is defined as an existing condition, situation, or set of circumstances involving uncertainty as to possible gain (referred to as a gain contingency) or loss (referred to as a loss contingency) to a government that will ultimately be resolved when one or more future events occur or fail to occur.

What are the rules of contingent contract? ›

A contingent contract might be based on the non-happening of an uncertain future event. In such cases, the promisor is liable to do or not do something if the event does not happen. However, the contract cannot be enforced by law unless happening of the event becomes impossible.

Is contingency contract permanent? ›

Permanent Operation

This Operation is available for the entire duration of the CC Event. [Operation Agreement] are gained by completing Event Missions. Highest Risk Level required for rewards is 18.


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