ⓘ Information card
If you have come to the UK and you need to stay because you would be in danger in your country of origin or residence, and you want the UK to grant you international protection, you need to claim asylum.
You claim asylum via the UK Home Office, the government department that handles asylum and immigration claims, as well as enforcing borders.
Some people claim asylum immediately on entering the UK, at the port at which they arrive. They do this by telling the immigration officials there that they wish to claim asylum.
If you don’t claim asylum immediately on entering the UK, you will need to telephone to make an appointment to claim asylum at the Asylum Screening Unit in Croydon. You can do so by searching “Asylum Screening Unit Croydon” online and calling the number. You may have to try many times before you get through.
The exception to this process for claiming asylum is if you arrive to the UK in Northern Ireland – in this situation you claim asylum at Bryson Asylum Services in Belfast.
You cannot claim asylum at a police station – though in some cases people who make themselves known at a police station (particularly children) may be signposted to the Home Office.
Read more in the Claiming Asylum section of the Right to Remain Toolkit.
Now read the problem card below. Discuss with a friend (or have a think if you’re doing this on your own) what you might be able to do in this situation. When you have finished discussing/thinking, click to reveal a suggested action.
⚠️ Problem card
You go to the Home Office in Croydon (“Lunar House”) to claim asylum but they tell you that you cannot just turn up without an appointment. You are told you need to go away and then telephone to make an appointment.