The Asylum Support team offers useful information and advice.
In the UK the term 'asylum seekers' denotes people aged 18 or more who arrive from overseas and apply for refugee status, stating they are fleeing persecution, torture or war. While their applications are being considered by the Home Office, they continue to be termed asylum seekers until their refugee status is confirmed. Those whose claims fail will have their leave to enter or to remain in the UK cancelled.
In recent years the government has introduced several major pieces of legislation to reform the asylum and immigration systems. The Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 made it a criminal offence for an asylum seeker to enter the UK without a valid identity document, except where good explanation could be given. It also removed the right to support for those with dependent children, whose claims had failed, if they did not take practical steps to leave the country voluntarily. A further bill introduced into Parliament in 2005 contains measures to further strengthen border controls, to speed up processing of applications and to replace the integration grant, for those recognised as refugees, with an integration loan.
The Home Office set up the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) to take over from local authorities the role of providing support to asylum seekers arriving from April 2000 onwards.
Support under the Children Act must also be provided for unaccompanied minors arriving in the county from abroad. This support is provided by the asylum support team. The team also provide advice and support to the rest of county regarding asylum issues.
The Team is based at:
Epsom Local Office
Epsom Town Hall
Surrey KT18 5BY
You can also get further information from: