An asylum seeker is someone who comes to the UK, often fleeing persecution, torture or war, and applies for refugee status. Until refugee status is granted, such a person remains an asylum seeker. Asylum seekers often encounter homelessness and face difficulty in obtaining accommodation.
The Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999 made several changes to law stating that asylum seekers that arrived after April 2000 no longer have a right to assistance and do not have to be provided for by the Council. Instead, the Home Office provides support through the National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) provides support, accommodation and financial help for asylum seekers whilst their claim is being considered by the Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND). They administer the various benefits asylum seekers are entitled to and also make provisions for temporary accommodation.
Asylum seekers must apply for refugee status at the port of entry or as soon as is reasonably practical, by personal application to the Home Office. Failure to do so may mean that they will not be assisted by NASS.