Frequently asked questions about asylum

Welcome to our Frequently asked questions about asylum. Here, we aim to provide clarity and guidance on various aspects of seeking asylum in the UK and accessing support services.

How do I access your services?

If you would like to access our services please contact us by completing this form.


Do you offer drop-in appointments?

We are unable to meet with people at our offices who do not have an appointment. The best way to access our services is contacting us by completing this form.


Who are your support services for?

We are a small charity and only have the capacity to assist people who are thinking about or have made an asylum claim. If you have already been granted refugee status or leave to remain, we will be unable to support you at this time.


I need a lawyer, can Rainbow Migration represent me?

We do not represent clients in their asylum claims. However, we can provide you with free legal advice and guidance on finding a lawyer. In some cases, we may be able to help you find a lawyer to take on your case.


Can Rainbow Migration write me a letter of support?

Unfortunately, we are unable to write support letters for the majority of people that contact us. We can only write letters in certain cases when we have worked directly with service users for a significant period of time.


Can Rainbow Migration provide me with housing?

We are unable to provide housing but we can help you get access to housing. If you need help with housing, please see our Other organisations who can help page. You can also contact us by completing this form for further information.


Does Rainbow Migration provide therapy or counselling?

We do not offer therapy or counselling. We do, however, offer emotional support, either on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting. Please contact us for further information. If you are looking for therapy or  counselling, please visit our Other organisations who can help page.


Can I join your support groups?

If you wish to join one of our support groups, please contact us first. Spaces in our support groups are prioritised for those most in need.


Can I attend Pride with you?

Each year we are only allocated a limited number of wristbands for London Pride. Priority for these wristbands will be given to our existing service users who are in our support groups or who we work with on a one-to-one basis.


I am in detention. Can you still give me legal advice?

Yes, if you are currently in detention and need legal advice please contact us and we will call you back as soon as soon we can. If the matter is urgent and you face removal or deportation, please make sure to tell us that when you call. We also offer emotional support to people in detention.


I am not in the UK and want to claim asylum in the UK, can you help me?

Under UK law we are unable to provide give advice to people outside the UK.  We can only give legal advice to those already in the UK who want to claim asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. If you are in danger in your country of origin and you need help, please contact your local UNHCR office. Rainbow Railroad may also be able to provide you with assistance.


I have a partner in the UK and I am also scared of going back to my country of origin. Should I apply for asylum or can I make a different application to stay in the UK?

It might be possible to apply for leave to remain in the UK on the basis of your relationship if you have a partner and your relationship satisfies certain criteria, but it is important that you receive immigration advice to help you decide whether such an application would be successful. Please see our information on partner and spouse visas for more information.


I need a lawyer to help with my asylum application, but I don’t have any money to pay them. What should I do?

If you don’t have enough money to pay for a lawyer, you may be entitled to Legal Aid, where the UK government pays your lawyer to advise and represent you. Legal Aid lawyers are normally very experienced, but they may run a busy practice because there is high demand for their services. Because not all lawyers offer Legal Aid, it is important that you try and find one as early as possible if you are thinking of applying, or have already applied, for asylum. Before the lawyer can assist you, they will ask for evidence that you are unable to pay for legal advice and/or representation. We have a list of lawyers that you may find helpful.