The asylum process planning

If you're an unaccompanied child or asylum seeker your pathway plan should include what will happen if your:

  • asylum claim is refused without a grant of leave
  • application to extend your leave is refused
  • an appeal against a refusal is dismissed.

If this happens, you'll become unlawfully present in the UK. This means you'll need to make plans to return to your home country.

You may also need to make a plan to return to your home country at any other point, if you decide to leave the UK.

Your plan

Your plan may be based around short-term achievable goals while your entitlement to remain in the UK is being determined.

If you have not yet received a decision about your immigration, your transition planning should include all potential outcomes.

This will change once your immigration status is resolved.

It's important that you prepare for the possibility that your asylum claim or immigration application is not successful.

If it is not successful, your plan must focus on your return to your home country. It must also include reducing the risk of staying in the UK without status and risk of exploitation.

This type of planning will help you achieve the best outcome, whether you're in the UK or abroad.

If your application or appeal is refused and subject to a human rights assessment you'll no longer be eligible for care leaver support.

If you return to your home country, you should be able to get practical and financial support from the Voluntary Returns Service, run by the Home Office.

Triple planning

Unless you have been granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) permanently in the United Kingdom (UK), a triple planning approach must be applied to ensure that your needs are identified, and the pathway plan covers all eventualities and possible outcomes.

If you are seeking asylum in the UK your personal advisor will support you in accessing and engaging with an immigration solicitor. This is so you have legal advice to help you throughout the process.

Your solicitor will help you to understand the possible outcomes of your asylum application which will be included in your pathway plan and referred to as triple planning.

Your finances

If you're an asylum-seeking care leaver you'll continue to get your personal allowance payment while you are waiting for a decision about your asylum claim. This means you cannot claim benefits or get a job. 

If you're deemed ‘All Rights Exhausted’, the support offered to you will be reviewed in line with the Immigration Act 2016 and you'll be referred to the Home Office.

Financial support for you as a former unaccompanied child should reflect your needs and immigration status.

Your pathway plan should include job opportunities and funding arrangements for education and training. This should take your immigration status into account.

If you have no recourse to public funds, you cannot get a number of welfare benefits and social housing.

Subject to the Human Rights Assessment by the local authority under Schedule 3 to the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, the provision of accommodation may form part of the leaving care support provided to a young person who has no recourse to public funds.

Asylum support services

You can get more support from the following organisations:

  • Refugee Council: advice and support to unaccompanied and trafficked children. They also advise professionals who are involved in their care. Phone 0207 346 1134 or email
  • The Children's Society: provide specialist services supporting refugee and migrant children and young people. Phone: 020 7841 4400 or email:
  • The Migrant Children's Project: provides specialist advice to professionals, young people and families on the rights and entitlements of asylum-seeking, refugee, trafficked and migrant children and young people. Phone: 0207 636 8505 (Tuesday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm) or email: