Safe and legal alternatives

You have a choice.

Don’t risk your life and waste hard earned money trying to reach the UK.

There are safer alternative options.

Seeking asylum:

Asylum is a fundamental right. People fleeing direct persecution or serious harm in their own country are entitled to international protection.

In general, UN member countries and the UNHCR follow the rules outlined in the 1951 UN Refugee Convention to decide who qualifies for refugee status. This means that asylum is regulated by the same principles in most parts of the world.

The EU Member States have established a Common European Asylum System. Individual countries also have their own national laws and practice guidance manuals, which provide detailed guidance to help their authorities screen asylum applicants

The information on this page has been provided by the Home Office, on behalf of the UK Government. For more information on immigration to the UK visit Visas and Immigration

Information on the asylum process in France can be found here

Learn more about what it means to be an asylum seeker here.

Assisted returns:

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) works to ensure migrants that are unable or unwilling to remain in their host country are able to return to their home country voluntarily.

For information on voluntary return from France, click here

Seeking asylum:

Asylum is a fundamental right. People fleeing direct persecution or serious harm in their own country are entitled to international protection.

Information on the asylum process in Belgium can be found here

Assisted returns: 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) works to ensure migrants that are unable or unwilling to remain in their host country are able to return to their home country voluntarily.

For information on voluntary return from Belgium, click here

If a direct family member has refugee status or legal permanent residency in a European country, it is possible that a spouse, parent or child might be able to join them.

Learn more about family reunification here.

If you apply for asylum in another country, even if that country doesn’t grant you permission to stay, there is a chance you could be relocated to a third country where you can live and work safely and legally.

You can find more information on resettlement here.

Most European Union (EU) member states participate in a scheme called the EU Blue Card Work Visa Scheme that connects high skilled workers from outside of the EU with European employers. Eligibility depends on your work experience and education level. EU Blue Card holders are granted entry and residence in advance which means they can travel safely and legally to the EU. In many cases, they can also bring their families and apply for permanent residence after a fixed period of time.

There are a number of schemes offering work visas to migrants in Europe and other countries. For instance, Germany is looking for skilled professionals from many different countries and areas of expertise.

If you are accepted into a European university and you can pay the tuition fees, you may be eligible for a student visa that lets you study, travel and work part time in Europe.

A Student Schengen Visa allows non-EU students to stay in Schengen zone countries for up to three months. To live and study in Europe for longer periods of time, you can apply for a Long-Stay Study Visa at the relevant embassy in your country.