The realities of the irregular migration journey to the UK

The truth about the journey

Many migrants live in temporary and poor-quality camps en-route and are dependent on smugglers who abuse or exploit them.

Migrants attempting to cross borders risk being robbed, beaten and detained, and in some cases, denied asylum and returned to their previous country of transit or another country.

Migrants who attempt to enter the UK via sea face being forced onto unseaworthy boats and returned. Migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean have been scaled back leaving migrants at risk of drowning.

Claiming asylum

The UK asylum process does not offer any advantages. It is safer and easier to apply for asylum in the country you are in now. By doing so, you won’t put your life at risk or be vulnerable to pay or work for people smugglers attempting to get to the UK. 

Find out more about safe and legal alternatives to irregular migration.

Many people end up being exploited by people smugglers who they are indebted to and end up illegally working with poor pay, housing and limited access to support. 

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

No. You won’t be able to take paid work in the UK for at least 1 year upon your arrival or until you’re granted asylum in the UK.

No. You will not be eligible for state welfare and in most cases, asylum seekers are given a state allowance of as little as £5 a day to live on.

No. Free hospital treatment is not generally available to asylum seekers who are not on Section 95 or Section 4 support.