What happens when I turn 18?
We will provide support and accommodation for you until you are 18 years old, but our financial and housing support will come to an end on your 18th birthday. So it is very important you start thinking about your future before you reach 18.
We will help you through the process of applying for accommodation. Usually you can apply for council accommodation in the area where you are currently living. An application is usually made about one month before your 18th birthday. Usually it takes time to sort out permanent accommodation, so often you will be placed in temporary council accommodation or a hostel until the council finds you a permanent place. This is usually done over the internet and through a system of ‘bidding’. New properties are put on the website regularly for you to look at and if one meets your requirements you can bid for it. The council will let you know whether you have been successful. The team will provide you with certain items to help you start out including things like a single bed, a cooker, a fridge, and some kitchen equipment.
The allowance that you receive from us will also come to an end when you are 18. If you continue in education, we will apply for income support for you. If you are looking for work we will apply for Job Seekers Allowance.
We are still happy to give you advice after your 18th birthday. If you would like we can also offer you a personal advisor who you can talk to if you need advice or guidance.
Council housing and visas
Many young people are given discretionary leave to remain, and so have to reapply to the Home Office for an asylum extension when they turn 17 and a half. You will be eligible for benefits and housing until you receive a decision on this extension application.
Your personal advisor will be able to help you budget and think about your finances. If you live in Coventry you may be eligible for a caseworker from the Refugee Centre. They would provide you with support in paying your bills and managing your money if you would like them to. You can ask your social worker for more information.
Sharing with friends
It is more difficult to arrange to live with friends, and each housing department has different procedures. This would have to be taken on a case by case basis. You can arrange to live near your friends though if you bid on properties that are near where they live.
Appeal Rights Exhausted
If your asylum claim is unsuccessful and you become Appeal Rights Exhausted you will not have access to public funds, for example benefits or education. We can offer you a Human Rights Act Assessment and may be able to assist you with accommodation and a basic allowance until you are 21 or until you refuse to comply with deportation orders.
What to do if I have more questions?
If you have any questions you can ask your social worker – our office number is 01926 496841. There are other organisations who will be able to help with other matters:
- Coventry Law Centre – legal matters and asylum claim
- Coventry Refugee Centre – advice and general support
- Gov.uk – benefits
- Leaving care – further information about leaving care
- Compliments and complaints – how to make a complaint or give a compliment
Who are we?
The Warwickshire Asylum Seekers Project works with children and young people who have arrived in Warwickshire seeking asylum, but who have no adult to care for them. We provide support and accommodation for the young people from when they first arrive until they reach their 18th birthday, and they can access advice and support from us until age 21 or longer if they remain in full time higher education.