Separated migrant young people

Also known as Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC).

When you are under 18, you'll have the same entitlements as any other child in need in Essex.

When you reach 18 years old you will be entitled to a level of care and support from us, but this is subject to your immigration status.

We will plan with you for three possible outcomes (also known as Triple Planning), which means:

  • helping you plan for a future in the UK if you are given some form of leave to remain
  • ongoing support while you wait for a decision
  • helping you make a back-up plan if you have been refused leave to remain in the UK and have exhausted all appeals

Main types of status

Refugee status

Refugee status is awarded to someone the Home Office recognises as a refugee, as described in the Refugee Convention. A person given refugee status is normally granted leave to remain in the UK for 5 years, and at the end of that period can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Indefinite leave to remain

A form of immigration status given by the Home Office. Indefinite leave to remain is also called ‘permanent residence’ or ‘settled status’ as it gives permission to stay in the UK on a permanent basis.

Discretionary leave

A form of immigration status granted to a person who the Home Office has decided does not qualify for refugee status or humanitarian protection, but where there are other strong reasons why the person needs to stay in the UK temporarily.

If you've used up all your immigration appeal rights, we'll carry out an assessment to decide whether removing your leaving care support would breach your human rights.

Studying and finding work

We will provide you with appropriate education, training and employment opportunities. This includes developing your written and spoken English, cooking, budgeting (where appropriate). This may change depending on your immigration status.


We'll make sure you have somewhere suitable and safe to stay.

If you have status, you will be able to access the housing needs register in Essex. If you move into local authority or housing association accommodation at 18, then receive an adverse decision on your status, you will lose access to public funds and housing services. Your personal advisor will then support you in the next steps.

Health and wellbeing

We'll make sure you get the health care and emotional support you need.

We will make sure that an interpreter is made available where required, and dietary, cultural and religious needs are considered for you.

If you're a child in care or under 21 years old and are in education, you'll be entitled to medical treatment on the NHS. If you do not have status and have exhausted all of your appeal rights, you will not be able access medical treatment.

If you're under 18, we'll support you to take part in leisure activities and get involved in the community.

We'll help you trace family members who might be living in the UK. If you want to trace family members in another country, we'll help you get support from specialist tracing organisations.

Refugee Council

Refugee Council are a UK charity working with refugees, supporting them to rebuild their lives and get their voices heard. Find support on the Refugee Council website.