Asylum Registration Card (ARC)

If you have claimed asy­lum, you are eli­gi­ble for an Asy­lum Reg­is­tra­tion Card. This will be issued to you by the Home Office within three days of your claim.

What is an ARC card?

The ARC card is a plas­tic ID card issued by the Home Office to those who have claimed asy­lum. It con­tained impor­tant infor­ma­tion about you such as your name, nation­al­ity, and date of birth. It also con­firms whether you are per­mit­ted to work in the UK or not at the time it was issued. The card con­firms that you will be per­mit­ted to remain in the UK while your asy­lum claim is still pending.

The ARC card pro­vides eas­ier access to ser­vices such as your doctor’s surgery, although it is not manda­tory for you to have your ARC card to reg­is­ter with your GP. If you have per­mis­sion to work, then this will enable you to prove this and if you are stopped by the Home Office or police offi­cer, you can present this card to them to estab­lish your immi­gra­tion sta­tus (i.e., asy­lum seeker).

You are eli­gi­ble for an ARC card if you have claimed asy­lum or are depen­dent on a claim for asy­lum and you are await­ing a deci­sion on the asy­lum claim. You will also be eli­gi­ble for an ARC card if you are cur­rently appeal­ing an asy­lum decision.

Fur­ther Submissions

If your asy­lum claim was refused or con­sid­ered with­drawn and you sub­mit fur­ther sub­mis­sions, you will only be issued with an ARC card if the Home Office accept that the fur­ther sub­mis­sions are a new asy­lum claim. This means that you will only be issued if your claim is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to the basis for which you applied in your orig­i­nal asy­lum claim. If your claim remains the same, but you have sim­ply pro­vided new evi­dence, you will not be issued an ARC card.

If you wish to apply for an ARC card and your fur­ther sub­mis­sions is a new asy­lum claim, then you are required to con­tact the Home Office and ask them to issue an ARC card in writing.

Get­ting an ARC card

You do not apply for an ARC card and instead, the Home Office issue this when you make a claim for asy­lum. How­ever, if you do not receive your ARC card you can con­tact the Home Office team who ini­tially screened you. The ARC card will be deliv­ered to the same address you have pro­vided when you claimed asy­lum unless you have updated your address since then.

Access to edu­ca­tion and a right to study in the United Kingdom

The ARC does not give you the right to study but nei­ther does it mean you can­not study. You will receive that infor­ma­tion as part of your bail con­di­tions. So please check your bail form for guid­ance in this regard. It should state on the BAIL 201 form whether you have a right to study or not while you are in the UK. If you have not received your Bail 201 form or do not know what this is, please con­tact us for advice.

Can a col­lege or uni­ver­sity insist on me hav­ing an ARC before any study

It is at the dis­cre­tion of an indi­vid­ual col­lege or uni­ver­sity to decide whether they use the ARC as a way of decid­ing whether you can study at their institute.

The Home Office can­not force any col­lege or uni­ver­sity to allow you to study at their insti­tute regard­less of whether you hold an ARC or not. You should make enquiries in this regard with the Home Office.

Per­mis­sion to Work

If your ARC card states that you do not have per­mis­sion to work, but you believe that you should have been enti­tled to work, please speak to me. Essen­tially, you will only be allowed to work if at the time you had your screen­ing you had valid leave which allowed you to work in the UK. If did not have this at the time or your visa was can­celled, cur­tailed, or expired you will not be able to work. If, how­ever, your visa was valid and you had per­mis­sion to work, we advise that you write to the Home Office and enquire why they have not stip­u­lated your right to work on the card and find out if the Home Office had cancelled/curtailed your leave at any point. Should you require assis­tance in this regard, please con­tact us for advice.

Report­ing Prob­lems with your ARC card

You are required to inform the Home Office in writ­ing if:

  1. Your name on the ARC card is spelt incorrectly
  2. The wrong person’s name is on the ARC card
  3. The date of birth on the ARC is incorrect
  4. Gen­der is recorded incorrectly
  5. Nation­al­ity is incorrect
  6. You change your address after claim­ing asy­lum and before receiv­ing your ARC card (you will also need to use the online ARC enquiry form – see below)

The let­ter needs to be sent to the same depart­ment which screened you.

How­ever, you need to use the online ARC enquiry form if the fol­low­ing applies to you:

  1. ARC card is not received within 3 work­ing days
  2. The wrong person’s pho­to­graph is on the ARC (You may be required to report for re-enrolment of bio­met­rics to ver­ify your per­sonal details)
  3. You change your address after claim­ing asy­lum and before receiv­ing your ARC card (you also need to write to the same team who screened you to notify them)
  4. You have lost your ARC card or if it is stolen
  5. Your ARC card expires in 3 weeks

Should you wish to use the online form you can do so by click­ing on the fol­low­ing link: Online ARC Enquiry Form.


Cur­rently, we are expe­ri­enc­ing sig­nif­i­cant delays in the issuance of ARC cards due to the COVID-19 back­log.  Despite noti­fy­ing the Home Office using the online sys­tem and/or writ­ing to them, we are fail­ing to receive a response. If you do not hear back from the Home Office and a period of three months pass from noti­fi­ca­tion, con­sid­er­ing the back­log, you could con­sider the following:

  1. Pre-action pro­to­col let­ter — This is a for­mal let­ter sent to the Home Office to inform them that if they do not act in a par­tic­u­lar way, you will lodge pro­ceed­ings at the High Court.
  1. Con­tact­ing your local MP – you will need to make con­tact directly and explain that you have not received your ARC and despite noti­fy­ing the Home Office you have not received this. You can also explain any prob­lems that you are hav­ing as a result.

Should you require advice about your ARC issue, feel free to con­tact us for advice on tel: +441494646111 or email us at

Posted in Immigration Updates

High Wycombe Office:

20 Pauls Row
High Wycombe
HP11 2HQ

T: 01494646111
F: 020 300 68740
M: 07414131933


Ayles­bury Office:
The Gate House,
Gate­house Way,
HP19 8DB

T: 01494646111
F: 020 300 68740
M: 07414131933