You can apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person if you’re not recognised as a citizen of any country.

To be eligible to apply, you must also be:

  • in the UK
  • unable to return to another country as a result of being stateless

If you can’t return to another country because you fear persecution there, you should claim asylum first.

If you’ve already claimed asylum or have an outstanding human rights claim, you must wait until you have a decision. You can apply to stay as a stateless person if it’s refused.

How long you can stay

You can normally stay in the UK for 2 and a half years if you’re given permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’). You can apply for further leave when your leave expires.

Family members

You need to include your family members (‘dependants’) in your application if you want them to stay with you in the UK. Your dependant must already be with you in the UK.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your children under 18

Documents you must provide

You must provide these documents, if you have them, for you and your dependants:

  • current passports and other travel documents (eg visas)
  • official letters confirming your immigration status (with the reference number ASL.2150, ASL.2151 or ASL.2152)
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates

You’ll also need to provide as many documents as you can to prove that you are stateless. You should also provide documents for your dependants if they’re stateless.

These can include:

  • identity, immigration and travel documents
  • documents that prove where you lived before coming to the UK (eg school certificates, medical records or sworn statements from neighbours)
  • documents from your applications for citizenship or requests for proof of nationality in other countries

You’ll find a list of documents you can include in the application form.


You must apply by post. Fill in the application form and send it to the address on the form.

You’ll need to provide 2 passport size colour photographs with your application.

It doesn’t cost anything to apply.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a post office as part of your application.

You may also have to go to an interview - you’ll get a letter telling you when and where you must go.

Claiming support

You can’t make any new claims for housing and money to support you and your family while you’re applying. But if you’re already getting short-term support after being refused asylum, you may be eligible to continue getting this while you apply.

If you’re given permission to stay, you can work in the UK and claim benefits.

Appeal if your application is refused

You may be able to appeal a decision if you’re not given permission to stay.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.