Apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person

You can apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person if both of the following apply: 

  • you’re not recognised as a citizen of any country

  • you’re unable to live permanently in any other country

You must currently be in the UK to apply.  

If you cannot 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 5 years if you’re given permission to stay (also known as ‘leave to remain’). When your permission to stay expires, you can apply to extend it or for settlement. 

Family members

If you have a partner or children under 18 with you in the UK, they can also apply for permission to stay as a stateless person so long as:

  • they’re not recognised as a citizen of any country

  • they’re unable to live permanently in any other country

They’ll need to make a separate application from you. 

Otherwise, they’ll need to apply for a family visa if they want to come to or stay in the UK.

Documents you must provide

You must provide these documents if you have them:

  • current passport and other travel documents, such as visas

  • official letters confirming your immigration status (with the reference number ASL.2150, ASL.2151 or ASL.2152)

  • birth certificate

  • marriage certificates

You’ll also need to provide as many documents as you can to prove that you’re stateless. 

These can include:

  • identity, immigration and travel documents

  • documents that prove where you lived before coming to the UK, for example school certificates, medical records or sworn statements from neighbours

  • documents from your applications for citizenship or requests for proof of nationality in other countries

If you think you have the right to live in a country that is not the UK, you’ll also need to show you’ve tried to get nationality of that country.

Read the application form for a full list of documents you can provide.              


You must apply online for permission to stay in the UK as a stateless person or to extend your permission to stay.

It does not cost anything to apply.

You’ll be asked to make an appointment at a Service and Support Centre to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo) and have your supporting documents checked.

Claiming support

You may be able to get housing and money to support you and your family while you’re waiting to find out if you’ll be given permission to stay.

Appeal if your application is refused

You can ask for an administrative review if you’re not given permission to stay.