Information for people seeking asylum

Information on UK asylum and migration routes, and CSP membership for those seeking asylum

This page provides general information on UK asylum and migration routes for refugee physiotherapists and students. UK law prevents the CSP offering individual advice on asylum and visas.

Claiming asylum

To be recognised as a refugee in the UK you must apply to the Home Office for asylum.

Working in the UK

To work in the UK you need to have been recognised as a refugee by the UK government or hold a visa entitling you to work. To work as a physio you will also need to be registered with the HCPC. HCPC registration is not needed to work as a physio support worker. Find out more about working in the United Kingdom.

CSP membership

We welcome refugees working as physios or support workers, or studying physiotherapy in the UK as members of the CSP. Membership of the CSP brings you into the UK physio community. It provides access to our professional support and to advice on the HCPC registration process. For those working as physios or physio support workers in the UK it also entitles you to employment and legal support. 

If you live in the UK and are claiming asylum, or hold a humanitarian visa, you can join the CSP for free as special affiliate member. This will give you access to our online professional resources and journal and enable you to take part in CSP events in the UK. 

If you are a CSP chartered or graduate affiliate member living outside the UK who has been displaced from your home country by conflict, famine or natural disaster you may be eligible for a period of free CSP membership. 

If you are a physio or student physio who is living outside your home country, and outside the UK, as a refugee or displaced person, you can join as an international affiliate member for free.

Contact for advice on the above schemes or join the CSP

Humanitarian visas - Ukraine

The UK government has special arrangements for Ukrainian nationals which enable some people to obtain a visa whether they qualify as refugees or not.

If you are seeking a personal sponsor the CSP is offering to connect their members with Ukrainian nationals. For further information please contact

NHS Healthcare - Ukrainians

All Ukrainians arriving in England will be able to access NHS healthcare free of charge, including GP and nurse consultations, hospital services, and urgent care centres. This includes any NHS treatment that started on or after 24 February 2022. Information can be found here: Ukrainians fleeing war granted free access to NHS healthcare.

Resettlement schemes

The UK government has resettlement schemes for refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.

Financial help

The CSP Physiotherapy Benevolent Fund may be able to provide financial support to you if you are a CSP member who is in hardship because you are a displaced person or asylum seeker.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the CSP prohibited from providing immigration advice?

Under UK law only OISC registered immigration advisers (or solicitors, barristers and members of approved professional bodies) are legally able to provide immigration and asylum advice and services to an individual. 

Why is the CSP only providing free membership to people seeking asylum? 

Under current UK immigration rules, asylum seekers are barred from working unless their claims have been outstanding for 12 months through no fault of their own.

After this time, they must seek permission from the Home Office and can only apply for specified jobs on the official shortage occupation list.

A member's status would change in line with changes to their immigration status. 

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