Stateless and Detained

Detention of stateless people

Generally, a stateless person should not be put into immigration detention, unless the Home Office is able to lawfully remove them from the UK within a short time.

See the section on Admissibility and Reasons for refusal.

However, sometimes people are detained, even though the Home Office cannot remove them.

If a decision is not made within 28 days for a detained person, the applicant may be eligible for release from detention on the basis that their removal from the UK is not imminent.

A stateless person who is detained may be eligible to apply for bail and/or challenge whether their detention is legal. They should seek assistance from a qualified lawyer.

The charity Bail for Immigration Detainees may be able to assist some detained stateless people.

See the section on Legal advice.

See also the 2016 report by the European Network on Statelessness, Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention in the United Kingdom.


Statelessness applications often involve complex legal issues, and the advice of a qualified legal adviser is usually necessary to gather sufficient evidence and properly prepare a statelessness application under Appendix Statelessness. The information on our website is intended as a guide only.