What is an ARC card?

The ARC is a credit card-sized plastic card issued by the Home Office to individuals who claim asylum. It contains information about the holder’s identity or claimed identity although it is not evidence of identity.

This includes details of their nationality as well as age and whether their age has been disputed by the Home Office pending the outcome of a Merton age assessment. The ARC certifies that its holder is an asylum claimant and as such will be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom while their asylum claim is still pending. Furthermore, it also confirms whether the claimant has permission to work at the time of issue.

If you have an entitlement to work and have no ARC please report this using the online ARC enquiry form.

If you have made further submission and believe that you are entitled to an ARC, please use the ‘further submissions enquiry’ using the online ARC enquiry form.

The ARC is issued in order to:

  • confirm that the person has made a claim for international protection in the United Kingdom or is a dependant of an applicant
  • provide easier access to services, for example a general practitioner (doctor) may ask to see evidence of status when an asylum claimant (or an asylum dependant) registers with them, although it is not mandatory for an asylum seeker to present ARC to register with NHS services
  • indicate to a prospective employer whether the holder is permitted to take employment, in accordance with the Home Office’s permission to work policy
  • present to Home Office officials or police officers, for example at a reporting event, to demonstrate who they are.

More info at gov.uk

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