You can find general information about moving to the UK on the UK Government Visas and Immigration page. There is information about immigration and asylum for LGBT+ people on the Rainbow Migration website.
Asylum in the UK
If you are intending to claim asylum in the UK, you can find support from:
- Rainbow Migration provide support and legal advice including video guides in many languages
- Say It Loud Club provide mentoring and social events
- Micro Rainbow provide support for housing LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees, and have a helpline and email address you can contact
- Persian LGBT provide support for Persian speaking LGBT refugees and asylum seekers
- African Rainbow Family provide support for LGBTQI people of African and BAME heritage
- Rainbow Home support LGBT asylum seekers in North East England
- LGBT Health and Wellbeing provide support to LGBT asylum seekers in Scotland
- LGBT Unity support LGBT asylum seekers in Glasgow
- The Rainbow Project provide support and signposting to asylum seekers in Northern Ireland
You can find additional information for LGBT asylum seekers:
- on the Transgender Europe website including a guide to your rights that covers asylum rights
- on the Stonewall UK website
- on the UK government website
- on the Trans-Fit website
- on the Lesbian Immigration Support Group website
Accessing gender services in the UK
The information in this section is not a substitute for formal immigration advice.
British citizens are all able to access the National Health Service (NHS) which provides medical services - including support with gender - for free. You can find out how to become a British citizen on the UK Government website.
EU and EEA nationals who need care that can’t wait until they return home can use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you have an EHIC, you can use the NHS gender services for free while you are in the UK, so long as you’re not here for more than 6 months.
EU and EEA nationals who are in the UK for more than 6 months can pay the immigration health surcharge when applying for a visa. If you have an S1 certificate from the healthcare authority in your home country and register it with Overseas Healthcare Services, you may be able to get this reimbursed.
Bear in mind that the waiting lists for NHS gender services are currently very long and you may need to wait several years before you get your first appointment. An quicker approach is to use one of the private gender services, but these will charge you money.
There is information about moving to England from the EEA or Switzerland on the NHS website.
People from outside the EU and EEA can apply for access to the NHS as part of their immigration application. This costs you specific amount of money each year (around £400-600 as of January 2023) which will pay for you to be able to access the health services in the UK - including gender services - without paying any more money. There is information on the UK Government website on applying for this during the visa process.
You can read more about moving to England from outside the EEA on the NHS website.
Refugees and asylum seekers can access NHS services - including gender services - for free. There is more information about this on the UK Government website.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) survivor services on the NHS are available to everyone in the UK free of charge. You can read more about FGM support on the NHS website.
Changing your name
To change your name on UK government documents, such as residence permits, travel documents, and visas, you will need to show you have updated your name on your non-UK passport or national identity card. There is more information about changing names available on the UK Home Office website.
If you have a visa or BRP, you must report a change of name to the UK Government. You can find more information on how to do this on the UK Government website.
You can find more publications relating to UK immigration and asylum on the genderarchive.org.uk website.
Errors and omissions
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