Newport docks and the steel industry attracted people from across the globe, contributing to a diverse ethnic population.

People from countries such as Ireland, Somalia and Bangladesh came over to live and work and many of them settled in Newport.

Newport continues to attract people from a wide range of countries who come to live and work for a shorter or longer period.

COVID-19: read 'no recourse to public funds' information

Asylum seekers and refugees

The Wales Strategic Migration Partnership for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants (WSMP) is funded by the Home Office to provide an independent advisory and consultation body on migration in Wales.

The WSMP works with partners in the development of strategic policies and initiatives on asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in Wales.

Visit the WSMP website for further information and contact details.

Simple overview of the legal asylum process (pdf)

Asylum seekers access to schools 


Migrant workers

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a migrant worker is:

‘a person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national’.

Migrant workers do not include refugees or asylum seekers

The distinguishing factor between migrant workers from European and non-European countries is the procedure by which they enter the UK to work.  

European Economic Area (EEA) Citizens of EEA member countries and citizens of Switzerland have the right to live and work in any country belonging to the EEA and Switzerland (known as the 'right of residence') if they can financially support themselves without becoming an unreasonable burden on public funds.

In addition to the United Kingdom, the EEA countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria must get permission to enter and work in the UK before they arrive, unless they are self-employed/setting up their own business.

Points based system

In 2008, the government introduced the points based system regulating immigration to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Migrants must pass a points assessment before they get permission to enter or remain in the UK.

Read more about entry criteria for migrant workers on the UK Border Agency website.

Health and housing

Migrant workers from EEA member-countries (and Switzerland) living in Newport can access health and housing services through the same process as any other Newport resident.

Migrant workers from non-European countries have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ which means that they have to pay for health services, and have to access private rented accommodation or buy accommodation.


Ask for the migration policy officer at Newport City Council.


If EU citizens want to stay in the UK they and their close family members will need to apply to the settlement scheme.

Welsh Government has announced a package of support to help EU citizens prepare for Brexit and continue to live and work in Wales.

Around 80,000 EU citizens currently live, work and study in Wales and many have not yet applied to the UK Government's Settlement Scheme to remain in the UK after Brexit. 


Read more about how Newport City Council is preparing for Brexit

Information for ‘Windrush’ cases 

The Government has provided information for Commonwealth citizens who are long-term residents of the UK and do not have documents to demonstrate their status.

Read Guidance for undocumented Commonwealth citizens including the current position and what individuals can do next.

Individuals can also contact a dedicated taskforce via 0800 678 1925 or email [email protected].  

The Home Secretary gave a statement on 23 April 2018 which confirmed that anyone from the Windrush generation can become a British citizen and that the Government will waive all fees for British citizenship applications. 

Download our migration privacy notice (pdf)