The successful integration of individuals who have come to settle in another country is regarded by many as a test of whether future migration should be allowed. In recent years it has been announced in several countries that integration has, to some extent, failed and that new strategies are called for. This paper focuses on approaches to integration in the UK, and is an attempt to fill a gap in knowledge about refugees,’ migrants’, and asylum seekers’ own experiences of integration, due to a lack of consultation with these groups. I gathered data from migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a focus group consultation and through individual interviews. Some participants have come by choice to work in the UK, while others have fled persecution in their countries of origin. Depending on their immigration status, they have varying access to rights and entitlements in society and therefore different experiences. This paper explores whether these experiences have any influence on participants’ views on integration. I ask: What are migrants’, refugees’, and asylum seekers’ views of the elements necessary for successful integration into the UK? And what impact have their experiences in the UK had on this? Findings show the different challenges migrants, refugees and asylum seekers face in becoming part of UK society; what participants are doing to integrate; and what they consider the elements necessary for successful integration to take place. Most crucially, participants find that becoming part of society requires practical socio-economic integration through real and equal access to housing, employment, education, services, and to the communities of the British.


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