Visitor Information

Visits are a very important part of the Yarl’s Wood day and we encourage you to come and spend time with our residents as often as you can.

Request a visit

COVID-19 Update - April 2021: All visitors will be required to take a lateral flow test upon arrival and must wait 30 minutes for the results to come through before being allowed entry. 

If the test gives a positive result, you will not be allowed entry and will be asked to return home. 

Any persons who has had a positive result in the last 90 days (meaning they cannot complete another test) must bring with them, and provide evidence to staff of, the date the test was taken on to ensure they have completed their 10-day isolation period.


Social visits

Social visits take place in our large, tastefully decorated visits room, complete with soft seating and low coffee tables. We provide a self-vend café bar for both visitors and residents and there is a small garden where residents can sit with their visitors if they prefer. Our aim is to make both residents and visitors feel comfortable and better able to enjoy the visit.

Social visit times:
14.00-17.00 (2pm – 5pm)
18.00-21.00 (6pm – 9pm)

Social visits must be booked 24 hours in advance. Visiting rooms fill up quickly and booking ahead ensures that we can guarantee that you will be able to spend time with your family member or friend.

Call: 01234 821000
Fax: 01234 821096

What identification is required?

Social visitors (i.e. personal visitors to residents) must provide one of the following:

  • A passport (current or if expired within 5 years of expiry date). This can include foreign passports and travel documents recognised by HM Government.

  • European Community identity card

  • Photographic driving licence

Or two of the following:

  • Birth certificate

  • Marriage certificate

  • Rail or bus pass with photograph

  • Employer’s ID card or NUS student card

  • Young person’s proof of age card

  • Trade union membership card

  • Senior citizen travel pass issued by a local authority

  • Home Office ARC card (asylum support application registration card)

  • Benefits book

Remember to bring your ID for each and every visit you attend, failure to provide the correct forms of ID can and will result in refusal of entry to the centre in accordance with this Detention services order.

Arriving for visits

We have introduced a visitor self-service kiosk in VC1, this will allow any visitor who is already enrolled to sign themselves into the centre 30 minutes prior to their visit starting. The first time you attend you will need to be enrolled by our VC1 team. On subsequent visits all returning visitors can use the self-service kiosk.

What information will I be asked to provide?

At Visitor Reception, you will be asked to provide sufficient ID, once that has been completed we will take a biometric scan of the tip of both your index fingers and your photograph will be taken. This information will be validated on your entry to and from the visits hall. This personal information will then be encrypted immediately and will be destroyed if not used within six months, in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act. This data will not be cross checked against any other database; it is purely used to ensure the same person exits the Centre as presented to the staff at entry.

What does Biometric mean?
Biometric means a piece of unique information about you, i.e. Iris recognition, Hand geometry Recognition, Face Recognition or Fingerprint recognition this cannot be reproduced by anyone as this information is unique to you. At Yarl’s Wood IRC we use information on the depth and length of ridges on your fingers,

What does the Data Protection Act say?
The Data Protection Act says that information should be kept for no longer than is necessary. The Act does not specify what a ‘necessary’ period should be for particular information. Each case would be considered on its own merits. If an organisation is obliged to retain data for a given length of time under any other laws, this should be taken into consideration.

Data Protection information can be obtained by contacting The Information Commissioner’s Office on 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 or online at 

Can I request the information used at Yarl’s Wood IRC to be removed when I finish my visit?
Unfortunately not, but our system is set to auto remove all of your of your details if you do not attend site for 6 months or more

What details are removed?
The system removes your picture any personal details and biometrics taken, we keep basic information about your visit i.e. time date and visit number for audit purposes

What do I do if I need further information or would like to provide feedback?
We welcome all feedback. Please write your request to:

Security Manager,
Yarl’s Wood IRC,
Twinwood Business Park,
MK44 2FQ

How do I send money to a resident?

We offer a straight forward secure service that enables you to transfer money directly into the residents account.

You can send money securely to a resident via this website, it takes only a few minutes to sign up and, your funds are transferred to Yarl’s Wood electronically.

Our sophisticated systems allow you to enter the amount to be sent, press ‘send’ and sit back in the knowledge the funds will be delivered safely and securely to us.

From all corners of the World you can now send money to residents., the funds will be added to residents accounts Monday to Friday. To this this service all you will need is the residents name and their Home Office CID number,  (if you do not know the CID, please contact the resident) please note, we can accept up to a maximum of £1000.

Use the Sercure Payment Service here.

Legal visits

Legal visits provide an important opportunity for official legal and case related visitors to conduct interviews with a resident and help to develop their case and further their progress through the system.

All legal visits take place in private interview rooms, complete with table, chairs and a hearing loop, which is always available if needed. It is the responsibility of the interviewer to arrange the services of an interpreter or translator. The legal visits rooms are supervised but there is no CCTV in this area.

Legal visit times:
09.00-12.00 (9am – noon)
13.30-17.00 (1:30pm – 5pm)
18.00-21.00 (6:00pm – 9pm)

Legal visits must be booked 24 hours in advance. Visiting rooms fill up quickly and booking ahead ensures that we can guarantee that you will be able to see your client.

Call: 01234 821000
Fax: 01234 821096

What identification is required?

Legal representatives (i.e. official representative for resident) wishing to visit detainees must make an appointment with the IRC. On arrival, legal representatives must provide:

  • Any photographic ID, as described in paragraph 16 in the Visits DSO;

  • Identity card issued by their firm or chambers, or business card;

  • Be able to identify the detainee(s) to be visited by providing name, date of birth and/or the Home Office case identification number.

All visitors to Yarl’s Wood are searched, biometrically fingerprinted and have their photograph taken as part of the visit clearance procedure.  This is necessary to speed up identification, entering and exiting the visitor centre.