Asylum Seekers

This category of people refers to individuals who are awaiting judgement on their claim for asylum.  Any foreign national can claim asylum in the UK by informing the Home Office that they are fleeing persecution on grounds detailed in the 1951 UN Convention.  While an asylum seeker’s claim is being considered, he or she is entitled to the full protection of the law.  More details are available from the Home Office by clicking here.

If asylum seekers are unable to support themselves, they are eligible to apply for support.  Once the Home Office have approved claimants' applications for support they are dispersed to one of a number of destinations across the UK.  Accommodation is offered on a no-choice basis and is provided by various private contractors.  In Scotland, the contract is run by Serco and their housing partners Orchard & Shipman.  At present all asylum seekers accommodated under this contract are housed in Glasgow, although there are a number of asylum seekers living with friends or relatives in other parts of the country.

The procedure for judging the veracity of an applicant's claim for asylum is complex and draws on evidence such as human rights reports from an applicant’s country of origin, medical reports, language tests, and details of the applicant’s travel to the UK.  If a decision goes against an asylum seeker, he or she will have the right to appeal.

Once an asylum claim has been settled, the applicant will either be given leave to remain or will be expected to leave the country.  It is expected that anyone who has received a negative decision (and therefore has had their temporary access to the UK revoked) should take steps to leave the UK.  If appeal rights have been exhausted, single or childless applicants will no longer be entitled to government support and will be subject to removal from the country if they do not leave voluntarily.  Persons who are making arrangements to leave, or who are unable to return home at that time may be eligible for support, while those with dependent children aged under 18 will continue to be supported until such time as they leave the country.