Asylum seekers and refugees

Asylum seekers

An asylum seeker is a person who has made a formal application for refuge and who is waiting for a decision on their application. Asylum seekers are subject to immigration control with temporary admission but not leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (UK). Applications for asylum are dealt with by the UK Borders Agency.

For detailed information on asylum and immigration processes within the UK, please visit the UK Borders Agency website.


A refugee is someone whose request for asylum has been accepted. Refugee status carries certain rights and obligations such as the right to work and open a bank account. For impartial support or advice for those with refugee status in Scotland, please visit the Scottish Refugee Council website.

Access to Council housing

Procedures have been developed for dealing with applications from people who are non-UK nationals or asylum seekers. These procedures take into account our legal duties concerning the rights of such individuals. The eligibility for local authority housing depends on an applicant's immigration status. If the applicant is a person who is 'subject to immigration' then they may not be entitled to public funds (including public housing). Each application needs to be assessed against the current applicable legislation and guidance.

Further information and advice is available from Shelter.

Contact Information

Housing Options
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street
Telephone: 01563 554554
Housing Register Team
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01563 554821
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