Skip to main content

Applying for asylum support

You can make an application for support from the UK Border Agency at any time before you are given a final decision on your claim for asylum. This means that even if you have been in the UK for a few months but have recently run out of money then you will be able to apply. This page explains how to apply, where to get help with your application and what happens once you've sent your application form in.

Applying for support

To apply for support you or a member of your family should submit a ASF1 form to the UK Border Agency. If you have a case owner, you should speak to them if you want to apply for support.

For help with filling out your application you should contact the Scottish Refugee Council on 0800 085 6087.

Will I get any support?

The UK Border Agency will try to reply to your application within three working days, although it will not always manage to do this. Your reply from the UK Border Agency will either reject or accept your application for support.

If the UK Border Agency accepts your application then it will try to find you somewhere to live long-term. This could take up to six or eight weeks. In the meantime, the UK Border Agency will sometimes offer temporary full board accommodation until it can find you a more permanent home. Temporary support will include somewhere to stay, food and other basic necessities such as toiletries.

However, you will only be offered temporary accommodation and support if you need it urgently. This means that you must be destitute when you make the application, not just threatened with destitution.

To be destitute you must have either:

  • nowhere suitable to live, or
  • not enough money to cover the cost of living.

For more information on whether or not you will be classed as destitute see the section on eligibility for asylum support.

How long will I get support for?

The UK Border Agency should continue to provide you with temporary accommodation until it can transfer you and your family to long-term housing. This could take a couple of months.

I don't qualify for support

If your claim for support is rejected then you should visit the Scottish Refugee Council immediately. The Scottish Refugee Council may be able to give you emergency support and accommodation.

Can I appeal against the decision?

You should also consider making an appeal against the UK Border Agency's decision to the Asylum Support Tribunal. Any appeal to the adjudicator must be made within three days of your application for support being rejected. For advice and assistance you should get in touch with the Scottish Refugee Council as soon as possible. Read the page on appeals to find out more.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're England

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

Was this page helpful?

This feedback tool can't offer advice. If you still need help, please call our free housing helpline on 0808 800 4444

Would you recommend Shelter Scotland's website to a friend, colleague or family member?
(0 - not at all likely, 10 - extremely likely)

Your feedback is being submitted

Success! Thank you for your feedback.

If you'd like to hear more about our work at Shelter Scotland, you can sign up to receive updates on our campaigns page.

Sorry, there was a problem sending your feedback to us. Please try again or contact us via the website if this error persists.

The fight isn't over - support us this summer

far from fixed campaign logo
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today. Join our campaign
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today.
Find out more about volunteering with Shelter Scotland
Volunteer with Shelter Scotland
Have you had a bad housing experience? Tell us about your story.
Share your story of a bad housing experience