Renfrewshire Council

Refugees and asylum seekers

Scotland has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.

Under the 1951 UN Refugees Convention, the UK and other signatories are obliged to consider properly any application for asylum made by a person who claims to be fleeing persecution by the state. 

A refugee is entitled to the same social and economic rights as any UK citizen. They have full access to medical treatment, education, housing and employment.

The Scottish Government is responsible for devolved issues which relate to asylum seekers who are living in Scottish communities while their immigration application is being processed. This includes integration initiatives, such as English language classes and translation assistance, and services such as health care, education and legal advice.

Overall, the Scottish Refugee Council estimates there are currently approximately 10,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in Scotland, mainly in Glasgow.