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If you are from abroad

We always try to help people within the Aylesbury Vale community if they have housing problems. However, some people from abroad are subject to immigration control and are not eligible for assistance if they apply as homeless or for re-housing. Within this section of our web site we explain who is and who isn’t eligible and define aspects such as immigration control, asylum and refugee status.

For more information call our Housing Needs and Advice Team on 01296 585197.

What is immigration status?

Everyone in the UK has an immigration status. You are either subject to, or not subject to immigration control.

People not subject to immigration control

If you are a national of another country you may lawfully live, work or settle in the UK, only if you have been given permission to do so by the Immigration & Nationality Directorate. The type of permission you have been given affects whether you are eligible to join our Housing & Transfer Register and receive help as a homeless person. In addition all applicants need to pass a habitual residents test.

People who are subject to immigration control

You are subject to immigration control if you are a national of a country other than those within the European Economic Area. This means that you may lawfully live/work/settle in the UK only if you have been given written permission to do so by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). Written permission is signified by an endorsement in your passport and is known as Leave to Enter or Remain.

European Economic Area countries are:

United Kingdom

What is the habitual residence test?

The habitual residence test defines whether or not a person is habitually resident in the Common Travel Area; ie the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It also helps determine entitlement to income support, job seekers allowance, housing benefit, etc.

The test considers various factors:

Whether your residence in the UK is of a voluntary and settled nature.
The length, and continuity of your residence.
Your employment prospects.
Your reasons/intentions for coming to the UK.
Your future intentions.

Who is an asylum seeker?

An asylum seeker is a person who is subject to immigration control and has applied to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) for recognition as a refugee.

As an asylum seeker you are allowed to remain in the UK lawfully until your application and any right of appeal have been heard.

Support for asylum seekers

Since 3 April 2000, instead of being able to claim benefits, asylum seekers awaiting decisions receive support from the Home Office’s National Asylum Support Service (NASS).

If you have nowhere else to stay, accommodation is provided on a ‘no choice’ basis in cluster areas around the country.

Successful asylum seekers (those granted refugee status or exceptional leave to remain) get support from NASS for 28 days after the decision. This covers the time taken to find employment or claim social security benefits.

The Refugee Arrivals Project

The Refugee Arrivals Project (RAP) is funded by the Home Office’s National Asylum Support Service (NASS) to help asylum seekers at a local level. It will:

Arrange emergency accommodation until dispersal.
Provide subsistence where necessary.
Help you complete your application to NASS for assistance.
Provide interpreters and transport if needed.
Newly arrived asylum seekers needing advice about the NASS support system will be referred to RAP.

Who is a refugee?

A refugee is a person who has been granted political asylum in the UK by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) because of a well-founded fear of persecution in that person’s home country as a consequence of race, religion, nationality etc.

Who is an illegal entrant?

An illegal entrant is a person who entered the UK by evading the immigration controls or has unlawfully entered the UK in breach of a deportation order or immigration law.

What is deportation?

Deportation means removing a person from the UK and barring them from returning while a deportation order exists.

Deportation action is taken against those who have entered the UK lawfully, but fail to stick to the conditions upon which they were admitted.

Who is an overstayer?

An overstayer is someone who is no longer lawfully allowed to remain in the UK.

What is exceptional leave to remain?

This is permission to stay in the UK, granted prior to 1 April 2003, for a person to remain in the UK for a set time. It is usually applied when an asylum seeker has been refused full refugee status but has otherwise been allowed to stay.

What is humanitarian protection?

This will have been granted after 1 April 2003 to anyone who faces a serious risk to life or person if they returned to their home country. It is usually granted for an initial 3 year period after which it is reviewed to see whether the need for protection still exists.

What is discretionary leave to remain?

This is a period of leave to remain in the UK given to a person who has not been given asylum or humanitarian protection, but still has compelling reasons to remain here.

What is indefinite leave to remain?

Indefinite leave to remain, or settled status, is when you have been granted leave to remain in the UK but are not subject under immigration law to any conditions or restrictions on your period of stay.

Who is a sponsored person?

This is someone who has been given indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK on the undertaking given by another person that they will be responsible for the costs of the sponsored person's maintenance and accommodation.

Contact information


01296 585197


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