Application Registration Card (ARC)

Children/young people


  • I am scared of being detained. My friend has been detained. How can Scottish Refugee Council help me?

    It is very important to find a legal representative who can give you advice about your asylum case and detention as soon as possible after you arrive in Scotland.  We can provide a list of legal representatives in but cannot provide legal advice. 

    You may want to give copies of your documents and your legal representative’s contact details to a friend or trusted person so that if you are detained, they can contact him or her on your behalf. 

    Organisations that can help

    The following organisations provide practical advice and support if you are worried about being detained and can also identify legal representatives:

    The Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees (GCWR)

    GCWR provides support and advice on a number of asylum issues, including detention and removal.

    Find out more on the GCWR Facebook page.

    The Unity Centre

    The Centre provides support for asylum seekers, especially if you face being detained or being forcibly removed.  They are located near to the Home Office reporting centre in Glasgow and offer a check-in service that allows you to sign in before you report to the Home Office.

    Find out more about the Unity Centre.

    Scottish Detainee Visitors (SDV)

    SDV is an independent charity providing social, emotional and practical support to those detained in Scotland, mainly in Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre.

    Find out more about SDV.

    Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID)

    BID is an independent charity that believes that asylum seekers should be protected from detention.  They can help you apply for bail (conditional release) if you are detained. All detainees have the right to apply for bail if they have been in the UK for more than seven days.

    Find out more about BID.

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Get involved in your community


Home Office (NASS) accommodation


  • I am homeless. How can Scottish Refugee Council help me?

    If you have been refused asylum and have exhausted your appeal rights, or if you are destitute with no access to public funds, the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service led by Refugee Survival Trust may be able to help.

    Contact us

    To make an appointment to speak to one of our advisers call 0141 248 9799.

    Other homeless services

    There are several organisations that may be able to help you with accommodation and food if you do not have a place to live.

    Positive Action in Housing

    The charity Positive Action in Housing offers advice, information and support if you are facing homelessness. Find out more on their website or call them on 0141 353 2220.

    Free food at Unity World Café

    Every Tuesday the Unity Centre's café offers free food for people seeking asylum who are destitute or receiving Section 4 support.

    Call them on 0141 387 0978 for more information.

    The Glasgow Homeless Information Pages

    The Glasgow Homeless Information Pages provides information about where to get emergency help if you are homeless in Glasgow.

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How we can help/our services


Money and work

Refugee Week Scotland

  • How can Scottish Refugee Council support my arts project?

    We may be able to provide information and advice to ensure the integrity of your project and that it is factually accurate.

    If your arts project is specifically designed for participation of asylum seekers or refugees we may be able to identify relevant organisations. You may also wish to reference our list of refugee community organisations and integration networks.

    If you have an idea for an arts project but are unsure how to develop or implement the idea or need help contact our arts officer.

    We have limited funding and it is very rare that we could offer financial assistance. However, we are sometimes able to provide support and advice on accessing alternative funding streams. 

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  • Are there any resources available for schools?

    Life After Iraq

    Life After Iraq is a photographic exhibition commissioned by us.  The exhibition of work is by award-winning photojournalist Angela Catlin and writer Billy Briggs, who travelled to Syria to document the lives of some of the millions of ordinary Iraqis living there after fleeing their homeland.

    The exhibition gives an intimate insight into the lives of Iraqi refugees who have come to Scotland seeking safety.  The exhibition and an accompanying workshop is available to visit secondary schools at a cost of £150 plus travel expenses.

    Simple Acts

    Simple Acts is a campaign that we run to engage with primary and secondary schools. 

    Simple Acts is about inspiring individuals to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees.   It consists of 20 actions that can be done by anyone and that encourage us to learn and do more with refugees. 

    Information to support the campaign, including educational toolkits and lesson plans, is available from the Simple Acts website.

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  • How can I get involved in Refugee Festival Scotland?

    Refugee Festival Scotland 2016 was a huge success with more than 140 events taking place across the country. Keep an eye on our website or social media channels for details about Refugee Festival Scotland 2017.

    • You can get involved in Refugee Festival Scotland by volunteering with one of our many teams. Volunteering opportunities will be advertised on our website. 
    • Donate. Supporting us financially enables us to extend the scope and achievements of Refugee Festival Scotland. Find out about donating.
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Research and policy

Section 4

  • What is Section 4 support and how do I get it?

    What is Section 4 support and how do I get it?

    Section 4 is short-term support provided by the Home Office if your application for asylum has been refused, and your appeals have been unsuccessful.

    Normally, if your asylum case has been fully refused, the Home Office expects you to either leave the UK voluntarily, or they will make arrangements to remove you. However if you are unable to leave the UK immediately and you would otherwise be homeless or without enough money to buy food (that is you are destitute), you may be eligible for Section 4 support.


    There are strict criteria for this and you must prove that you are eligible.  We can offer advice on this issue and can help you to apply for this support.  However, the Home Office are responsible for the final decision on your application.

    If you are granted Section 4 support, you will be given accommodation and weekly support to the value of £35. You will be given your weekly support through an automated card payment system, called an ‘Azure’ payment card.

    The Azure card can be used to buy food, toiletries, clothing, cleaning items, or any other items sold in certain shops which have agreed to accept the card.

    Qualifying and applying for Section 4 support

    We can help you apply for Section 4 support. Alternatively your legal representative, local law centre, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) or refugee community organisation may also be able to help you to apply.

    In order to be eligible for Section 4, you must provide evidence showing that you are destitute, meaning that do not have accommodation or money to buy food. For example:

    • you could provide the letter from the Home Office stating you will have to leave the accommodation provided by them, making you homeless; or
    • a letter from a person or organisation that has provided food and accommodation to you in the past, indicating that they can no longer do so.

    You must also show that you meet at least one of the following five criteria:

    •  You are taking reasonable steps to leave the UK. For example, you may have agreed to return voluntarily by asking for assistance from Refugee Action.
    • Your lawyer has applied for judicial review to challenge the refusal of your asylum application.
    • You are unable to travel because there is no safe route available to return. According to the Home Office, there is currently no country to which this applies. Our advisers or your legal representative will be able to tell you if this has changed.
    • You are unable to leave the UK because you are unfit to travel. For example, you have a specific illness or are in late pregnancy. This criterion is very strict and you must have a signed medical declaration from a doctor stating that you are “unfit to travel”. Most medical problems will not be considered serious enough.  Your Scottish Refugee Council adviser can provide you with a blank copy of the medical declaration to take to your doctor.
    • Fresh asylum claim/human rights claim. You have been to either the Glasgow or Liverpool immigration offices to lodge fresh submissions (fresh evidence or information) about your asylum claim.  You will need to provide proof from UKBA that the submissions have been received.

    Read the Refugee Council's leaflet on the Section 4 Azure payment card (93.8Kb, PDF)

    Read about the Azure payment card in another language on Refugee Council’s multilingual site

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  • Do I need to sign up for voluntary return to receive Section 4 support?

    No. Voluntary return is not mandatory and is only one of five requirements. You only need to fulfil one of these requirements. In order to be eligible for Section 4 you must provide evidence showing that you are destitute, meaning that do not have a place to stay or money to buy food.

    Read our FAQ identifying what criteria you must meet to apply for Section 4 support

    If your application for asylum is refused, you may be told by the Home Office that applying for voluntary return to your country of origin is your only option.  If you wish to apply for voluntary return, we can provide advice or direct you to Refugee Action's Choices Assisted Voluntary Return Service, which is based at our Cadogan Square office. You can also call them on 0808 800 0007.

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Support us

  • How can I support the work that Scottish Refugee Council does?


    Raising funds is vital to ensuring we’re able to continue supporting those seeking asylum and refugees in Scotland.  And you have the option to make one-off or more regular donations.

    Make a donation today.


    Volunteering with us is a great way to support the work we do.  There are a variety of ways to get involved and use your existing skills and develop new ones.

    Our volunteers have a diversity of interests and backgrounds but a shared desire to help. 

    Find out more about volunteering with us.


    We are a membership organisation.  By becoming a member, not only do you support our work but you also help us to highlight issues facing refugees and those seeking asylum, making us a stronger campaigning force.

    Find out more about becoming a member.

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  • I am a woman seeking asylum in Scotland. How can Scottish Refugee Council help me?

    Please take a look at our dedicated page 'I am a woman' for refugee and asylum seeking women.

    We can provide help and advice on areas like money and housing, your rights and entitlements as you go through the asylum process and health issues. We can also help to explain important documents and provide information on refugee community organisations and other local groups.

    Find out about other services for women

    If you are experiencing violence or abuse, please speak to us and we will try to help or refer you to a specialist agency that can assist you.  If you prefer to speak to a female adviser, we will do our best to arrange this.

    Advice leaflets

    Our advice leaflet highlights where to get information, support and help in Scotland if you are experiencing violence or have mental health concerns.

    Read our violence and health advice leaflet for women (184.5Kb, PDF)

    Read our violence and health advice leaflet for women in another language

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  • I am a woman seeking asylum in Scotland and want to meet other women in my community. Can Scottish Refugee Council help me?

    Please take a look at our dedicated page 'I am a woman' for refugee and asylum seeking women.

    If you want to meet other women living in the Glasgow area and make new friends, you can join a women’s group. Some of the groups you may wish to consider are detailed below.

    Unity Women’s Drop In

    This group offers friendly and practical support in a comfortable women-only space.

    The Unity Women's Project drop-in runs from Monday from 12 noon to 5pm on Mondays. Drop ins take place in Kinning Park Complex 43 Cornwall Street Glasgow G41 1BA. 

    Read their blog to find out more about their project 

    You can also find out more about their drop-in on the Unity website or call 0141 427 7992.

    Mother Theresa Albanian and Women Across the World Group

    The group is open to all women and children are also welcome; a crèche is provided.  Lunch is provided and a contribution towards travel expenses is also offered. The group meets every Thursday at Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RE, between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm.   

    Contact the Maryhill Integration Network (including Central and West Integration Network) for more information on 0141 946 9106.


    Karibu is an organisation offering advice, support and information to African women. They are based at 48 Albion Street (third floor), Glasgow, G1 1LH.

    For more information, email them (Charlotte Atta, Development Worker) or call 0141 237 7926.

    Women’s community groups

    There are a number of community organisations that you can get involved with. In addition to providing an opportunity to socialise and share your experiences, these groups offer services, information and support for women. They also work to ensure women’s voices are heard concerning issues and policies affecting their lives. 

    Our community development team supports the Refugee Women’s Strategy Group, a section of the Scottish Refugee Policy Forum. This group works together to bring about change and influence policy affecting asylum-seeking and refugee women. If you are interested in getting involved with the Refugee Women's Strategy Group please email our community development team or call 0141 248 9799.

    Find out about other community organisations

    Find out about other organisations providing services and advice for women

    Women’s morning at Scottish Refugee Council

    We also hold women’s information and advice mornings at our office at 5 Cadogan Square in Glasgow city centre. Keep an eye on our website for details of the next one.

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