Information pertaining to asylum seekers in Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. How many Refugees / Asylum Seekers have requested asylum in Scotland?
2. How many have been granted this, and in which areas are they being housed?
3. Are asylum seekers being distributed throughout all Scottish councils or are they being held in certain areas - as unconfirmed reports mention.
4. What if any Health Checks are conducted on refugees, in particular COVID and serious illness or disease?


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested, namely that asked for in your first, second and fourth questions. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained below.

As you may be aware, asylum and immigration are matters reserved to the UK Parliament and handled by the Home Office. This includes the design and operation of the UK asylum system and the design and operation of UK refugee resettlement programmes. The Scottish Government has no control over these processes. However, you may wish to contact the Home Office at who may be able to help you. 

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The answer to your third question is that Glasgow is the only asylum dispersal area in Scotland. As noted above, the Home Office is responsible for the operation of the UK asylum system. Under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, support and accommodation is provided to asylum seekers and
their dependents by the Home Office if they are destitute or likely to become destitute. Asylum accommodation is provided through Home Office contracts in dispersal areas across the UK.

People seeking asylum who do not require accommodation may live anywhere in the UK while awaiting a decision on their application. You may wish to contact the Home Office for further information about dispersal or asylum accommodation.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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