New Scots: refugee integration strategy 2018 to 2022

The New Scots refugee integration strategy sets out an approach to support the vision of a welcoming Scotland.

Annex D: Glossary of Useful Terms

Asylum seeker

An asylum seeker (or person seeking asylum) is someone who has lodged an application for international protection under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and is awaiting a decision from the ( UK) Government.

Asylum support

Asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, can apply for accommodation and/or subsistence support from the Home Office. Home Office accommodation is provided on a no-choice basis in a number of dispersal areas around the UK. Glasgow is currently the only dispersal area in Scotland. If an asylum seeker has additional care needs, due to chronic illness or disability, they may also be eligible for support from their local authority.


COMPASS is the name for a series of Home Office contracts for the provision of housing, support and transport to asylum seekers across the UK. These contracts come to an end in 2019.


Destitution is extreme poverty. Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 defines a person as destitute, if they do not have adequate accommodation or the means to obtain it; or, they have adequate accommodation or the means to obtain it, but cannot meet other essential living needs.


Dispersal is the process by which the Home Office moves an asylum seeker to accommodation while they wait for a decision on their asylum claim. They are first moved to initial accommodation, while their application for asylum support is processed (usually 2 – 3 weeks). Once the application has been processed and approved, they are moved to dispersal accommodation, usually within the same dispersal area.

Family reunion

Family reunion is the process enabling people granted refugee status or humanitarian protection to bring their spouse and dependent children to join them in the UK. Current UK immigration rules do not allow children to bring their parents to reunite with them in the UK. Family reunion processes are reserved and operated by the Home Office.

Humanitarian Protection ( HP)

Humanitarian Protection is a form of immigration status. It is granted by the Home Office to a person who it decides has a need for international protection, but who does not meet the criteria to be recognised as a refugee under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. Status is awarded for five years. People with Humanitarian Protection are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain at the end of their five year grant of leave.

Indefinite Leave to Remain ( ILR)

ILR is a form of immigration status granted by the Home Office. ILR is also called 'permanent residence' or 'settled status,' as it gives permission to stay in the UK on a permanent basis.

Legal Aid

Legal Aid is the provision of assistance to people otherwise unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. In Scotland, anyone requiring representation for a case at the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal can access legal aid support in the form of 'Assistance by Way of Representation' ( ABWOR). In most cases, only a means test is applied, and applications from asylum seekers will be passed on their merits.

Move-on period

When a person seeking asylum is granted leave to remain in the UK (refugee status, discretionary leave to remain or humanitarian protection), they are given 28 days' notice by the Home Office, after which their asylum accommodation and financial support will come to an end. This is referred to as the 'move-on period'.


A refugee is a person who 'owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country'.

(1951 United Nations Refugee Convention)

Refugee status

Refugee status is awarded to someone the Home Office recognises as a refugee, as defined by the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. A person given refugee status is normally granted leave to remain in the UK for five years, and at the end of that period can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain ( ILR).


Resettlement is the process whereby refugees living outside their country of origin are moved to another country where they can live safely. In the UK, refugees arriving under resettlement programmes have their status granted prior to arrival. Housing is arranged and basic support is funded by the Home Office. Current examples include the Syrian Resettlement Programme and the Vulnerable Children's Relocation Scheme.


The most widely accepted definition of torture internationally is set out by Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ( UNCAT). [110]

Trafficking (human trafficking)

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Article 3 (a) defines Trafficking in Persons for the purpose of exploitation. [111] The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 sets out the definitions of human trafficking and exploitation in Scots Law.


This term is widely used to refer to a range of incidents or circumstances. It generally describes stressful events, incidents or situations (which may be short or long lasting), which are exceptionally threatening or of such a catastrophic nature that they are likely to cause pervasive distress in almost everyone.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child ( UASC)

A child who has applied for asylum in their own right and is separated from both parents or previous/legal customary primary caregivers. Such children should be provided with services for looked after children by receiving local authorities and can be referred to the Scottish Guardianship Service.


The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR), also referred to as the UN Refugee Agency. UNHCR works internationally to support refugees and works with the Home Office as part of UK refugee resettlement programmes.


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