People who are subject to immigration control may get permission (or 'limited leave') to enter or remain in the UK:
- to work (normally with a work permit)
- to study
- to join family members
- to visit.
You may be asked to prove that you are legally in the UK, and can do this by showing the relevant immigration status document.
Unless you are a refugee, if you have limited leave you will not usually have the right to obtain a rented home through the local council, to apply as homeless to the council or to claim housing benefit to help pay your rent. Once you get indefinite leave to remain you will usually become eligible.
If you have been self-supporting and your funds have been temporarily disrupted you may be able to claim housing benefit for up to six weeks, in spite of any restrictions placed on your leave in the UK, as long as there is a reasonable expectation that your funds will resume shortly.
If you are a citizen of Croatia, Macedonia or Turkey and you are habitually resident in the UK you can also claim housing benefit. In Wales you can also get homelessness assistance from a local council and apply for council housing, but not in England.
You can apply for accommodation to a housing association, but if your stay in the UK is very short (as a visitor for example) you may be refused as housing associations generally aim to house only those intending to stay in the area for some time. You will also have to show how you will pay your rent.