Skip to main content

CIH Scotland

New Arrivals

People with limited leave

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser please click here for information more relevant to you.

Are you someone with limited leave?

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.

Many of those who arrive as workers and family members eventually get indefinite leave to remain. Refugees and people who claim asylum successfully also have limited leave but have more rights, explained here.

You may have additional rights to live, work and access housing or benefits other than as described on this page, if you are the partner or parent of a British citizen or a family member of an EEA national.

What documents might you be asked for?

You may be asked to prove that you are legally in the UK, and can do this by showing the relevant immigration status document.

What are your rights to housing and benefits?

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 are a citizen of Macedonia or Turkey and you are habitually resident in the UK you can also claim housing benefit.

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 can apply for accommodation from a private landlord and you can find out how to do this here.

Background Topics

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland