Claim Asylum in the UK

Claiming asylum in the UK involves a intricate legal procedure with specific eligibility criteria for applicants

Simply call us at 0203 384 4389 if you need help with your visa. You can also fill out the online form here.

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What is Claiming Asylum?

You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee.
To be eligible you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution.
You should apply when you arrive in the UK or as soon as you think it would be unsafe for you to return to your own country. Your application is more likely to be denied if you wait.
After applying you’ll have a meeting with an immigration officer (known as a ‘screening’) and then an asylum interview with a caseworker.
You’ll usually get a decision on your application within 6 months.
You can get up to 2 years in prison or have to leave the UK if you give false information on your application.

Speak to our assessment team now to confirm your eligibility. Free call at 0203 384 4389.

Waiting for your decision

You’ll be told after your screening what you must do while you’re waiting for your asylum decision, for example report to a caseworker regularly (known as ‘reporting meetings’).
You must tell the authorities if your situation changes.

You won’t usually be allowed to work while your asylum claim is being considered. Call us at 0203 384 4389

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Eligibility

To stay in the UK as a refugee you must be unable to live safely in any part of your own country because you fear persecution there.
If you’re stateless, your own country is the country you usually live in.
This persecution must be because of:
You must have failed to get protection from authorities in your own country.
Your claim might not be considered if you:

Family members

You can include your partner and your children under 18 as ‘dependants’ in your application if they’re with you in the UK.

Your children under 18 and your partner can also make their applications at the same time, but they won’t be treated as your dependents. Call your solicitor at 0203 384 4389

Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

Documents you must provide

You’ll need documents for yourself and your dependants (partner and children under 18) for your asylum screening.
Documents you should bring (if you have them) include:

Documents to prove your UK address

If you’re already in the UK, you and your dependants must bring documents that prove your UK address.
You’ll need different documents depending on whether you’re living in your own accommodation or staying with someone else.
Living in your own accommodation
You’ll need to provide documents showing your full name and address. This could be a:

Staying with someone else

You’ll need to provide:

Register Your Fresh Asylum Claim

You register your asylum claim at a ‘screening’. This is a meeting with an immigration officer where you tell them about your case.
You’ll have your screening at the UK border if you claim asylum as soon as you arrive. You can also be screened once you’re in the UK if you become eligible for asylum.
At your screening you’ll:
You’ll be asked why you want asylum. You can bring written evidence to support your claim if you want, as well as your identification documents.
You’ll need to say if you or your dependants are taking any medication and give any relevant medical information.
You can ask for a male or female interviewer, but your choice might not always be available.

Screening at the UK border

You must tell a Border Force officer that you want to claim asylum.
Your application will be registered and you’ll be screened – ask for an interpreter if you need one.

Screening in the UK

You must make an appointment with the asylum screening unit if you’re already in the UK.
You must bring:

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

After your screening

After your screening your case will be given to a caseworker.
You’ll be sent an asylum registration card (ARC) to your UK address, unless you’ve been detained.
If the Home Office can’t send you an ARC immediately, they’ll send you an appointment letter telling you what to do next.

Caseworkers

You’ll have an asylum interview with your caseworker. They’ll make a decision about your application.
They’ll also explain the asylum process and tell you what to do while you wait for an asylum decision, such as go to regular reporting meetings.
You may be detained if you don’t go to your reporting meetings.
Tell your caseworker if you have any special needs, for example if you have a disability or need medication.

Your ARC

The ARC shows you’ve applied for asylum. You can use it to:

You must take your ARC with you when you go to your reporting meetings.

Being detained

You may be detained at an immigration removal centre while you wait for a decision on your application.
You’ll either be:
You can also be detained and removed if it’s decided that another country is responsible for offering you asylum.
You may be able to appeal against the decision.

When you won’t be detained

You won’t usually be detained if you’re:

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Asylum Interview

Your asylum interview will take place soon after your screening.
Your application will usually be rejected if you don’t go to your asylum interview.
You’ll get a letter telling you when and where to attend and if any of your dependants also need to be interviewed.

Sending a written statement

You can choose to send a written statement to support your claim. This must be written in English and sent to your caseworker before your interview. Include your Home Office reference number.

The interview

You’ll usually be interviewed alone, without your family members. An interpreter will be provided, if you need one.
The information you provide will be treated in confidence and will not be disclosed to the authorities in your own country.
Use this interview to explain:
You may be asked questions about difficult topics but it’s important that you explain what has happened to you and your family.
You must tell the caseworker everything you want them to consider or it can count against you.
Bring all the evidence you have of your persecution. You may be asked to send further evidence to your caseworker after the interview, if they think it might help your application.
You should also bring your birth certificate, passport and medical records if you have them.
Your caseworker will make notes in a document called an ‘interview record’. You’ll get a copy of this at the end of the interview.

Legal representative

As your legal representative, we can accompany you to your asylum interview.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Get a decision

Your application will usually be decided within 6 months. It may take longer if it’s complicated, for example: 

You’ll be given or refused permission to stay in one of the following ways.

Permission to stay as a refugee

You and your dependants may be given permission to stay in the UK for 5 years if you qualify for asylum. This is known as ‘leave to remain’.
After 5 years, you can apply to settle in the UK.

Permission to stay for humanitarian reasons

You may get permission to stay for humanitarian reasons if you don’t qualify for asylum. This means you need to stay in the UK for your protection.
You and your dependants may be given permission to stay in the UK for 5 years. This is known as ‘leave to enter’ or ‘leave to remain’.
After 5 years, you can apply to settle in the UK.

Permission to stay for other reasons

You may get permission to stay for other reasons if you don’t qualify for permission to stay as a refugee or for humanitarian reasons.

How long you can stay will depend on your situation.
You may be able to apply to extend your stay or settle in the UK towards the end of your stay.

No reason to stay

You’ll be asked to leave the UK if you don’t qualify for asylum and your caseworker decides there’s no other reason for you to stay.
You may be able to appeal against the decision.
You’ll have to leave if you don’t appeal in the time allowed, or if your appeal is unsuccessful. You can:

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most of the time, a child needs a visa in order to live in the UK. For instance, if their parent is a foreign national working or studying in the country, the child may need a Child Dependant Visa.

To claim asylum in the UK, individuals must usually arrive and inform immigration authorities of their need for protection.

If you already live in the UK and want to declare asylum, you should contact the Home Office to book a screening interview.

To claim asylum in the UK, one typically informs immigration authorities upon arrival, providing the necessary information to support their asylum claim.

To claim asylum, individuals need to follow the procedures established by the country they are in, usually involving an application process with immigration or asylum authorities.

Anyone who fears persecution in their home country due to factors like race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group can potentially claim asylum in the UK.

To claim asylum in the UK, individuals usually approach immigration authorities, submit an application, and attend interviews to provide details supporting their need for protection.

Claiming asylum in the UK is a legal process. Individuals must follow established procedures, providing evidence to support their asylum claim.

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