An ‘asylum seeker’ is someone who is awaiting a decision on his asylum claim in the UK. If your claim is successful, you are then recognised as a ‘refugee’. The right to claim asylum is governed by International Law and the UK Government is obliged to provide protection to any person meeting this definition.
At GB Legal Aid our expert team understand you want to start the next chapter in your life quickly and with minimal disruption and expense.
Applying for asylum
In basic terms, you will need to be able to demonstrate a real and genuine risk of being persecuted (i.e. treated very badly) in your country of origin for one or more of the following 5 Convention grounds:
- Because of your race
- Because of your religion
- Because of your nationality
- Because of your political opinion
- Because of your membership of a particular social group
You will also need to demonstrate that your home Government is either unable or unwilling to protection from the above. If you can do this, then you may be recognised as a refugee.
The application process
To claim asylum, you must already be in the UK and present your claim to the Home Office, who will decide on your case. It is important that your asylum claim is made to an immigration officer upon your arrival or as soon as reasonably possible, because any delays in your application may weaken your case. The Home Office processes asylum applications in different ways and will will decide how this will be done after your first ‘screening’ interview. A case might be put on a ‘fast track’ route, which means that your claim will be decided sooner.
At GB Immigration we can assist you throughout your asylum process and will work with you closely in preparing your asylum case. It is therefore important that you instruct us from early on.
Your family members
You may include your spouse and children under 18 in your asylum application if they are with you in the UK. If they are not in the UK, they will have to apply for asylum in their own right when they arrive. Failing this, you will have to wait until your asylum claim has been accepted and you have been given refugee status, following which you may be able to invite your spouse and children to the UK under family reunion rules.
A successful application
If your claim is allowed, you will get refugee status for 5 years and once completing this period you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
If you do not meet the definition of a refugee, but there is reason to believe that you would face inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in your country of origin if you were to be returned or if there are any other genuine and truly compelling reasons for not being removed, then you may have a right of stay on the basis of “humanitarian protection” or on discretionary grounds. It is imperative that you speak to us so that we can assess the merits of your case and advise you on the relevant grounds of application.