When you apply for asylum in the United Kingdom, you are asking the Home Office to recognise you as a refugee. The definition of a refugee comes from a piece of international law called the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The UK government will decide if you qualify for protection as a refugee or not. To qualify as a refugee, you must have a well-founded fear of persecution from your country of origin based on your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or as a result of your member of a particular social group.
You may claim asylum either at the port of entry such as the airport or seaport or at the Home Office in Croydon. If you choose the latter, you or your legal representative will need to contact the Asylum Intake Unit (AIU) to book an appointment unless you do not have anywhere to stay or have exceptional needs. In this case, it may be possible to have your asylum claim recorded and screened at a local enforcement unit or by post.
You will be called for your first interview, also known as the ‘Asylum Screening Interview’ which is divided into two parts:
- Gathering your biometric information by taking your fingerprints and photographs and providing you with your ID;
- Completing a screening interview where you will be asked basic questions about your personal details, your family, health, details of any illegal activity you have taken part in, your travel history to the UK and the reasons you are claiming asylum.
Once your screening interview has taken place, the Home Office will invite you for a second asylum interview which is more detailed than your screening interview. This interview is your most important opportunity to explain why you have come to the UK and cannot return to your country of origin. It will be conducted in private by the Home Office interviewer and an interpreter who will be provided by the Home Office. Your legal representative may also be able to attend, depending on the nature of your claim.
You need to give a full account of your asylum claim and you should also submit any evidence or information that you have to support your claim. At the end of the interview, you will be given a copy of the interview record.
The Home Office will send you a letter notifying you about their decision. If your asylum claim has been accepted, you will be granted with refugee status lasting 5 years, after which time you may apply for indefinite leave to remain, subject to any Home Office reviews and policies in place at the time.
If the Home Office does not recognise you as a refugee but there are good reasons to believe that you would face serious harm if you would return to your home country, you will be granted with another form of protection, known as Humanitarian Protection which will last 5 years. You may apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years subject to any Home Office reviews and policies in place at the time and your own circumstances.
If the Home Office does not accept your claim for asylum or humanitarian protection but they believe that you have compelling circumstances, you will be granted with a limited form of leave also known as a Discretionary Leave. You may apply to extend your leave if your circumstances remain the same.
If the Home Office refuses you asylum, you will receive a letter containing the reasons behind their decision. You may appeal against the decision otherwise, you will be required to leave the UK.
Making an application
At Axiom Stone, we work closely with our clients’ needs and objectives and achieve results in an efficient and timely manner, aiming to continue the relationship once we have met your requirements and beyond. Our immigration team will guide you through the process step by step to ensure you are put at ease and maximise your chances of obtaining a favourable outcome.
To apply for asylum or to make an enquiry, please contact us on 0207 016 9341 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to our dedicated team of immigration professionals.