This article covers everything from what asylum is to the intricate steps of the application process and important details. Let’s dive into the complexities of seeking international protection and the path to asylum in the UK.
What is Asylum?
A person claims asylum when they are seeking international protection. The UK has an obligation to consider all claims made for asylum.
To be successful in your asylum claim, you must show that you are a refugee. A refugee is a person who has a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. You must also show that if you sought state protection then this would not be available to you, and that you cannot internally relocate to another part of your home country for your safety.
If you can show all of this, then you will be granted asylum and have leave as a refugee for a period of 5 years. During this time, you can work, study, receive benefits and bring family members to join you in the UK.
The Asylum Process
You must first claim asylum by calling the asylum intake unit. They will provide you with a reference number and will usually call you back within 2 weeks with a date for your screening interview.
During your screening interview, you will be asked basic details about yourself and basic details about why you wish to make an asylum claim. You will be given a Home Office reference number, a copy of your screening interview record and an ARC card.
Following your interview, you will be provided with documents to complete. This is the stage where we can come on record as your representative. We would advise and complete the forms for you, as well as provide in-depth details about your claim.
Approximately 6 months later your substantive interview will be set. This is also known as the main interview, where the Home Office will ask detailed questions about your claim. Interviews usually last 3 to 5 hours.
Once the interview is completed, you will be provided with a copy of the interview record and have 2 weeks to submit your final evidence and a decision will be made approximately within 6 months later.
If you are struggling financially and/or become homeless you can apply for asylum support. This means you will be provided with financial assistance and accommodation. You can apply for asylum support anytime during the asylum process.
Financial and housing support
You will usually get £47.39 per week for each person in your household. This will help you pay for things you need such as food, clothing, and toiletries. You will be given somewhere to live, and free National Health Service (NHS) healthcare, such as seeing a doctor or receiving hospital treatment. Your children will be allowed to attend school if they are aged 5 to 17. All state schools are free, and your children may be able to get free school meals.
How to register to your local GP
The procedure is the same as the other non-asylum seekers, the difference is that they will need to show their asylum seeker card (ARC) which will be given after the first asylum interview (screening interview).
Permission to work
The Immigration rules allow all asylum seekers to request permission to work in the UK if their asylum claim has been pending for a year or more.
After your substantive interview, you will usually get a decision within 6 months. If you are granted asylum, then you will be given 5 years leave to remain as a refugee.
If you are refused, you will usually be given an in country right of appeal. This means that you must appeal within 14 days for your case to be considered by a judge.
You may be given an out of country right of appeal. This is when you are required to leave the UK and then appeal the decision within 28 days. This is also known as certification. This means that the Home Office are of the view that your case has no prospect of success.
It is of the utmost importance that you seek legal advice following your asylum decision. Contact us today and we would be happy to help.
If your asylum claim is successful, you are permitted to apply to bring your family to the UK under the family reunion rules.
If you have substantial new evidence that was not considered in your asylum, you can make further submissions which is known as a fresh claim.
As we conclude, we hope these articles provide a comprehensive understanding of the asylum process. If granted asylum, individuals receive five years of leave to remain as refugees. In case of refusal, appeal options are explored. Remember, seeking legal advice is crucial at every stage.
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