Asylum Seekers and Refugees

People may flee their country for many different reasons, political, social economic etc. Once you have arrived in the UK you may not wish to return to your country of nationality. If you are a person who is fleeing because of fear of persecution in your own country and as a consequence are seeking the protection of the UK Government, you are classed as an Asylum seeker. This protection will only be granted if you are given the status of a refugee. Otherwise it could be that you are in the UK on human rights grounds and that you will be granted humanitarian protection.

How an Asylum claim is decided?

To be granted asylum, or the status of a refugee the applicant must satisfy the following requirement as set out in Article 1A of the Geneva Convention which reads; “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” It is important to apply for asylum as soon as you enter the UK or as soon as you feel it would be unsafe for you to return to your home country. Your application is more likely to succeed if you do it at the soonest possible date.

Asylum Application Interview

Asylum decisions are dealt with by the Home Office, after you have applied, you will be interviewed by an immigration officer which is known as a screening followed by a meeting with an asylum caseworker. we can assist you for both of these meetings and your application. It must be noted that if you give false information on your application you are liable to 2 years imprisonment or deportation. Therefore it is imperative that you seek legal advice before going ahead with this process. Applications can be made by people in any immigration category and decisions can be usually made within 6 months of making the application.

What to expect whilst your Asylum application is being processed

Whilst waiting for a decision you maybe subject to certain rules such as reporting duties. In most cases working is not permitted whilst waiting for an asylum decision, however there are some exceptions. You can add dependants on your application such as children (under 18) and spouse/partner, in order for this to be successful they must be present in the UK at the time of application

Procedures for Asylum

Registering Asylum – known as a ‘screening’ where you will be asked details about your case such as why you are here, where you have come from. You will be required to provide documentary evidence to prove who you are and also any dependants that are applying with you. Photographs and fingerprints will also be taken at this stage. Also you will have to disclose any medical information if relevant.

After your screening – After you register your asylum your case will be passed on to a caseworker who will issue you with a application registration card (ARC), standard acknowledgement letter (SAL)  or you will be detained, you will only be detained if your case can be dealt with quickly you will not be detained if you are deemed to be vulnerable. Your caseworkers will be the one to make a decision on your application.

Asylum interview – Your interview will take place soon after your screening, it is imperative that you go to this, absence will usually lead to your application being rejected. At this stage you must bring your evidence to substantiate your claims. You can also write a written statement in support of your claim, at this stage you are also permitted to have legal representation. This is advisable and we can help you with accumulating evidence, the written statement and be present at the interview if you so wish.

Asylum Outcomes

Permission to stay as a refugee – You and any dependants are permitted to stay in the UK for 5 years if you qualify for asylum, this is known as leave to remain and after 5 years you can apply to settle in the UK. Permission to stay for humanitarian protection – If you are unable to get asylum you may qualify for humanitarian protection, this means you need protection. You and your dependants will be given permission to stay in the UK for 5 years, after 5 years you can apply to settle in the UK. No reason to stay – You will be asked to leave the UK if you have no grounds for asylum and your caseworker deems you have no other reason to stay. You may be able to appeal this decision, but you must do so in the time specified, we can also help you with this. If not then you can opt to remove yourself. Here at Vincent Solicitors we can help you with all aspects of an Asylum claim and any subsequent appeals if you are not successful.

Vincent Solicitors and Affordable fees

We cater to the needs of our clients by offering affordable fees and the option of flexible payment terms. If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of your instructions, we are happy for you to pay in instalments; we will accept half of the agreed fixed fee at the time of initial instructions with the balance to be paid upon submission of the application.

Vincent Solicitors and SRA Compliance

We are a firm of solicitors that is authorised and regulated by the SRA to provide immigration advice. Your matter will be dealt with by qualified immigration solicitors from instruction through to completion of your immigration matter. Get in touch for a free initial consultation.