You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee. To be eligible to apply for asylum, 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 and do not apply for asylum at the first available opportunity.
Are you eligible for Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa?
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.
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 own applications at the same time, but they will not be treated as your dependants.
When can an Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa claim not be considered?
Your Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa claim might not be considered if you:
Generally, a safe third country is one that:
Stage 1 of Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa: Asylum Screening Interview
You register your asylum claim at a ‘screening’. This is a meeting with an immigration officer where you tell them about your case.
You will 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 will:
You will 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 will 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.
After your screening, the Home Office will review your case and decide whether it can be considered in the UK. You’ll be sent an asylum registration card (ARC) to your UK address, unless you’ve been detained.
Stage 2 of Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa: Substantive Asylum Interview
Your asylum interview will take place soon after your screening. Your application will usually be rejected if you do not go to your asylum interview. You will get a letter telling you when and where to attend and if any of your dependants also need to be interviewed.
The Substantive 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:
Tips to consider for the Substantive Asylum Interview
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.
What else do I need to know about the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa
Your application will usually be decided within 6 months. It may take longer if it’s complicated, for example:
Ask your legal adviser if you want an update on your application.
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 for indefinite leave to remain to settle in the UK.
Permission to stay for humanitarian reasons
You may get permission to stay for humanitarian reasons if you do not 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 for indefinite leave to remain to settle in the UK.
Permission to stay for other reasons
You may get permission to stay for other reasons if you do not 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 will be asked to leave the UK if you do not 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 do not appeal in the time allowed, or if your appeal is unsuccessful. You can:
If you have any doubts about applying for the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa, please contact our immigration lawyers for expert advice.
Making an Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa application with OneLaw Chambers
At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa applications for applicants to remain and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa application and we have represented clients from all over the world.
Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your Asylum Seeker and Refugee Visa application, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.
We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.