If you are at risk of persecution in your country, and are unable to return because of this risk, you may be recognised as a refugee and be given permission to remain in the UK. If this applies to you, you should claim asylum. However, if you cannot claim asylum because you are not categorised as refugee within the meaning of the 1951 Refugee Convention, you can claim Humanitarian Protection if there is a serious threat of real harm to you if you returned to your country of origin.
What is the Humanitarian Protection Visa?
Humanitarian Protection was introduced in April 2003 to replace the policy on Exceptional Leave to Remain. The Immigration Rules and our policy on Humanitarian Protection reflect the subsidiary protection provisions in Articles 15 to19 of the Qualification Directive (2004/83/EC). Humanitarian Protection is designed to provide international protection where it is needed, to individuals who do not qualify for protection under the Refugee Convention. It covers situations where someone may be at risk of serious harm if they return to their country of origin but they are not recognised as refugees because the risk is not of persecution for a reason covered by the Refugee Convention.
When is a Humanitarian Protection Visa claim considered?
Under paragraph 327 of the Immigration Rules any claim for international protection is treated first as an asylum claim. As such the broad principles that apply to considering asylum claims apply equally to considering whether or not a person qualifies for Humanitarian Protection. Caseworkers must be familiar with the circumstances in which it may be appropriate to grant Humanitarian Protection where someone does not qualify for refugee status and the asylum interview must address such matters to ensure there is sufficient evidence on which to reach an informed decision.
What is the burden and standard of proof in Humanitarian Protection Visa claims?
The burden of substantiating a claim lies with the claimant, who must establish to the relatively low standard of proof required that they qualify for protection. Paragraph 339I of the Immigration Rules emphasises the burden is on the claimant to provide evidence and the duty of the caseworker to assess the information put forward in co-operation with the person. Caseworkers must examine, investigate and research the available evidence and, if appropriate, invite submission of further evidence, where necessary.
The standard of proof is that Humanitarian Protection must be granted where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk of serious harm. In considering whether there are such grounds the standard of proof to be applied is the same as applies in asylum, that is 'a reasonable degree of likelihood' that the person would face a 'real risk' of serious harm on return to their country of origin. These 2 tests reflect the same standard of proof.
What are the Grounds for a Humanitarian Protection Visa claim?
Where someone does not qualify for refugee status following consideration of their asylum claim, caseworkers must go on to consider whether they qualify for Humanitarian Protection under paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules. Humanitarian Protection should normally be granted where there is a real risk of serious harm on account of one or more of the following grounds:
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.
When will a Humanitarian Protection Visa claim not be granted?
A Humanitarian Protection Visa claim will not be granted in the following situations:
If a claimant does not meet the requirements for Humanitarian Protection the decision letter must provide reasons for refusal of both refugee status and Humanitarian Protection.
If you have any doubts about applying for the Humanitarian Protection Visa, please contact our immigration lawyers for expert advice.
Making a Humanitarian Protection Visa application with OneLaw Chambers
At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with Humanitarian Protection Visa applications for applicants to remain and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful Humanitarian Protection 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 Humanitarian Protection Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your Humanitarian Protection 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.