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Asylum Requirements UK

It is vital for people seeking asylum to understand UK asylum requirements. Learning about the rules and regulations will help asylum applicants submit an accurate application.

This is much easier to do when working with a UK asylum specialist, such as a London Immigration Lawyer professional. Call us on 0204 502 8582 to get expert guidance on seeking asylum in the UK.

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    Overview of Asylum in the UK

    An individual is considered to be seeking asylum if they have fled their home country and are waiting for a decision on a UK asylum application.

    The reason for the asylum must be linked to persecution in the country of origin. For example, many refugees in the UK initially fled conflict with their immediate family members and eventually obtained asylum.

    Those seeking asylum in the UK will need to submit a form, meet with an immigration officer and attend an asylum interview.

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    Eligibility and Documents for Asylum in the UK

    Eligibility for UK asylum

    The main eligibility requirement is to meet the definition of a person seeking asylum. Applicants must come from a country where they were persecuted and their safety was threatened. The persecution must be related to one or more of the following:

    • Political opinion
    • Religion
    • Nationality
    • Race

    Other types of persecution will be accepted if they affect the cultural, religious, social or political climate in the applicant’s country of origin. This includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

    If a person seeking asylum is currently residing in the UK with their partner and/or children, they can include these loved ones as dependants in their asylum application. Dependants are not considered refugees, but they are entitled to reside in the UK for the same length of time as the main applicant.

    There are some situations in which a person’s asylum claim may not be considered by the Home Office, despite the candidate meeting the main eligibility requirements. For example, if the candidate travelled to the UK via a ‘safe third country’, or they have reasonable links to a safe third country or came from an EU state.

    The reason the Home Office is hesitant to offer asylum to people with links to a third country is that asylum is for people with no other option but to return to their own country (where they would be unsafe).

    Third countries are an additional option for certain applicants, as they would be able to claim asylum without fearing persecution.

    Documents for UK asylum

    Applicants residing in the UK must prove that they have a UK address by submitting documents such as:

    • Council tax notice
    • Housing benefit book
    • Household bill
    • Bank statement
    • Tenancy agreement

    If the applicant is living with someone else, they can submit:

    • Documents showing the full name and address of the homeowner or tenant
    • Letter, written within the last 3 months, proving the homeowner or tenant has permitted the foreign national to stay with them

    What is the Asylum Process?

    Most people wait more than 6 months to receive an asylum decision. However, delays can occur for various reasons, such as the Home Office requiring further information or the candidate’s personal circumstances changing.

    Step 1: Screening

    Screening is the first step of every asylum application, whether the candidate is already living in the UK or has just arrived at the border.

    Individuals at the UK border must inform a Border Force officer of their wish to seek asylum. People already in the UK must call the Asylum Intake Unit (ASU) to arrange a phone call.

    Once the initial contact has been made, a screening will be scheduled. Candidates will be asked to bring any dependants and all supporting documents with them to this appointment.

    Each screening interview is conducted by an immigration officer, who will ask questions about their asylum situation, including their reasons for seeking asylum in the UK and their medical history.

    At the screening, applicants will have their fingerprints and photos taken for security measures.

    Following this appointment, the Home Office will decide the progression of the asylum case. Applicants will then receive an Asylum Registration Card in the post.

    This is evidence of asylum application, and it can be used as proof of identity, entitlement to healthcare/education and permission to work in the UK. Sometimes, an asylum questionnaire will also be delivered to the applicant’s UK address.

    If the asylum claim is denied, the applicant may be sent to another safe country. In situations where this is not possible, the case will remain in the UK to be handled by a caseworker.

    Sometimes, people seeking asylum are detained at an immigration removal centre while the Home Office considers their application. The aim is to either detain the individual until they can be removed from the UK or release them due to an approved application.

    The following people will most likely not be detained:

    • Pregnant women
    • Children
    • People with evidence of being tortured
    • Elderly people
    • Individuals with a mental or physical condition that would threaten the safety of other detainees
    • Families with children
    • Trafficking victims

    Step 2: Asylum interview

    Most people are invited by post to attend an asylum interview, which is usually an online meeting. However, candidates who have filled out the asylum questionnaire with sufficient evidence may not have to have an interview due to having protection status.

    Interviews usually take place on a one-to-one basis, so people with dependants will still need to answer questions alone. However, it is permitted to bring a legal representative to the appointment.

    The caseworker makes notes while the candidate discusses their asylum, and these notes are kept in an interview record. They will compare these notes against the documents the applicant has provided, including their passport, national ID card, birth certificate and any proof of persecution.

    Step 3: Decision

    If the Home Office approve an application, the candidate becomes a UK refugee with permission to reside in the country for at least 5 years (after which UK settlement is possible). They will now be eligible to apply for a refugee integration loan.

    Some people do not receive refugee status, but the Home Office recognises their need for UK residence by offering humanitarian protection. This also comes with the right to stay in the UK for at least 5 years.

    In other situations, the applicant does not qualify to stay in the UK based on persecution, but they can stay for other reasons. The Home Office will explain this in their decision.

    Anyone who receives an asylum denial will have to leave the United Kingdom within a set timeframe. If they do not exit the country, they will be forced to leave after being detained without warning at an immigration removal centre. It is possible to appeal an asylum rejection via a formal appeals process, but if the appeal is denied, the previous rules apply.

    Immigration officials in the UK can help you with your UK asylum requirements. Ask for help as soon as possible! Contact us

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      Can Unaccompanied Children Apply for UK Asylum?

      Yes, unaccompanied children can make an asylum claim without an adult. However, if the child is related to an adult who is already seeking asylum in the UK, they must be included as a dependant on the adult’s application.

      Children in the care of social services can apply for asylum by booking an appointment at the ASU on 0300 123 4193.

      They will have to provide details, such as:

      • Name and contact details of foster carer
      • Name, nationality and date of birth
      • Details of any medical conditions
      • Passport, national identity or birth certificate number

      If a child is not involved with social services and does not have a legal guardian, they can either go to the asylum intake unit, social services or the police.

      Children with legal guardians are also permitted to walk into the asylum intake unit, but their guardian must be present and willing to provide their photo identification and proof of address.

      The Process of Detention

      Individuals may be detained when the Home Office is awaiting further information or permission to make a decision on the person’s immigration status in the UK. Detention also occurs when an applicant’s claim has been refused or they have broken the rules of their asylum.

      Detention is supposed to take place in exceptional circumstances, so the majority of people claiming asylum will not be detained. However, if it does happen, there is no set time limit on how long the individual will remain in the immigration removal centre.

      Most detained people will not stay in the detention facility for longer than two months.

      It is advisable that people being detained should not sign any legal documents that they do not understand. Working with an immigration lawyer can be crucial at this stage, as it can ensure the detained person is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

      For example, they have access to spiritual asylum support via chaplains, visits from friends and family members and healthcare.

      Get in touch with London Immigration Lawyers on 0204 502 8582 to find out more about the rights of individuals in immigration removal centres.

      Inadmissible Asylum Claims

      Inadmissible asylum claims are claims that the Home Office will not acknowledge due to the asylum applicant having a safe third country to go to. Yet, if any of the following applies, the Home Office is more likely to consider the application if the claimant is:

      • An EU national
      • Being treated as a child as the age of the claimant is in doubt
      • An unaccompanied child seeking asylum

      When an asylum claim is considered inadmissible, it is transferred to the Third Country Unit of the Home Office, who will investigate the claim and send a Notice of Intent letter to the candidate.

      If the claim is deemed inadmissible, the candidate will be removed from the UK, provided that the third country allows this to happen.

      The Right to Remain Toolkit

      The Right to Remain toolkit is a free online resource on the UK asylum process. The toolkit covers a wide range of topics such as:

      • Legal support
      • Appealing asylum claims
      • Asylum claim refusals
      • Immigration detention and reporting
      • The route to indefinite leave to remain

      However, the toolkit is not tailored to individual circumstances and therefore you may wish to work with an immigration lawyer to receive bespoke support.

      Please give us a call at this time for further information on the UK asylum requirements. Contact us

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        How Can London Immigration Lawyers Help?

        London Immigration Lawyers can help you to pursue the application with confidence and hope. By leaning on our expertise, you will be able to submit an excellent asylum application with a very high chance of approval.

        Our expert team is well-placed to oversee asylum claims and is aware of the requirements required for those seeking asylum in the UK. Equally, if an applicant does not meet the criteria for asylum we can help offer other options to help them remain in the country.

        Call London Immigration Lawyers on 0204 502 8582 or contact us online to chat with a legal expert.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.


                  Refugees are simply people with approved asylum applications.

                  32% of people in the UK asylum system come from Asian countries. The next largest group, at 25%, is European countries.

                  In terms of specific countries, Albania was the most common asylum-seeking nationality in September 2022. Other countries at the top of the list included Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

                  The UK is one of the safest countries in the world. According to World Population Review, it is considered the 33rd safest country.

                  As well as this, people who have claimed asylum benefit from free healthcare and education (up to 18 years old), few natural disasters and excellent job opportunities.