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LGBTQ Asylum UK

While it is perilous to be LGBTQIA+ in many countries around the world, the UK is one of the safest places to be if you belong to this community.

London Immigration Lawyers offers tailored advice on LGBTQIA+ asylum, no matter your nationality. Reach out to us on 0204 502 8582 if you would like to make an asylum claim.

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    Can LGBTQ+ People Make an Asylum Claim in the UK?

    Many LGBTQIA+ people around the world are granted asylum in the UK on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    According to Article 1(a)(ii) of the Geneva Convention, individuals with a genuine fear of persecution due to their identity may seek asylum in the UK. This includes sexual orientation and gender identity

    It is sufficient to prove that there is a genuine risk of persecution of any LGBTQIA+ people in the country, including the applicant. Even if homosexuality is legal in the applicant’s home country, they may make a claim as long as they are at risk.

    Individuals who kept their sexual orientation or gender identity a secret in their home country may still be eligible for UK asylum. If there is proof that the candidate would face persecution (or receive no protection) if they were open about their identity, this is sufficient for the Home Office.

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    Why Do LGBTQ+ People Seek Asylum in the UK?

    The UK is accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. Although discrimination still occurs, LGBTQIA+ people have the same rights as heterosexual cisgender individuals.

    England legalised same-sex marriage in 2013, with Scotland following in 2014 and Northern Ireland passing the act in 2020. In terms of same-sex couples adopting children, this has been legal since 2002.

    In general, the UK public is very accepting of LGBTQIA+ rights. A 2020 marketing research company study found that 92% of surveyed UK nationals were totally or fairly comfortable with a gay or bisexual person being their neighbour, manager, GP or Prime Minister.

    Unfortunately, this is not the case in every country. Homosexuality is criminalised in 66 jurisdictions around the world. This includes Jamaica, Afghanistan, Guyana, Malaysia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Morocco.

    In terms of gender identity, it is illegal to be transgender in 13 countries, including Tonga, Indonesia, the Gambia, Nigeria and South Sudan.

    LGBTQIA+ people living in these countries are at risk of being imprisoned, attacked and discriminated against due to their sexuality or gender identity. Seeking asylum in the UK is often their only option to live a safe and authentic life.

    LGBTQ Asylum Process UK

    The first step to claiming asylum in the UK is registering an asylum claim at the UK border. This leads to an asylum screening, where each candidate is interviewed, photographed, and has their fingerprints taken.

    If the candidate is already living in the UK, they may begin the asylum process by contacting the Asylum Intake Unit on 0300 123 4193.

    All applicants must take the following documents to the asylum screening:

    • Identification documents (e.g., marriage certificates, birth certificates or school records)
    • Travel documents including passports
    • UK address documents (if the applicant has an address in the UK)

    It is likely for LGBTQIA+ applicants to also be asked for:

    • Medical reports (where they relate to persecution)
    • Witness statements
    • Proof of same-sex relationships
    • Personal testimony (which may include instances of discrimination, including attacks and degrading treatment)

    An asylum interview will take place after the screening. Applicants must take their passport, national ID card and birth certificate to the interview.

    There will be plenty of opportunities to explain the reasons for seeking asylum, which means interviewees must reference the LGBTQIA+ persecution in their home country.

    After the screening and interview, individuals will receive news that their asylum application has been rejected or approved. This usually takes at least 6 months. If the news is positive, the applicant will receive an Asylum Registration Card in the post (with an asylum questionnaire in some cases).

    Rejected claims do not result in the candidate having to return to their home country to face persecution. If there is evidence of persecution, the Home Office will either send the candidate to a ‘safe third country’ or pass the information onto a caseworker to continue the investigation.

    I'd Like to Apply to Live With My Same-Sex Partner in the UK

    It is legal for a non-British same-sex couple to live together in the UK. Married couples can apply for the Spouse Visa UK, but unmarried couples may be eligible for the Same-Sex Partner Visa.

    The Same-Sex Partner Visa allows eligible candidates to live and work in the UK for a minimum of 33 months. It takes around 6 months to process. To qualify for this visa, applicants must:

    • Have proof of a same-sex relationship of at least 2 years with a UK citizen who is at least 18 years old
    • Possess a clean criminal record
    • Have evidence of cohabitation (at least 2 years)
    • Intend to live with their partner permanently
    • Pass the English language proficiency test
    • Possess enough funds (with their partner) to support their life in the UK
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Meet the minimum income requirement (£18,600 with no children, £22400 with one child and £2400 per additional child)

    The first step of the application process involves filling out the Appendix FM Partner Application Form online and paying a fee of £1,846 (inside the UK) or £1538 (outside the UK). Following this, applicants must book an online appointment to provide biometrics at a local visa facility.

    Resources for LGBTQ+ People Seeking Asylum in the UK

    There are many LGBT organisations offering support and advice to LGBT asylum seekers.

    Some examples of excellent charities include:

    • LGBT Health & Wellbeing
    • Stonewall
    • UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group
    • City of Sanctuary UK
    • Rainbow Migration
    • Peter Tatchell Foundation

    Contact us today to start your journey toward lgbtq asylum UK. Contact us

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      How Can London Immigration Lawyers Help?

      Due to the sensitivity of LGBTQIA+ persecution, many eligible candidates are hesitant to work with an immigration lawyer on an asylum claim.

      We want to make it clear that we are not here to judge your personal circumstances. Our friendly team welcomes people from all backgrounds and cultures.

      London Immigration Lawyers would be honoured to equip you with the resources you need to secure LGBTQIA+ asylum in the UK. Get in touch with us on 0204 502 8582 if you’re ready to make a claim.

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                FAQs

                The UK government has revealed that 415 LGBTQIA+ asylum applications were filed in 2021, which translates to 1% of asylum applications.

                This type of asylum claim is on the rise. In 2019, there were 77% fewer claims made for asylum relating to sexuality or gender identity.

                LGBTQIA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual. The plus sign (+) represents all other minority gender and sexual identities, including Two-Spirit and pansexual.

                As this term is always evolving, the plus sign allows for new terms to be easily included in the community.

                UK asylum seekers are entitled to £47.39 per week for their family. These funds are held on an ASPEN debit card.

                People claiming asylum become known as refugees when their asylum application has been approved. This is the moment they gain refugee status in the eyes of the law.

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