Home > Asylum > Claiming Asylum in the UK

Claiming Asylum in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 14 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Claiming Asylum In The Uk

A foreign national who faces the threat of serious harm in their own country may be able to claim asylum in the UK. The main legal document concerning the treatment of asylum seekers, or refugees, around the world is the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951. A successful asylum seeker may be given leave to remain in the UK for five years.

The UK has a long history of giving sanctuary to foreign nationals who have been persecuted in their own country. However, in recent years there has been public concern at so-called “bogus” asylum seekers whose real motivation for coming to the UK is to exploit the benefits and economic opportunities available here. As a consequence there has been a general tightening of the rules around asylum.

Definition of Refugee

A person is defined as a refugee by the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees if:
  • He or she is outside of their own country;
  • Has a well-founded fear that they will face persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or political opinion; and,
  • Cannot, or will not, rely on protection by the country of their origin.

Who is Eligible to Claim Asylum in the UK?

Foreign nationals or stateless people who fear persecution as defined by the UN Convention may claim asylum in the UK. They must do so in person and must be in the UK to claim asylum here. A person who has previously been harmed or persecuted but who no longer faces that threat does not qualify for refugee status under the UN Convention.

How and When to Claim Asylum

Asylum may be claimed as soon as the foreign national enters the UK. If so it will be claimed at the port of entry. Asylum is claimed by simply telling an immigration official that the individual wishes to claim asylum. Once this notice is given the asylum process will begin.

If asylum is claimed at a later stage it should be done at an asylum screening unit. Units are located in Croydon and Liverpool. The individual will then be registered as an asylum seeker and begin the asylum application procedure. If a person has spent some time in the UK and only applies for asylum at a later date this may count against them when their application is considered.

Applicants who have travelled from the country in which they claim that they face persecution to the UK via another European Union or “safe” country may be returned there by UK immigration authorities to make their asylum application. The reasoning behind this is that the asylum seeker no longer faced persecution once they were in the other European Union or safe country.

How Asylum Seekers are Treated While Their Application is Being Processed

Once an individual has claimed asylum they will usually be given temporary leave to enter and remain in the UK. They may be allowed to live freely and provided with support and / or housing by the government. However, in some cases asylum seekers may be held in detention while their application is processed.

The status of asylum seekers may be further complicated by the fact that it is almost impossible to have entered the UK legally as a refugee or asylum seeker even in cases where the individual managed to obtain an immigrant visa before coming to the UK.

The European Convention on Human Rights

The UK is bound by European Human Rights law which means that they have a legal duty not to send someone back to a country where they may be tortured or subjected to inhumane treatment or punishment. In some cases an individual who does not qualify for refugee status may be given discretionary leave to remain in the UK pursuant to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Foreign nationals given leave to remain under this legislation will usually be allowed to stay in the UK for three years. After the three years have elapsed the authorities will consider whether or not the individual needs to stay in the UK.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Andrei Yudin - Your Question:
Hello!I am a Russian and I live in Moscow.Because of my arguing against the superpower of the secret services and police in Russia,the Russian police FSB (the former KGB) started persecuting me.They use the punitive psychiatry against me.I already passed 8 months in psychiatric hospitals over the last 4 years.I am afraid to remain in Russia and I want leave this country and apply for political asylum in Britain.The fact is that if I arrive in UK and apply for political asylum there,I will not be able to live there on my own,that's on my own means.Iwould like to know if the British migration service supplies with food and shelter all applicants for political asylum coming in Britain.Andrei Yudin,47,Moscow.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 15-Feb-18 @ 11:45 AM
Hello!I am a Russian and I live in Moscow.Because of my arguing against the superpower of the secret services and police in Russia,the Russian police FSB (the former KGB) started persecuting me.They use the punitive psychiatry against me.I already passed 8 months in psychiatric hospitals over the last 4 years.I am afraid to remain in Russia and I want leave this country and apply for political asylum in Britain. The fact is that if I arrive in UK and apply for political asylum there,I will not be able to live there on my own,that's on my own means.Iwould like to know if the British migration service supplies with food and shelter all applicants for political asylum coming in Britain. Andrei Yudin,47,Moscow.
Andrei Yudin - 14-Feb-18 @ 3:17 PM
damasus - Your Question:
I am a Syrian postgraduate student, studying in the UK. I came to the UK in Sep 2017. My study is covered by a Syrian Scholarship from funded by the university. I need to claim asylum because I have no place to go after finishing my studies. I lost my position in one of the Gulf countries because of the crises there. In Syria, I was in prison because of political reasons (that is recorded in the Amnesty reports). The question is: if I claimed asylum I am afraid I will lose my study place and scholarship at the university because of that. Could you please help me to decide?

Our Response:
We can only direct you to the gov.uk link here, and here, which tells you more.
AboutImmigration - 6-Feb-18 @ 1:52 PM
@Erica - you could try claiming asylum in India where there is a large Christian population that lives freely.
TJ. - 4-Feb-18 @ 10:51 AM
hi m from pak karachi .well m afraid staying in pakistan cz m christain they dont respect them m in problem help please cant say anything over here.
erica - 4-Feb-18 @ 3:22 AM
I am a Syrian postgraduate student, studying in the UK. I came to the UK in Sep 2017. My study is covered by a Syrian Scholarship from funded by the university. I need to claim asylum because I have no place to go after finishing my studies. I lost my position in one of the Gulf countries because of the crises there. In Syria, I was in prison because of political reasons (that is recorded in the Amnesty reports). The question is: if I claimed asylum I am afraid I will lose my study place and scholarship at the university because of that. Could you please help me to decide?
damasus - 31-Jan-18 @ 7:23 PM
salamadami its so painful to hear about your sister ,still i hope sheis safe, if not its not the endless case please contact sary aam team in Pakistan leading by iqrar ul hassan on ARY CHANNEL please he successfully recoveredthe victims from hopeless cases along with all the law authorities required through a law procedure call him contact him give him every thing you know i am sure she would be rescued best of luck to your sister n ur family i would keep praying n please update when you get any further news about her FI AMANELLAH
nadi - 2-Jan-18 @ 10:14 PM
Hello, I claimed asylum in UK and has been accepted. I lived in UK for 2 years only Then, I left UK to Canada without closing the case I've been in Canada for 4 years Now I want to visit UK, Is there any liability?
Noya - 7-Nov-17 @ 4:53 PM
I applied asylum for forced marriage case and being refused with appeal. I have attend my hearing not satisfactory, refused on basis of police reports being fake. i advised them as it might be influence of other party so they might change. I donot no what will be decision. Will get another chance to appeal and if so can i be granted visa on farced marriage and domestic voilance case. Please advise thanks
g - 25-Oct-17 @ 11:29 PM
Hello sir ,I am a reverted Muslim ,I reverted back 3 years ago in China where I was working .i came back to India to tell my parents about my decision and was kicked out of home when they knew I am a Muslim .my hometown been the centre of rss (rashtriya seva sang)works against muslims and threats muslims and reverted Muslims.india been a non Muslim country is completely against Muslims and there practice .many people have been persecuted on the relegious ground and many are been harassed by the police to accept false statnment of terrorism .i have death threat at my work place and face many problems in day to day life.i completed my studies in uk and stayed in uk for last 1.5 year I came to India back and the threats are still the same . I married to a Muslim as it was a lonely journey .my wife is Egyptian and is also threatened to be killed if she comes to India I wish to go back to uk as I feel safe there
Paplu - 27-Sep-17 @ 11:20 AM
hi i came from pakistan in 2011 .I was forced marriage with british guy.He was my cousin and we didnt have any understanding at all.I was very upset because i was not satisfied from my life as i was feeling alone and have an interest in same sex . I applied for divorced after 5years.I am always in depressing looking for partners some time i go to pubs and other activities to find partner.My elder brother is very strict he used to beat me alot and parents always support my brother.I belong with very extremist religious family.Know as this situation if i will go back to my family they will kill me and there is no life for divorced woman.I always think about it and know i got serious disease tyroid and anemia.I am always in depressing.If i plan to go to south i went north.I forgot the ways and dont want to meet any one.I think so soon i will die.My story will end soon.
raab - 24-Sep-17 @ 12:11 PM
am a ugandan living with hiv i was born hiv positive by my mum and when my family members got to know about my status and my mums too we were chased and threatened to be killed all our lifes we lived in fear because my father was killed...
santiago - 16-Sep-17 @ 12:22 PM
hi i came from pakistan in 2011 .I was forced marriage with british guy.He was my cousin and we didnt have any understanding at all.I was very upset because i was not satisfied from my life as i was feeling alone and have an interest in same sex . I applied for divorced after 5years.I am always in depressing looking for partners some time i go to pubs and other activities to find partner.My elder brother is very strict he used to beat me alot and parents always support my brother.I belong with very extremist religious family.Know as this situation if i will go back to my family they will kill me and there is no life for divorced woman.I always think about it and know i got serious disease tyroid and anemia.I am always in depressing.If i plan to go to south i went north.I forgot the ways and dont want to meet any one.I think so soon i will die.My story will end soon.
raab - 14-Sep-17 @ 3:51 PM
soan - Your Question:
Hi, I am so depress that I dont know how to share my story.My partner is in detention centre and I missed her alot. We both met in Pakistan in 2010 and its nearly 7 years I m in relation with girl.She is every thing for me.I am complete with her.I have threathen from backhome.If I will go to pakistan they will kill us.I already submit my file in home office and filed asylum case.After three years we are still there.?????I dont know wht to do?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, your only option is to seek an independent immigration adviser here , as you will need specialist guidance and advice.
AboutImmigration - 14-Sep-17 @ 3:11 PM
Hi, I am so depress that i dont know how to share my story.My partner is in detention centre and i missed her alot. We both met in Pakistan in 2010 and its nearly 7 years i m in relation with girl.She is every thing for me .I am complete with her.I have threathen from backhome .If i will go to pakistan they will kill us.I already submit my file in home office andfiled asylum case.After three years we are still there.?????I dont know wht to do?
soan - 14-Sep-17 @ 10:25 AM
Ady - Your Question:
Entered UK 2012 on student visa from Pakistan> Been to Pakistan in 2013> Detained in 2015 caught working Illegally > Claimed Asylum in Detention on Sexual Orientation and Atheistic Grounds> Released on Temporary Admission after two months> Full Asylum Interview took place on 15 August 2017> Have been asked 115 straight forward questions regarding both claimsCan some one please help me how long does it take Home Office to decide? and What are the chances of getting the asylum approved? On what factors they can argue and potentially refuse? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

Our Response:
We can only direct you to the gov.uk site which has the most comprehensive information, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 21-Aug-17 @ 12:52 PM
Entered UK 2012 on student visa from Pakistan > Been to Pakistan in 2013 > Detained in 2015 caught working Illegally > Claimed Asylum in Detention on Sexual Orientation and Atheistic Grounds > Released on Temporary Admission after two months > Full Asylum Interview took place on 15 August 2017 > Have been asked 115 straight forward questions regarding both claims Can some one please help me how long does it take Home Office to decide? and What are the chances of getting the asylum approved? On what factors they can argue and potentially refuse? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
Ady - 20-Aug-17 @ 2:05 AM
rozi - Your Question:
I was forced to get married in Pakistan in 2010 to my cousin but I love an other guy so after marriage my husband used to beat me and was very hard time for me to live with him so I got divorced after 2 years.I got married again with my beloved in 2012 but it was hidden from families.My husband was in uk for study so after a study, he got post study visa and he came back to Pakistan and we apply for a visa because it was difficult to hide marriage from my family.But visa was refused and I could not come in uk.My husband went back again in Pakistan when his visa finished and then I apply for student visa.I got it and last October I and my husband came to uk.so now everyone in families and my ex-husband knows that I got married again to my beloved so if I go back then its a great fear of prosecution because in Pakistan people consider love marriage as disrespect to their honor.That's why there are so many cases of honor killing.so what can you suggest me in this situation.Further more now we have a baby as well.waiting for a reply.Thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know about being eligible to claim asylum.
AboutImmigration - 8-Aug-17 @ 12:37 PM
I was forced to get married in Pakistan in 2010 to my cousin but I love an other guy so after marriage my husband used to beat me and was very hard time for me to live with him so I got divorced after 2 years.I got married again with my beloved in 2012 but it was hidden from families.My husband was in uk for study so after a study, he got post study visa and he came back to Pakistan and we apply for a visa because it was difficult to hide marriage from my family.But visa was refused and I could not come in uk.My husband went back again in Pakistan when his visa finished and then I apply for student visa .I got it and last October I and my husband came to uk.so now everyone in families and my ex-husband knows that I got married again to my beloved so if I go back then its a great fear of prosecution because in Pakistan people consider love marriage as disrespect to their honor.That's why there are so many cases of honor killing.so what can you suggest me in this situation.Further more now we have a baby as well.waiting for a reply.Thanks
rozi - 7-Aug-17 @ 1:49 PM
Kadi - Your Question:
I am a Muslim women I came here with visa tourist and I met a man I got a pregnant after that he left me and I found myself alone with my baby I can't go to my country because they gonna kill me and my son.What can I do?

Our Response:
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, please see gov.uk link here for further information. If you overstay your visa you risk being deported from the UK, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 4-Aug-17 @ 11:12 AM
I am a Muslim women I came here with visa tourist and I met a man I got a pregnant after that he left me and I found myself alone with my baby I can't go to my country because they gonna kill me and my son. What can I do?
Kadi - 3-Aug-17 @ 6:47 PM
Adami - Your Question:
Hello,I need urgent help !!!!Please don't hesitate to share your knowledge and information!!!My sister's life back home is in Danger ! She recently got married to a man who is extremely unkind to her so is his family.he keeps beating her everyday and tell her why she can't get pregnant.They went to Doctor and did all sort of test But it turned out that he can't conceive!But still out of arrogance he was not prepared to accept the fact.He is treating her like a slave keeps her locked in the house.He wouldn't even allow to get in touch with me or my family.My poor sister she asked for divorce but they have threaten her that they will kill her if she goes to court or to police.She is now thinking of committing suicide Because she has no other option as there is no law in the country.I'm wondering if there's any way that I can get her here. She is a very young girlI'm sure when she comes here she will continue to her studying and work here.Your help is appreciated.Thanks

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, in order to be eligible to claim asylum in the UK, your sister must have failed to get protection from authorities in her own country. Therefore, I suggest you (on her behalf) or she approaches the authorities in her home country directly to report this.
AboutImmigration - 3-Aug-17 @ 10:30 AM
Hello, I need urgent help !!!! Please don't hesitate to share your knowledge and information!!! My sister's life back home is in Danger ! She recently got married to a man who is extremely unkind to her so is his family .he keeps beating her everyday and tell her why she can't get pregnant . They went to Doctor and did all sort of test But it turned out that he can't conceive! But still out of arrogance he was not prepared to accept the fact . He is treating her like a slave keeps her locked in the house. He wouldn't even allow to get in touch with me or my family. My poor sister she asked for divorce but they have threaten her that they will kill her if she goes to court or to police. She is now thinking of committing suicide Because she has no other option as there is no law in the country. I'm wondering if there's any way that I can get her here . She is a very young girl I'm sure when she comes here she will continue to her studying and work here . Your help is appreciated. Thanks
Adami - 1-Aug-17 @ 5:52 PM
Sunny - Your Question:
I am Indian passport holder unmarried father to English mother. My child is English and I have name on her birth certificate when I was there on tourist visa. Now we are not together any more. My question do I have any right to seek asylum or any rights to live in U.K. And take care of my baby as father ?

Our Response:
To be eligible to seek 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. You cannot seek asylum because you have separated and wish to stay in the UK. You must tell the Home Office when you divorce or separate from your partner if your visa is based on your relationship. You must then either apply for a new visa or leave the UK, please see link here. You can see more about asylum seeking here.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jul-17 @ 4:11 PM
Hello, I read all your terms. I do not want to enter the United Kingdom for something I write. It's all true, and I do not have to worry about it. I am an Afghan and live in Afghanistan My life is not in danger My humanity and honor are in danger I fear that one day I will not commit suicide in this miserable situation In Afghanistan, humanitarian problems have not yet been established in this country. I did not have. My family, who should love me as the great son of my family, but I have never complained about myself, I always said that he did not love you, so you do not bring to the world the torture I see on my family not only from me but from all sisters and Brother I'm not complaining I said maybe my part I got bigger In the school of martyrs Worse than the family out of the worst I do not want to say more and this and I ask you for help This is my last email to you if you can help. I'm in a state of trouble for life. My hope is that you are the last. I'm so tired that I can not stand myself anymore. good time
samadi - 27-Jul-17 @ 9:26 AM
I am Indian passport holder unmarried father to English mother . My child is English and I have name on her birth certificate when I was there on tourist visa . Now we are not together any more . My question do I have any right to seek asylum or any rights to live in U.K. And take care of my baby as father ?
Sunny - 26-Jul-17 @ 5:06 PM
did uk give the asylum to internal people
cries honey - 21-Jul-17 @ 7:17 PM
Leena - Your Question:
I am holder of Mauritian passport and can enter uk on tourist visa for 6 month in a year.i came last Dec and left in may 2017. I met a Pakistani guy and married him in a mosque in uk in December. I came back to Mauritius and my family is harassing me. I want come uk and claim asylum. Is that possible. I have proof of my religious marriage certificate , pictures and also threats messages from my family

Our Response:
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. You will need to show that you have a real risk of being persecutedbecause of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. You also must have failed to get protection from authorities in your own country in order to be eligible to claim asylum in the UK. You can see all you need to know via thegov.uk link here .
AboutImmigration - 17-Jul-17 @ 10:04 AM
I am holder of Mauritian passport and can enter uk on tourist visa for 6 month in a year.i came last Dec and left in may 2017 . I met a Pakistani guy and married him in a mosque in uk in December. I came back to Mauritius and my family is harassing me . I want come uk and claim asylum . Is that possible . I have proof of my religious marriage certificate , pictures and also threats messages from my family
Leena - 14-Jul-17 @ 3:24 PM
len - Your Question:
Hallo,can a south african claim asylum? thank you

Our Response:
To be eligible to claim asylum you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution. You would also have to prove it would be unsafe for you to return to your own country i.e because your country is at war.
AboutImmigration - 29-Jun-17 @ 2:35 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AboutImmigration website. Please read our Disclaimer.