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Claiming Asylum in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 23 Jun 2017 | 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.

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Which countries can a refugee (with a 5 year leave to remain in the UK) travel to without a visa on a Convention Travel Document issued by the UK?
Zal - 23-Jun-17 @ 1:08 AM
Len - Your Question:
If I come to the uk and claim asylum,will I be detained? and if so,what is the reason for this?

Our Response:
If you come to the UK on a valid visa, you will not be detained. Only when you claim asylum will you then be in the official hands of the Home Office.
AboutImmigration - 15-Jun-17 @ 10:35 AM
If i come to the uk and claim asylum,will i be detained? and if so,what is the reason for this?
Len - 13-Jun-17 @ 10:30 AM
Hi my question is that my husband is an extremist and he has kept me in house for about 12 years no financial support no medical treatment also not taking any responsibility of me and my childrens he has threatened me with the gun on my head twice that he gonna kill me and my kids as i mentioned he is islamic extremist he got lots of guns at home and treated me like a slave he has taken my id card and passport and told me that i have to die serving him he has beaten me and my kinds hundreds and thousand times pulled a gun on me twice just because i am a women now he is planning to Honor killing buy spreading roumors that i am.not a good character women and he gonna kill me i am quite as my nd my kids life is in danger i tries to report it to the local police but he got good resources, friend and relatives in FIA and Police department and threatened me that if i report it to police and if he sia find out he gonna shoot me in the head and kids straight away so he got political supportand support from law agencies and he got a gun which he can use any time on me and my kids, my parents also not supporting me by saying that they have married me now my husband ia my owner i can die but can not come back, my question is that i have a fear that he is planning honor killing on me and my kids and he is strong and powerful resources if i manage to gwt viait visa for uk and run away from.here to save my and my kids life what are my chances to get asylum in uk on the basia i have mentioned, as if they find out that i left the country and if i came back to my country they will kill me and my kids straight away. Please let me know if a take a step to safe my and my koda life what are the chances british government will help and safe us. Please email me the answer, i didnt mention my name as he is checking online all the time if some one has tried to contactes me.or i have tried to get help. Please please please help me Thank you
Zoh - 13-May-17 @ 11:01 PM
i, I'm Abdul Rahman Jouda from Iraq. I am 33 years old. I am married and have three children. I am displaced because of my violent. My brothers have lost my home and my life is difficult. My wife and I are seeking help in getting asylum because I can not live with my children and I can not protect my wife and children from danger. Request for humanitarian action
Hessun - 6-May-17 @ 7:59 PM
Hi, I claimed asylum in uk. I did my interview in liverpool now I don't go to sign .when can I get decision
Khattak - 1-Apr-17 @ 10:50 PM
I am in the uk 9 years my asylum was refuse still leaving illegal working 6 day oneday off I can pay tax but if I have document I have British pathnar 4 years living together??
Noor Mohammad - 28-Mar-17 @ 12:43 AM
I am from the state of UTTAR PRADESH which happens to be the seat of orthodox,militant hinduism.I have had been a closeted CHRISTIAN for a very long time now...for the past 18 years or so....I am 36 years of age.......ALSO,I am a POET in the language ENGLISH.I am a terrible outcast here and am vulnerable to a lot of harassment.I will like to know my chances of obtaining asylum in GREAT BRITAIN as an apostate.
asshole - 22-Mar-17 @ 12:02 PM
sir i am here in pakistan and i am a afghaani Abbasi and k am refugee there but i does not have any save shelter there because i am a student and talibans was enimies of my life they killedy whole family but i am succeed to safe my life but now if they find me there they will kill me and pakistan police does nit helps me to save my life and there i have run short of money and food i think i does not have anything with me and i am here in wait of anyone who helps me if you are able to safe my life so please give me asylum because i want to study more and safe myself from talibans because they are nit good persons and i does not know that how to go with water way for uk if i know that way but i am not abble to go with water way or any boat way but i ma really sceared there so please help me
zaib - 7-Mar-17 @ 8:55 PM
I hate immigration of UK as they don't have human rights
Fara - 6-Mar-17 @ 12:13 PM
hi, i cam in this country in 2010 and my visa got finished in 2012. Since then i havent gone back to my country and i am living in uk. This year my whole family which includes my parents and sibblings are moving to canada after selling the house we use to live together. Now i dnt have anyone back home in pakistan and i dnt have anyone with my blood ties i can live with. Can you please advice me on this problem
danish - 5-Mar-17 @ 10:15 PM
Harbi - Your Question:
Hi my is abdul originally I am somalian stays in south africa as a refugeeand as everybody knows that hre in south africa they kill us everyday they threaten also I my self met alot of treaten against humanity and I have all thr prooof so if I come to uk and bring all the evidence will uk accept me coz there is zenophopia here also reply plz

Our Response:
As with the post below and as highlighted in the article, asylum can only be claimed if you are already in the UK. Asylum seekers must show that they have a well-founded fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from the authorities in their own country. Therefore, I suggest if you are being threatened in your own country, you approach your country's policing authorities for help.
AboutImmigration - 24-Feb-17 @ 9:52 AM
Hi my is abdul originally i am somalian stays in south africa as a refugeeand as everybody knows that hre in south africa they kill us everyday they threaten also i my self met alot of treaten against humanity and i have all thr prooof so if i come to uk and bring all the evidence will uk accept me coz there is zenophopia here also reply plz
Harbi - 23-Feb-17 @ 3:57 AM
ram kishan - Your Question:
Hi,i am ram kishan reddy residing in bangalore,india.i am studying designing here I met muslim girl after having a friendship with her,she removed her veil(burqa) completely.her relatives came to me threatening me,they are saying we will kill you.my life in danger still she is friend in my facebbok,i am scared for my life &scared to go to institute I do not have job,money I want asylum in uk please help me.i am staying inside home not going outside in daytime,i am scared for my life pls I need your help.if anything happens to me uk needs to take responsibility,thanks.

Our Response:
Asylum can only be claimed if you are already in the UK. Asylum seekers must show that they have a well-founded fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from the authorities in their own country. Therefore, I suggest if you are being threatened in your own country, you approach your country's policing authorities for help.
AboutImmigration - 16-Feb-17 @ 10:19 AM
hi,i am ram kishan reddy residing in bangalore,india.i am studying designing here i met muslim girl afterhaving a friendship with her,she removed her veil(burqa) completely.her relatives came to me threatening me,they are saying we will kill you.my life in danger still she is friend in my facebbok,i am scared for my life &scared to go to institute i do not have job,moneyi want asylum in uk please help me.i am stayinginside home not going outside in daytime,i am scared for my life pls i need your help.if anything happens to me uk needs to take responsibility,thanks.
ram kishan - 15-Feb-17 @ 6:22 AM
Jamal- Your Question:
Hey there I'm from Iraq I'm living here nearly 10 years I can not do nothing I like working help people's I haven't seen my parents 10 for years and and I'm homeless 8 years it's really hard life is don't know what can I do pls advice me some time in wanna killing myself no one listing to and help me pls pls I need help thanks.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I can only suggest you seek advice from an organisation such as Refugee Action, link here who will be able to help you, or at least point you in the right direction. If you wish to leave the UK and go home to live with your family, you can apply for voluntary deportation. You can apply for this if have already been given humanitarian protection, indefinite leave to remain or refugee status. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:32 AM
Hey there I'm from Iraq I'm living here nearly 10 years I can not do nothing I like working help people'sI haven't seen my parents 10 for years and and I'm homeless 8 years it's really hard life is don't know what can I do pls advice me some time in wanna killing myself no one listing to and help me pls pls I need help thanks .
Jamal - 5-Feb-17 @ 3:45 PM
faisal - Your Question:
Sir I become a ahmadiya muslim to muslim.and my whole family is deoband muslim and my all family discarded me because I become a alhamdiya muslim my life is not safe in pakistan my life is danger in pakistan.my family kill me plz help me to save my life and getting asylum

Our Response:
As specified in the article, an individual can only claim asylum in the UK, if they are already in the UK. 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.
AboutImmigration - 3-Feb-17 @ 2:11 PM
Sir i become a ahmadiya muslim to muslim.and my whole family is deoband muslim and my all family discarded me because i become a alhamdiya muslim my life is not safe in pakistan my life is danger in pakistan....my family kill me plz help me to save my life and getting asylum
faisal - 2-Feb-17 @ 4:54 PM
Myself Maria from Pakistanand i want to tell you something that i am Christian student here in our institution we face many hurdles our teachers do not give us good marks whether we work hard due this i do not have a good job even i don't have a job. i am jobless here can't earn money and due to Christianity i don't find any job people here are not in favor of giving us job here.my disable sister is also lived with us and she has also not a good future. me and my poor family living here in many crises please help us in finding a good way i will be thankful to my "Jesus" and than you. Took humble eye on my request . God Bless You
Maria - 28-Jan-17 @ 10:57 AM
Sir I wanna apply my asylum seeker .in Pakistan I am not secure my father works in medical departement he always gets threat .I have no future here.my eye sight is se weak I cant concentrate here not even on my jon and on my studies.I want guidance from you.please I want asylum in uk
amar - 22-Jan-17 @ 6:32 AM
hello sir i am from india. I am unable to bear the weather here. It is so hot here that I am suffering from heat stress every day even in winter.I am unable to work because of my suffering.I am unable to earn any money.so i fear I may die because of poverty and starvation.So i want to move to a colder english speaking country because I can speak english.so can I claim any asylum based on medical grounds
pavan - 31-Dec-16 @ 6:37 AM
please guide me how to apply for refugee status nd i dont want to discontinue my education due to financial issue.am i elgble iam from FATA pakistan a conflict zne very bakward.we face honour killing tr.
humii - 17-Dec-16 @ 5:30 PM
iam student at Uk i am frompakistan.i have just arrived from my country i have selected education as i was facing race problem also millitants are against female education i have two disabled brothers my father is 65yers old he cannot afford my tuition fee i cannot marry my cousins according to my culture i cannot go for arrange marriage.millitants and shia are our enemies i am not safe in my country iam unable to pay tuition fee if i go back to my country it will be cage for me and i am not safe there.
humii - 17-Dec-16 @ 5:26 PM
Sanjay - Your Question:
Hi! I am from India and well settled here, I belongs to a hindu brahamin family and with all faith and believe have converted to Christianity and very happy and blessed to be an Christian. I am practicing Christianity and want to continue but since last 3 to 4 months I am start getting threat calls, letters etc and couple of occasions few people attached on me, have given 3 complainants to the local police but no updates at yet.I am with my family living in fear and very scared.due to this I am not able to continue my practice and not even able to go to Church as they people chasing me always.Please advise if we come to the UK can we apply for asylum.Thanks

Our Response:
An individual can only claim asylum in the UK, if they are already in the UK. As specified in the article, 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.
AboutImmigration - 14-Dec-16 @ 2:17 PM
Hi! I am from India and well settled here, i belongs to a hindu brahamin family and with all faith and believe have converted to Christianity and very happy and blessed to be an Christian. I am practicing Christianity andwant to continue but since last 3 to 4 months I am start getting threat calls, letters etc and couple of occasions few people attached on me, have given 3 complainants to the local police but no updates at yet....I am with my family living in fear and very scared...due to this I am not able to continue my practice and not even able to go to Church as they people chasing me always....Please advise if we come to the UK can we apply for asylum. Thanks
Sanjay - 9-Dec-16 @ 12:18 PM
Hi sir I cam in UK 2012 on spouse visa.I never stayed with my hubby and in-laws happily.I suffered domestic violence from my hubby.he is taking drugs .my visa was run out before 2 years .he never helped me.now I'm away from him I am pregnant from someone else.I can't go back Pakistan because of my brothers and uncle goona kill me becausea baby is out of marriage.I don't have income I tried before of pregnancy divide 2 times.I' can't sleep without sleeping tablets.if I don't have my baby in my stomach may be I kill myself but now I want live my life for my baby .I applied asylum seeker.I had attend 1st appointment now I'm waiting for another appointment.please I need ur advice sir and please don't show my message of public.am waitingfor ur answer.I'm 26 weeks pregnant.and my friend is British.thanks sir
Sum - 20-Nov-16 @ 11:31 PM
I am refuse asylum seekers in U.K. 6 years still live here full time work no tax I want give tax no permeation and my partner she is British so I don't know wha shall I do cuz I don't want go Afghanistan ????
Khan - 15-Oct-16 @ 10:03 PM
I came to this country from bangladesh when I was 9 years old my mother left me here with my extended family and all I knew was i went to school in the UK. For about 5 years i was shifted from relative to relatives house never had a sound upbringing or understood was it meant to be settled and safe. No news from my mum i had problems in an aunts house so I ran away and became homless was helped by social sevices and had a hostel which I stayed in. I have had no legal rights my brother tried to claim asylum for me but that never worked out. I have had no financial support other than 50 a week from social services to live on. I didnt finish school as i was always bullied for bot being a British citizen. I fell into the wrong crowd by the age of 19 I was involved with a gang and they looked after me by giving me mkney a sense of belonging and a family. Currently undergoing a sentence in a youth offenders unit I have been moved around there a few times and now I have been sent a deportation order my solicitors and lawyers say I have a 50/50 chance I am waitjng an immigration appeal and after that my fate will be in the hands of the home office. I have lived half my life here feel terrible for coming here I feel like a burden to everyone.
Jm - 14-Oct-16 @ 11:21 PM
sahr - Your Question:
What is the procedure to complain against asylum applicant. who is not an asylum but applying for it with the help of uk resident. legally how can we register complain against that person.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 23-Sep-16 @ 11:17 AM
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