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The UK has long been a safe haven for refugees seeking asylum. However, the UK Home Office will not hesitate to refuse protection if they form the view that a refugee is not genuine or that protection is not needed. If this is the case, they will take steps to remove those who they perceive to have no valid grounds to stay.
To be recognised as a refugee and given asylum in the UK you must have left your country of origin/residence and be unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.
At IAS, we host a team of expert immigration advisers, with offices around the country. We can offer urgent, fast and comprehensible advice for all your asylum issues. Our immigration lawyers can meet with you immediately to discuss your options. Our services include high-quality translation services and thorough document checks. We will also liaise with the Home Office while your application is being processed. One of our lawyers will work with you to ensure that your application for asylum is completed to the highest standard before we submit it. He/she will also prepare a cover letter, called a Letter of Representation, to support your asylum claim. This letter will contain details of your case and cite immigration regulations or laws which support it. We understand the urgency involved with an application for asylum. Our lawyers will work quickly and efficiently, ensuring your chances of success are maximised. Get in touch now to speak to one of our lawyers about your asylum application.
In order for you to be granted asylum and recognised as a refugee in the UK, you need to show that you have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.
The act or acts of persecution must be committed by the state or by groups of individuals, which the state cannot or will not control.
You must also ensure that your application for asylum is made from within the UK or at the UK border.
People who flee to the UK can include any dependants in their asylum application where they have travelled with them.
If, however, your family has been left behind and you have been recognised as a refugee or given humanitarian protection in the UK, pre-existing family (husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner, plus any children under 18) can apply to enter the UK for asylum under the Family Reunion Programme.
Other family members may be considered for compassionate reasons.
If you do not qualify for refugee status you may still be permitted to stay temporarily in the UK for humanitarian reasons under a human rights application. Under the European Convention on Human Rights, a person should not be returned to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, inhumane/degrading treatment or punishment.
If your application for asylum is successful or you are granted leave for humanitarian reasons, you will be given permission to stay in the UK for an initial period of five years. You can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
In addition to the normal procedure for claiming asylum, the Gateway Protection Programme, operated by the Home Office in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is designed to resettle especially vulnerable refugees.
The programme allows for up to 750 refugees to settle in the UK each year. Applications for resettlement under this programme are made via the UNHCR who then refer the matter to the Home Office. Each application will be assessed on its own individual merits including refugee status, need for resettlement, security risks, family status, health and the health of dependants. Under the Gateway Protection Programme, refugees are granted Permanent Residence in the UK immediately.
If you do not qualify as a refugee or for humanitarian protection, you may be eligible for Discretionary Leave to Remain although this is only given in limited circumstances.
If your asylum application is unsuccessful and you are not recognised or granted protection as a refugee in the UK, you may have a right of appeal or judicial review to the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal.
At the end of any appeals process you will be expected to voluntarily return to your country of origin/residence otherwise you risk an order for enforced removal. This may involve your arrest and detention in a secure centre, also known as an Immigration Removal Centre, until you are required to leave.
If your appeal rights have been exhausted but you have new evidence about your case or there has been a change of circumstance in your home country then you may be able to make further submissions to the UK Home Office seeking a fresh asylum claim.
Here at IAS, we can assist with all claims for asylum and humanitarian protection in the UK including help completing an asylum application, visits for detainees and representation for appeals and reviews in the event of a refusal. One of our highly-qualified lawyers will guide you through your claiming asylum process.
We will check your eligibility for asylum and support you throughout your application process. Our services include:
Get in touch today to get access to a specialist asylum lawyer who can guide you through the process of claiming asylum in the UK.
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