How to claim asylum in the uk

Seeking asylum is a person’s human right as recognized globally and by the United Nations Refugee Convention. To grant the people this right, the UK has defined systems for people who seek this right for reasonable reasons. Those who qualify for asylum move to the UK as a refugee and the people who do not meet these criteria required by the Home office are rejected. If you are planning to seek asylum in the UK, it is important to know every aspect so that you meet every requirement and there is a minimum chance of disqualification. If you are looking to get permanent residence it is recommended that you consult a lawyer for your ILR application.

Submitting the claim

The right of asylum can be claimed once you have entered the country or can be claimed at the entry point for example airport. You would have to let the Border Force Officer know that you want asylum. You can identify these officers as the ones dressed in blue uniform tagged with Border Officer title. Usually, these officers at the airport are appointed on the passport checking counter. The person should explain the reason they are seeking asylum and why they can’t return to their home country and the UK is the safe place for them currently.

After you inform the officer about your intention, a short interview is conducted in which questions about this claim are asked. It is a screening interview that takes place five days after you have made the claim.

If you have already entered the country, you should contact the Home Office and explain your intention for seeking asylum to book an appointment with the Asylum Screening Unit. This interview takes place after 5-15 days the person has informed the Home Office.

Interview

Screening interview

The claimant is usually invited to Croydon to attend the screening interview. But if you wish to seek asylum in North Ireland, you are supposed to appear in Belfast. The interview takes place in privacy and confidentiality is maintained. A glass screen separates the interview rooms.

A person should have all his original documents and the supporting documents to prove his identity such as passport and should also present proof of residence UK by recent bills, credit card statement, or a reference from the landlord. You may also be asked to present evidence for the reason for your claim and prove why asylum is important for you.

The interviews also confirm the identity of the person by gathering biometric data and scanning their fingerprints and keeping a photograph in the record. This is to keep records, register their application and issue the ARC (Application Registration Card).

Interview under caution

The information provided in the first interview is confirmed by the Home Office and if there is any suspicion regarding the status of the claimant or his intention, the interview is conducted again under caution. This information recorded must be given carefully as it can be used against you in further proceedings when necessary.  If it is proved that the claimant has entered the country illegally, it does not dismiss the asylum application. The case is still considered and if the person meets the criteria of a refugee, asylum is granted.

A refugee who had entered the country illegally may face issues in future immigration matters such as while applying for ILR permanent visa. It is because the refugee may not be able to satisfy the good character requirement on the application. An illegal entrant may not be able to seek citizenship 10 years from the date of being declared illegal.

After the interview, the interviewee will also receive a copy of the screening results. It contains the answer of the claimant during the interview. But the records of the interview under caution are not given to the interviewee.

Substantive interview

Once you are done with the screening interview, you or your representative will have to wait for a letter from the Home Office that invites you to attend the substantive interview at the decided place and time.

The substantive interview is a more detailed interview about the past of the claimant and he is asked questions about the people and places involved that lead to these circumstances. Confirmation about the documents will be questioned and it is made sure that the information provided by the person is the same as in the documents. If the information provided by you and the one provided in the documents is not the same, you might be asked to explain it. These differences in information can lead to the dismissal of your case if the officer is not satisfied with your explanation. Get in touch with an immigration lawyer to ensure that your application is processed correctly.