An Overview of Asylum Claims
If you make an asylum claim then you are asking to be given ‘refugee status’ which provides protection by the state and entitles you to various services like free state education and health care, as well as benefits.
To claim asylum, though, you will need to meet various eligibility criteria. One of them is that you cannot return to your home country because you fear persecution based on:
- Political opinion
- Anything else as a result of the current political situation in your country, such as gender identity or sexual orientation
The other eligibility criteria are centered around where you came from and how you got to the UK, and they are:
- That you are not from an EU country
- That you traveled to the UK through a ‘safe route’
- That you have no connection to what the Home Office describes as a ‘safe third country’
Claiming Asylum Process
Before claiming asylum, it is best to make sure you have access to all the relevant documents as it can take a while to obtain some of them. The first thing you will need to do is show who you are and the Home Office will need the following documents to verify this:
- Travel documents like a passport
- Identification documents like birth certificates, school records, or marriage certificates where appropriate
You will also need to show where you are living and the documents you will need depend on whether you are living on your own or with somebody else. If you are living in your own accommodation, you will need:
- Bank statements
- Housing benefits book
- Council tax notice
- Household bill
- Tenancy agreement
If you are living at somebody else’s address then you will need a letter showing that you have their permission to stay, as well as documents that show their address and name such as a tenancy agreement or a household bill.
These are usually submitted as part of your asylum screening which is where your asylum claim is officially registered.
You will have your photographs and fingerprints taken and you will have a short interview to explain who you are and where you have come from.
At this stage, you will need to explain if any dependents with you will also need to be considered. If you are already in the UK at the time of your registration then you will normally do all of this via a phone call.
After your screening, you will be appointed an asylum caseworker who will set up an interview. This interview is your chance to explain your background, why you have fled your country, why you are claiming asylum, and any other information that might be relevant.
For example, you may want to include information about your medical history if it is applicable. You must be as open as possible because anything you fail to explain may harm your asylum claim.
After your asylum interview, you will be notified of a decision. This will either be that you have permission to stay in the UK with ‘refugee status’ or that your asylum claim has been denied and that you will need to leave the UK.
Why Hire an Asylum Lawyer
The asylum process is a complicated one and applicants can often begin to feel overwhelmed. An asylum lawyer will be able to assist in a range of ways, including:
- Making relevant appointments to make an asylum claim
- Advising you on how strong your claim is
- Organising and checking your required documents
- Writing out formal statements to support your application
- Advising you on the outcomes and what you need to do after a decision is made
- Applying for accommodation and financial support whilst you await a decision
If you do opt to hire an asylum lawyer then you will need to be transparent about your information, as they will need to know things like:
- Any dates associated with your travel to the UK
- The circumstances that led you to flee your country
- The route you took to get to the UK
- Any relevant family or medical circumstances that might support your application
- All documents related to asylum claims
The Costs Associated with Hiring an Asylum Lawyer
You might be eligible for ‘legal aid’ whereby your legal costs are covered on account of your financial situation. If you are eligible then your solicitor will explain what this means.
Otherwise, your solicitor will explain the costs associated with your asylum claim and these can vary depending on things like documentation, consultation hours, and filling out forms.
We understand how complicated it can be to claim asylum in the UK. There are many steps involved and you will need a lot of documents to support your application. Here at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers our lawyers are trained in these areas so we can help make sure your claim is as strong as possible.
We can also help in other areas such as work and business visas, citizenship issues, and detainment documentation. If you have any questions about any of our services or if you want to find out more about the asylum process then all you need to do is call 0121 667 6530 or get in touch with us online.
Last modified on November 14th, 2023 at 9:54 am
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If you want to be an immigration barrister then you will either need a law degree or a law conversion qualification followed by a bar certificate and a pupilage at a barristers’ chambers.
If you have met the eligibility criteria, have all the necessary documentation, and explain yourself well at the interview then there is a good chance that your asylum claim might be accepted.