- Can International Students Apply For Asylum In UK?
- How To Apply For Asylum As An International Student
- What Is The Interview Process For International Students Seeking Asylum?
- What Are The Rights Of International Students Seeking Asylum In The UK?
- How To Appeal An Asylum Denial
- Alternative Ways To Remain In The UK as An International Student
- How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help You Obtain Asylum
Can International Students Apply For Asylum In UK?
In July 2022, a change was made to the Nationality and Borders Act; this made it illegal to claim asylum in the UK where individuals did not enter the country in a way that was authorised.
However, those who are in the UK on a valid student visa should still be able to legally claim asylum. Students can choose to claim asylum immediately when arriving in the UK or after having already started their studies.
Should a student become eligible for refugee status in the UK after they have already begun their studies, they can claim asylum at a later time.
On top of this, a selection of many UK universities do offer scholarships that are specifically targeted towards refugees and asylum seekers.
To be eligible for asylum in the UK, the individual must be unable to safely stay in any area of their home country due to any risk of persecution. Persecution would be on any one of my grounds; this could include:
- Sexual orientation.
- Gender identity.
- Gender identity.
The individual must also not be able to obtain any protection from authorities in their own country.
There are some situations, aside from illegal entry, that may cause an application to not be considered in the UK. These include the following:
- Should the individual have already passed through a country that is designated by the UK as being a safe country? This is a country that is categorised as being a country of which the individual is not a citizen and which would not harm the individual or send them to a country where harm is likely.
- Individuals who are EU citizens may not be considered.
It is important to try to seek asylum immediately when you become eligible for asylum in the UK. Waiting can lead to a higher likelihood of the application being rejected.
As an international student in the UK, your immigration status may change. If this does happen, the UK university or college acting as a sponsor may be able to provide advice.
How To Apply For Asylum As An International Student
The asylum-seeking process begins with registering your case with an immigration officer. If you seek asylum upon entering the UK, then this should be done immediately upon arrival. However, if you are seeking asylum while you are in the UK on a visa for study, then this should be done as soon as you become eligible for asylum.
Once the claim has been registered, there will be a screening interview. At this interview, your name and nationality will be verified by the immigration officer, and you will be asked for the reasoning behind your asylum claim.
At the asylum screening interview, applicants should try to provide all of the following documentation to support their claim:
- A valid passport.
- Travel documents.
- ID documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, school records, and any other appropriate documents.
- Any additional documents that could support your asylum claim.
Those who are already living in the UK on a student visa will be required to provide proof of their UK address. Those who are living in university accommodation can provide a copy of their tenancy agreement or a bank statement that contains the address of the university housing they reside in.
Once the screening interview has been conducted, the UK Home Office will review the case. At this point, the applicant will also receive an asylum registration card, or ARC. This will be used to show ID and obtain access to education and health services.
The applicant may be called for a follow-up interview. This is usually only the case when the Home Office needs to obtain further information on the case to be able to make a decision.
If this does occur, it can serve as an opportunity for the applicant to provide any additional information on the well-founded fear of persecution that they would face if they were to return to their home country.
Should the Home Office request an applicant to attend further interviews, the applicant will need to send the Home Office their passport, birth certificate, and national ID card (if they have one) before the interview takes place. In this case, the applicant will need to make sure that they send original copies of these documents to the Home Office.
After this point, the applicant will need to wait for a decision to be made on their claim. This can take quite some time. In some cases, it can take over a year. While the applicant is waiting for a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they can continue to reside in the UK unless stated otherwise by UKVI.
Once an applicant has applied for asylum in the UK, they will need to do one of the following:
- Attend an asylum interview.
- Fill out a questionnaire.
- Fill out a questionnaire, and then attend an asylum interview.
Applicants must seek out the assistance of an immigration specialist for their case. An asylum case is more likely to be successful if evidence is adequately prepared, which can be hard to do alone.
Those who are already students in the UK and have a right to seek asylum should seek out assistance, as it can be very beneficial for the case and can help prevent your studies from impacting the case, and vice versa.
If you need advice from an immigration specialist, why not contact us at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers? We can help you prepare for your asylum claim and assist you through the process. Call us at 0121 667 6530 today.
Those who receive an asylum questionnaire will need to return it by the deadline stated in the letter. If the applicant needs more time to complete the questionnaire or to seek legal advice, it is possible to ask for more time.
This questionnaire will ask the applicant about their background, including questions such as:
- Why is the applicant afraid of returning to their home country?
- What happened in the applicant’s home country and when, regarding personal events?
- How the applicant entered the UK.
- The countries that the applicant passed through to get to the UK.
A letter will be presented alongside the questionnaire, and this should inform the applicant of whether or not they need to fill it out in place of an interview or before attending one.
Asylum Substantive Interview
Those invited to an interview, otherwise known as a substantive interview, is an important part of claiming asylum to obtain refugee status. This provides the applicant with the opportunity to put their asylum claim across to the Home Office, and a decision will be made based upon this.
An asylum application will be rejected if the applicant does not attend the interview. This is an interview that occurs after a screening interview and can happen after this at any point, from a week to a year later.
The applicant will receive a letter stating when their substantive interview will be.
Before Your Interview
Those who have not received a questionnaire may find it beneficial to send a written statement to support their asylum claims before the interview.
It is useful to ask that the interview be recorded; this should be done a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the interview. Additionally, this is a good time to ask for an interpreter.
Those who are receiving asylum support should be sent a travel ticket to their interview. The interviews are typically conducted in large cities. Those who are not receiving asylum support will usually need to find their transportation.
Family and friends are not allowed to attend the interview with you. However, you can take an immigration lawyer with you.
What Are The Rights Of International Students Seeking Asylum In The UK?
It is important to remember that not all people who claim asylum in the UK will do so as soon as they arrive, and this can be for valid reasons, such as having previously entered the country to study.
However, the Home Office can use this against applicants in their claim and may argue that this is not evidence that the individual is in genuine danger.
It could result in the argument that the application for the visa was dishonest or that the applicant only seeks asylum due to their visa expiring. This is simply a part of the laws put in place to discourage illegal migration by the UK government.
While this can be difficult, there are high asylum grant rates for genuine asylum claimants. Having a lawyer assist in the process can also aid the asylum process and is especially helpful for asylum-seeking students.
Students applying for asylum while actively studying can continue their studies while their case is ongoing, and those who are successful asylum applicants may continue to study and can work in the UK as well.
Successful applicants who are granted refugee status or humanitarian protection will be informed of their rights upon being notified of their application success.
Those who are awaiting a decision on their application and wish to study can seek out university scholarships for the asylum seekers programme.
How To Appeal An Asylum Denial
The application will be decided upon as soon as possible. If the case is complex, it can take longer. Things that may make a decision take longer can include:
- Supporting documents need verification.
- More interviews are required.
- Personal circumstances need to be checked.
If the application is denied, the applicant can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. The applicant can appeal themselves or obtain legal assistance and have a legal professional appeal on their behalf.
Those who appeal without a legal advisor can do so from within the UK or outside of the UK.
From inside the UK, this can be done by appealing the asylum decision online on the UK government website. This can be done by submitting an appeal, adding documents to support the application, asking for a hearing, and obtaining a decision.
Those applying from outside of the UK, if they had to leave the UK, can do so within 28 days of receiving the decision on their claim after leaving the country. They will also use the online service on the UK government website.
Alternative Ways To Remain In The UK as An International Student
It is possible to remain in the UK as an international student via a student visa. In some circumstances, those who have studied in the UK and find work in their specialist field may be able to switch to a work visa if possible.
Those wishing to remain in the UK without refugee status should consider the types of visas available.
International students seeking asylum in the UK who apply for asylum fear persecution should they return to their home country. While a student on a visa can continue their studies while they await an asylum decision, they will also have temporary permission to stay. A successful appeal will grant UK immigration status and grant protection.
Many universities offer scholarships for asylum seekers, which are accessible should they meet eligibility criteria during their asylum case.
Having legal representation while claiming asylum can encourage a more successful application and prevent mental health issues arising from fear and stress. This is why, at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, we are here to help.
We offer many services, including:
- Asylum applications and appeals.
- Detained casework.
- Bail (SoS applications, tribunals, renewals).
- Fresh claims.
- Permission to work applications.
- Travel documents.
- BRP issues.
- Family reunion applications and appeals.
- Application for permission to appeal.
- Errors in law preparation and hearing.
If you need assistance through the asylum application process and want international protection as a student in the UK, or are worried about your ability to study as an asylum seeker, contact us at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers today. Call us at 0121 667 6530 to get started today.
Last modified on November 16th, 2023 at 10:12 am
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.