The Documents Required For Asylum in the UK
As an asylum seeker, there are certain documents you need to provide for the Home Office to decide your case. These documents are required to prove your identity and your residency status, and they include:
- Your valid passport and travel documents
- Other identification documents such as identity cards or birth and marriage certificates.
- Documents to prove your UK address if you’re already in the country.
- Other documents that you think will help your application.
Requirements for Identification Documents
You must provide sufficient documents to establish your identity, nationality, and recent travel history. Generally, a valid passport or international travel documents like a passport card and records of arrival and departure are the primary documents you’ll need.
Other relevant identification documents that can prove who you are and strengthen your application include birth and marriage certificates and national identity cards. If you are a student, you can provide some relevant school records.
If you do not have your passport or travel documents, you can still apply for asylum. However, you must explain why your documents are missing. For instance, if it was too dangerous to get or apply for your passport before leaving your country.
Documents to Prove Your UK Address
If you were already in the UK before applying for asylum, you must prove your residence. The evidence you should submit depends on whether you live on your own or with someone else.
If you live in your own apartment, the documents you can provide include:
- Your bank statement
- Your housing benefit book
- Your utility bills
- Your council tax notice
- Your tenancy agreement
If you are staying with someone, you should provide:
- A letter from them, not less than 3 months old, confirming that you have their permission to stay
- A document that shows their full name and address, such as a tenancy agreement or utility bill.
Other UK Asylum Requirements
There are also some requirements and conditions you must meet to be granted asylum in the UK.
First, you can’t apply for asylum from outside the UK. You must claim asylum immediately after you enter the UK or as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your application might be refused.
Another important requirement is that you must prove you cannot return to your own country or receive protection from your government because you will be prosecuted for international human rights cases like your race, religion, or political opinion.
Some documents that can strengthen your case include:
- Arrest warrants
- News and article reports
- Documents of political affiliation, such as a membership card
- Documents with information about the state of your country from reliable sources.
Next, you must complete a questionnaire. The questions you should expect to answer include information about your background, why you can’t return to your country, how you entered the UK, and which countries you travelled through, among others.
Many asylum applications are denied because applicants fail to follow the right process while claiming asylum. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go through the asylum application process.
Register Your Asylum Claim
The first step in claiming asylum is the registration of your asylum case. This process is called a ‘screening’, and it involves meeting with an immigration officer to tell them about your case.
If you intend to claim asylum as soon as you enter the UK, you must report yourself to an immigration officer at the UK border and inform them. Your application will be registered, and you will be screened.
If you are already in the UK on a visa and decide to apply for asylum, you must call the asylum intake unit at 0300 123 4193 to register your claim. They will ask you some questions regarding your application, and you must attend a screening interview at a physical centre.
During your screening, whether at the UK border or the asylum intake office, you should expect the following:
- You will have your photograph taken
- Your fingerprints will be captured
- The immigration officer will interview you about your background
- You will be made to recount your experiences and why you need asylum from the UK government.
- You may be asked questions about your medical history.
If you do not have a place to stay, inform the authorities, and you will be provided with accommodation and other basic needs.
Wait for an Initial Decision
After your screening, the UK Home Office will review your case to decide if it can be considered in the UK.
If your case cannot be considered in the UK, you will be sent to a safe country. This usually happens if you travelled through another safe country where you could have claimed asylum before coming to the UK or if you have ties to another country where you can claim asylum.
If your case can be decided in the UK, it will be transferred to a caseworker. You may be required to fill out a questionnaire. Then, you will be issued an Asylum Registration Card (ARC), which you must always carry when attending subsequent interviews.
Attend a Substantive Interview
You may be required to attend one or more interviews with your caseworker to help them better understand and assess your situation. If your screening and questionnaire provided sufficient evidence, the Home Office might grant you international protection without an asylum interview.
However, if you’re required to attend an interview, you must do so. You can also come along with a legal representative.
Get a Decision
If your application is successful, you will be granted refugee status or humanitarian protection status, depending on your circumstances. You’ll be granted permission to stay in the UK for up to five years. Afterward, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Although some asylum claims are rejected in the UK, you can have yours approved with the right guidance. At Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, our team of immigration experts can help you.
We understand the complexity of the asylum claim process, and we will support you in every step of your application. We will guide you in filling out your questionnaire, preparing for your interview, and attending the interview with you where necessary.
Your asylum application is a crucial step toward building a secure future, and we are dedicated to helping you navigate it successfully. Feel free to contact us at 0121 667 6530 to get started.
Last modified on November 1st, 2023 at 12:51 pm
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The Home Office’s goal is to make a decision within six months, but depending on the case’s complexity, it could take up to three years.
The difficulty of the asylum process depends on individual circumstances. If you meet the criteria and provide sufficient supporting evidence, you can receive a decision easily.
While it’s not mandatory to have a lawyer to apply for asylum in the UK, an immigration lawyer can provide you with legal guidance and make the process smoother.