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Iranian Asylum Seekers In The UK: Your Rights & Making A Claim

If you are an Iranian citizen then it is possible to claim asylum in the UK. However, there are various eligibility criteria you will need to meet and you will need a lot of documents to make a successful application. Here at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, our experienced immigration lawyers can help.

If you have any queries about your asylum application or want to appeal against a decision then simply call 0121 667 6530 or contact us online.

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    Can Iranian Asylum Seekers Claim Asylum In The UK?

    If a person claims asylum this means they are asking the state to recognise  them as a refugee which would provide them with the state’s protection. They would also then have access to some key public services like the NHS and free education.

    If you are an Iranian citizen and you want to claim asylum in the UK then this is certainly possible but you must be in the UK at the time of your application as it is not possible to claim asylum if you are not in the UK itself.

    Most people claim asylum when they arrive in the UK by telling the border force at their port of entry. Occasionally, people are already living in the UK when they claim asylum but the criteria stay the same either way.

    At the moment, 80% of Iranian claimants are accepted and given refugee status. As of June 2022, the government announced a new fast-track scheme for Iranian citizens in order to help them bring down the backlog of asylum claims.

    If you are unsure if you will be able to claim asylum in the UK then you may want to look at some other options to come to the UK before making your application. You might be eligible for one of the UK visa schemes or you might be able to come through either the UK Resettlement Scheme or the Community Sponsorship Scheme.

    Before making any decisions, though, you should find out more about the eligibility requirements and the documents you will need.

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      Requirements For Iranian Asylum Claims In The UK

      Because many people want to become a refugee in the UK, the UK government is very careful about its asylum eligibility criteria because it is only fair that those who need help most are granted refugee status.

      Because of this, the government defines a refugee as somebody who has fled their country because they fear persecution based on their race, ethnicity, nationality, political opinion, or religious opinion. A refugee can also fear persecution based on other factors that make them a risk due to the current political situation in their country. Good examples of this are sexual orientation and gender identity.

      The government also makes it clear that people’s asylum claims will be rejected if they are from an EU country, if they travelled to the UK through a ‘safe third country’, or if they have a connection to a ‘safe third country’ where they could have claimed asylum. The Home Office describes a ‘safe third country’ as one where a person is not a citizen, where they would not be harmed, and where they would not be sent to another country where they could be harmed.

      It is also worth knowing that if you are claiming asylum then you can add family members as ‘dependents’ if they are also Iranian citizens. If you are granted asylum then they will be able to stay for the same amount of time but they will not have refugee status unless they make their own asylum claim.

      How To Apply For An Asylum In The UK As An Iranian

      If you are an Iranian citizen wanting to claim asylum and you currently live in the UK then there are a number of steps you will need to follow. Before you begin your application, though, you will need to make sure you have all the necessary documents. Some of these documents can take a long time to obtain which is why we recommend they are gathered at the earliest possible opportunity. This is to avoid your asylum claim taking longer than it needs to.

      The Documents You Will Need To Claim Asylum In The UK

      The first things you will need are passports and any travel documents that show your travel history. Then you will need identification documents to show that you are who you say you are. These can be birth and marriage certificates or school records, for example.

      The next set of documents is intended to show where you live in the UK. If you are living in your own accommodation then you will need a document with your full name and address. Good examples of these are tenancy agreements and household bills.

      If you are living in another person’s accommodation then you will also need a document showing their name and address but you will also need a letter no more than 3 months old showing that you have their permission to stay

      You should also have a document ready that explains why you want to claim asylum. Whilst this is not a necessity, we would highly recommend it as it will strengthen your claim. You should also include any other documents you think are relevant to your asylum claim, such as driving licence details or medical records.

      If you are unsure about these documents then we can help you organise them and draft any statements here at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers.

      Applying For Asylum In The UK As An Iranian: Step By Step

      When you arrive at a UK port of entry, inform the border force that you want to make a claim for asylum and they will help you to set up a screening with an immigration officer.

      The officer will take some basic details to check who you are and where you have travelled from. Then they will take records of your fingerprints and take some photographs. This screening is where you will be handing over the documents outlined above and you will also need to explain any medical needs you or any of your dependents have.

      If you are already in the UK when you claim asylum then this screening will usually take place over the phone. Either way, once your screening has taken place, the Home Office will then decide whether your claim has grounds for asylum. If it does then you will be invited to an interview.

      The asylum interview is where you can explain in detail why you fled your country, why you fear persecution, and why you do not want to go back. Many of these interviews take place over video calls and your dependents will need to attend as well.

      To prepare for your interview you should think about what you are likely to be asked and prepare some answers in advance. You must be as open and clear as possible during your interview because if you miss any information then this can have a negative impact on your claim further down the line.

      The fast-track scheme announced by the government would see tailored questionnaires being handed out to asylum seekers from Iran before attending short interviews with officials. If this does apply to you then you and your dependents will be informed by your immigration officer or caseworker.

      What Happens While Your Asylum Application Is Being Processed?

      Whilst your asylum claim is being processed, you will be given an Application Registration Card (ARC) that shows who you are, if you have permission to work, and if you are eligible for healthcare or education. This card is crucial and must be brought to any interviews.

      In most cases, you will not be able to work while your claim is being processed. However, you will have access to asylum support under Section 95, Section 98, or Section 4.

      Section 95 is a type of asylum support that provides both financial and accommodation assistance to those who are waiting on an asylum claim decision. You will be offered accommodation somewhere in the country and given a weekly stipend on an ‘ASPEN’ card, however, there is also a ‘subsistence-only’ version for those who have accommodation.

      Section 98 is for those who need immediate assistance while their application for Section 95 support is being processed. This also provides accommodation and financial help.

      Section 4 asylum support is for those whose asylum applications have been denied and are waiting to leave the country.

      What To Do If Asylum Is Denied

      Unfortunately, the current wait for decisions on asylum applications can be well over one year. This is because of the huge backlog of asylum applications which hit 132,000 by the end of December 2022. Although the government has announced a fast-track scheme for Iranian citizens, this is yet to be fully implemented so you should prepare yourself to wait a similar amount of time.

      If your asylum application is accepted then you will have ‘refugee status’ for five years and you will be able to use public services like the NHS, free state education, and benefits. In some cases, the Home Office will ask you to attend a second interview or they might ask you to submit more documents to support your application.

      If your application is denied then you will be asked to leave the country. If you do not make your own preparations to leave the country then the Home Office will send you a letter before they take you to a removal centre to be processed and taken to another country.

      That being said, you will have a window in which you can appeal against the decision. During this time, you will have access to the support listed above and you will not need to leave the country. You will need to provide documents that explain why you think the decision was wrong, such as medical letters or hospital records.

      How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help You

      Claiming asylum in the UK can be a complicated process and applicants often begin to feel overwhelmed. There are lots of documents you will need to organise and you will need to make sure you meet several eligibility criteria. Our team of expert lawyers here at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers will be able to answer any of your queries about asylum claims.

      If you have any questions about this process or if you need help with visa problems or citizenship processes then we can help. All you need to do is call 0121 667 6530 or get in touch with us online.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                In the year ending June 2023, the UK had the highest number of asylum seekers from people from Albania, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and India. 7,776 were from Iran out of 78,768 total.

                The country that takes the most asylum seekers in Europe is Germany by a long way. Behind them is France, followed by Italy, Sweden, and the UK.

                According to international law, anybody can claim asylum in the UK. Whether or not their claim is accepted depends on their circumstances, whether they have the correct documents, and whether they meet the eligibility criteria.

                Most European countries accept asylum seekers from Iran including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and Greece.