Grounds to claim asylum in the UK
To submit a successful asylum claim and receive a grant of protection from the UK, an asylum seeker must demonstrate that they have grounds on which to base their claim.
There is a narrow definition of what constitutes grounds for asylum, and it can be very difficult to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements.
To claim asylum, an asylum seeker must prove that they are unable to live safely in any area of their home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution.
The persecution must be as a result of:
- Your race/ ethnicity
- Your religious beliefs
- Your nationality
- Your political opinions
- Something that places you at risk based on the social, cultural, religious, or political situation in your country (e.g., your gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation)
The asylum seeker must have tried and failed to receive protection from authorities in your home country.
Because you can only claim asylum once, if you are considering claiming asylum in the UK, it is strongly advised to seek support from a qualified immigration lawyer to assist with your claim.
Speak to one of our advisers today to see how we can help.
Who can claim asylum in the UK?
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, individuals are allowed to claim asylum in a safe country and should be allowed to remain until their claim has been processed.
You may be eligible to claim asylum and seek refugee status in the UK if you can prove the following:
- You are not from an EU country
- You did not pass through a ‘safe third country’ before arriving in the UK
- You have no connections to a safe third country
According to the UK government, a safe third country refers to a country that you are not a citizen of, where you will not be harmed, and which will not send you to another country where you would be harmed.
The most important aspect of an asylum claim is demonstrating how the asylum seeker was persecuted.
The legal definition of persecution is serious and targeted mistreatment of an individual based on their characteristics or identity.
Furthermore, to be eligible to claim asylum, you should demonstrate that you were persecuted in one of the following ways (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Physical, psychological, or sexual violence
- Legal, administrative, or judicial discrimination
- Discriminatory or disproportionate punishment
- Denial of judicial support which results in a disproportionate punishment
- Punishment for refusing to serve in the military where serving would result in the individual being forced to commit war crimes or crimes against humanity
How to claim asylum in the UK
It is likely that the asylum system in the UK will undergo some changes in the future, and this may impact how asylum seekers claim refugee status.
Since 1 January 2021, your asylum claim may be refused if it can be shown that you passed through a safe third country and could have sought asylum there.
If you wish to seek asylum in the UK, you should notify immigration officials at the UK border when you enter the country.
After you notify an official, you will have a short screening interview where you will be asked questions about your background and reasons for claiming asylum.
You will be asked if you have somewhere to stay and if you are at risk of destitution, you may be offered temporary accommodation.
If you are deemed to be in the country illegally, you may be placed in immigration detention.
You will later be requested to attend the asylum substantive interview. This is a long interview (where you may be represented by your lawyer) and it can be very difficult.
You will also be given the opportunity to submit supporting documents to the Home Office to provide proof of your claims.
If your claim is refused, you may be given the opportunity to appeal or request a review. There are a number of ways that you can submit appeals, but in some cases, you will be required to be represented by an immigration lawyer.
Do I need an asylum lawyer?
Asylum cases are notoriously complex, and with individuals at risk of persecution or death, the stakes are extremely high. Our immigration lawyers are experts in supporting our asylum seeker clients to successfully argue their cases and obtain the right to stay in the UK.
No matter what stage your claim is at, and no matter the complexity, we can work with you to ensure that you are given the strongest possible legal representation and support. We can assist with high-quality translation and document fact-checking services to ensure that your case proceeds as quickly as possible.
If you have been unsuccessful in your asylum claim and placed into immigration detention, contact our lawyers for emergency advice. Because of the nature of asylum claims and seeking refugee status, we understand that you may require urgent advice. Our lawyers are available to speak with you if you need urgent help.
Some of the services you can expect to receive from us include:
- Assessing your eligibility and the grounds on which you are claiming asylum in the UK
- Assisting you in making your interview appointment
- Advising on how to submit formal statements to the Home Office
- Preparing you for the asylum interview
- Submit an application to have you released from immigration detention
- Give in-depth support with gathering the documents required for your case
- Prepare and submit a letter of representation to outline why your claim should be accepted
- Engage with the Home Office while your claim is being processed
- Support with any appeals or reviews as a result of any failed applications
Call us on 0121 667 6530 for an immediate discussion about how we can assist you with your case.
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