How to apply for asylum in UK?

The United Kingdom is one of the most sought after countries to apply for asylum, as it offers excellent benefits and waiting times are short. Which is attributed to the hard work of the Ministry of the Interior. Proof of this were the records for the year 2022, when the nation received more than 35,000 requests and more than 53% were satisfactory.

The foregoing, according to UN data, makes it possible for the United Kingdom to currently have more than 9 million immigrants, which represents 14.25% of the population. Being the highest percentages in Europe. Foreigners in refugee status come mainly from Iran, Albania, Pakistan, India, China, Egypt, Palestine, Honduras, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

UK Map - Asylum Application

First considerations for requesting aid in the United Kingdom

In principle, you must prove to the authorities that you cannot return to your native country, since your life is in danger, which can derive from different circumstances such as political persecution, gender or simply generalized violence. If you meet these criteria then the UK will consider you eligible to apply.

For its part, the request will not be considered if you are a native of a member country of the European Union, or if your travel route to reach the United Kingdom was through a safe third State. What is stipulated in the Dublin Regulation. Check out here the nations that apply for direct rejection.

If eligible, you can include your partner and children under the age of 18 as dependents. Although they can make their own asylum application and will be treated independently. Then the steps to follow are the ones that we will explain below.

Procedure for making an asylum request in the United Kingdom

Once it is determined that you are eligible, you can formalize your asylum application in the following way:

Step 1. Registration of the request

When you arrive at any of the UK borders, you can register your asylum application. You will have a brief meeting with an immigration officer where you will present your case. It is intended to determine who you are and your travel route. During the process, you will be asked to pose for a photograph and they will do a fingerprint study.

Likewise, you must indicate why you are requesting asylum. It is possible that, depending on the statement, you will be scheduled for other interviews so that you can provide more evidence to support the narrated facts. On the other hand, they will also ask you for all the identity documents you have.

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It is important that on this day you inform the authorities if you or any member of your family take medication or have any medical condition. If necessary, you can request an interpreter for effective communication. Upon completion, your application will be recorded and evaluated.

registration application - asylum application

If you are considered a vulnerable case, you will be an excellent candidate to opt for the benefits offered by the nation. Some of them are accommodation, monthly payments, food, clothing, etc.

Step 2. Selection

The assigned officials will determine if you can be admitted or not. Which implies the following aspects:

  • admitted. You will be given an asylum registration card (ARC), which will be sent to your home address or to the jail if you are detained. With this card you will receive a form that you will have to fill out and deliver on the date indicated. In the same way, they will assign you a social assistance representative to review your current living conditions. In addition, the ARC gives you the right to remain in the United Kingdom, identify yourself as an international protection petitioner and access state public services such as education and health.
  • Unadmitted. Depending on the result of the evaluation, they may send you to a safe country where you will not run any risk. The government will manage the relevant procedures with that nation, as well as the necessary travel permits. Officials may decide to detain you in one of the immigration removal centers until you are transferred.

Step 3. Interview

Once you have been selected as admissible, you will receive a letter with the appointment for a new interview. If you do not attend, your application will be rejected. And if you require an interpreter, you must request one before starting the interview to facilitate communication.

It should be noted that the information handled at the meeting is confidential. In this sense, it is the opportunity you have to demonstrate the reasons why you need asylum in the United Kingdom. It is essential that you bring the evidence that supports the fear of remaining in your country and why you fled from it. As well as all identification documents and travel routes.

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Interview - asylum application

The interview will be recorded in an official document which you can review, in the event that something does not match your statement, claim the respective correction. Then you must sign the letter and request a copy for your personal control.

Step 4. Decision

The competent bodies have 6 months to issue a decision on your case. However, the evaluation may require more time when the situation is complex, including more interviews and delivery of evidence. Which will be communicated in a timely manner. Now, the answers that you will finally be able to receive are:

  • Permit to stay as a refugee. It means that you have been accepted and therefore you will have the right to reside in the country for five years, enjoying the rights of national citizens. At the end of this period you can opt for a lifetime permit, read the steps to follow here.
  • Permit to stay for humanitarian reasons. Here your asylum request was denied, but the authorities determined that you cannot return to your country of origin and gave you a permit to enter and stay in the United Kingdom, valid for five years. After this period you can claim an evaluation of your case and request permanent residence in the territory. We show you how to do it here.
  • Rejection of your request. It means that there is no reason for you to stay in the UK and you must leave the country within the period established by law. However, you can appeal the decision, depending on the procedure available here. If there is a second denial of the case, you will be able to leave voluntarily requesting assistance to return to your country as stipulated. here. If you do not comply with this and decide to be in the territory irregularly, then you will be detained in the immigration centers until you are forcibly expelled.

Rights and duties as an asylum seeker

In most cases, the United Kingdom does not allow an asylum seeker to work while the procedure is being processed, since the government does not accept as a valid justification the fact of requesting international protection for economic reasons. However, it offers a series of benefits that will allow your stay in the country. In addition, we show you a series of responsibilities that you must fulfill.

Be treated equally regardless of your race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or political status.Cooperate with the authorities and always tell the truth.
Practice your religion, respecting the right to free religion of other people.Attend all the appointments that you are invited and always be in contact with your social worker.
Have accommodation during the asylum process, as well as economic subsidies.Obey and respect the laws of the nation.
Enjoy the country’s public health system.Leave the country if your application or appeal is rejected.
Be represented by a lawyer and receive free legal assistance. 

If you are in danger at home, the UK government will put resources at your disposal to safeguard your life so that you can then start your life in a free and democratic country with equal legal rights and responsibilities. For this reason, you can consider it an excellent option as other immigrants have done in previous years seeking international protection in said territory.

Beautiful UK - Asylum application

Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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