Who is an asylum seeker?
An ‘asylum seeker’ is someone who is awaiting a decision on his asylum claim in the UK. If your claim is successful, you are then recognised as a ‘refugee’. The right to claim asylum is governed by International Law and the UK Government is obliged to provide protection to any person who meets the criteria, which is defined in the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
In basic terms, you will need to be able to demonstrate a real and genuine risk of being persecuted (i.e. treated very badly) in your country of origin for one or more of the following 5 Convention grounds:
- Because of your race
- Because of your religion
- Because of your nationality
- Because of your political opinion
- Because of your membership of a particular social group
You will also need to demonstrate that your home Government is either unable or unwilling to protection from the above. If you can do this, then you may be recognised as a refugee.
If you cannot demonstrate that you are at risk of persecution on the above grounds, but you can show that you would face inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in your country of origin, or if there are any other genuine and truly compelling reasons for not being removed, then you may have a right of stay on the basis of “humanitarian protection” or on discretionary grounds. It is imperative that you speak to us so that we can assess the merits of your case and advise you on the relevant grounds of application.
The application process
To claim asylum, you must already be in the UK and present your claim to the Home Office, who will make a decision on your case. It is important that your asylum claim is made to an immigration officer upon your arrival or as soon as reasonably possible, because any delays in your application may weaken your case. The Home Office processes asylum applications in different ways and the Home Office will decide how this will be done after your first ‘screening’ interview.
At GB Immigration we can assist you throughout your asylum process and will work with you closely in preparing your asylum case. It is therefore important that you instruct us from early on.
Your family members
You may include your spouse and children under 18 in your asylum application if they are with you in the UK. If they are not in the UK, they will have to apply for asylum in their own right when they arrive. Failing this, you will have to wait until your asylum claim has been accepted and you have been given refugee status, following which you may be able to invite your spouse and children to the UK under family reunion rules.
How GB Immigration can help
As specialists in UK immigration law, at GB Immigration we can offer a full service to clients that require advice and assistance for their Immigration needs. Our immigration team can help you navigate the often confusing maze of UK immigration and assist you in deciding the most appropriate route.