Overview of Asylum Seeking Process UK
The United Nations Refugee Convention has backed claiming asylum as an essential human right, and countries worldwide also recognise it.
If you would like to live in the UK because you are in danger in your country of residence or origin, you may claim asylum from the UK government and receive international protection.
The different stages of claiming asylum in the UK are:
- Claiming on arrival or applying if you live within the UK
- Screening interview
- Substantive asylum interview
- Decision making
- Granting or refusal of asylum
- Appealing if refused
- Overview of Asylum Seeking Process UK
- Step 1: Claim Asylum in the UK
- Step 2: Screening Interview
- Step 3: Substantive Asylum Interviews
- Step 4: Get Your Asylum Decision
- What Happens After Asylum Is Granted in the UK?
- What Happens if My Asylum Application Is Denied in the UK?
- How Long Does the Asylum Process Take in the UK?
- How Can I Check my Asylum Case Status Online?
- How Manchester Immigration Lawyers Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
Step 1: Claim Asylum in the UK
You should apply for asylum immediately when you arrive in the UK or as soon as you think it is unsafe for you to go back to your country if you are already living in the UK. There is a high chance your application will be rejected if you take longer.
During the application, you must present your documents and those of your dependents. Your dependents include children under 18 and your partner.
These documents include:
- Passport and travel documents
- Identification documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, identity cards, or school records
- Anything that may help with your application, like proof of persecution or torture
If you seek asylum while living in the UK, you must present documents showing proof of address. These documents may differ depending on whether you live alone or with someone else.
If you live alone, you should present documents showing your full name and address. These could be:
- Household bill
- Council tax notice
- Bank statement
- Housing benefit book
- Tenancy agreement
If you live with someone else, you should present:
- A letter less than three months old from the person you are living with showing they have permitted you to live with them
- Documents showing the full name or address of the person you are living with
The Home Office is the government department of Britain that ensures asylum claims are correctly granted according to the international obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. This department also ensures that the cases are granted timely, objectively, and on an impartial basis.
If your asylum-seeking process in the UK is rejected, you should report to the Home Office for appeal or any other immigration office near you.
Step 2: Screening Interview
After an adult aged 18 years and above claims UK asylum, the claim is registered. The Home Office then undertakes a screening interview that involves checking biometrics, security database, and system checks to confirm the identity of the person and an overview of why they are claiming asylum.
Other activities involved in the screening process include:
- Confirming travel history
- Checking if there are any dependants on the claim
- Confirming if they have any family members in the UK
- Checking for any mental or physical health conditions
- Checking trafficking indicators
- Asking criminal and security-related questions
If the person wanting to claim asylum had sought asylum but failed, they will not be registered for a second claim. Instead, they will follow the process of further submission. Notably, the streamlined asylum process does not apply to further submissions.
Step 3: Substantive Asylum Interviews
This is a critical stage in your application since it is a chance to submit your case to the home office. Their final verdict will be based on what you say during the interview.
The interview could occur weeks or years after the ‘screening’ process. You should be alert for any information from the Home Office regarding details on the interview day.
Before the interview day, it is recommended to send in a written request statement to support your claim if you are yet to be given a questionnaire. It is best if you seek the legal help of our immigration lawyers by calling us on 0161 826 9783 or talking to us online for help with supporting your claim.
When travelling, remember to carry your:
- Application registration card (ARC)
- Passport or travel document
- Birth certificate
- Proof of address, e.g., utility bill
While at the interview, talk about all the possible reasons that made you seek asylum in the UK. Remember to be honest since the Home Office compares what you say during the interview and the information you present during the screening process.
The interview does not have a fixed period for lasting – it could take a few hours.
Once the interview is done, you have up to five days to send a statement covering anything you should have mentioned.
Any seekers who fail to attend the interview receive an automatic refusal.
Step 4: Get Your Asylum Decision
The Home Office will decide your application as soon as possible. However, it may take longer if they find it complicated.
Some of the instances that can make it complicated include:
- Supporting documents need to be verified
- More interviews are needed
- Personal circumstances need to be confirmed, maybe due to criminal charges
The decision you will receive may give you permission to live in the UK through:
- Refugee status – you are recognized as a refugee as defined in the Refugee Convention
- Humanitarian protection – you do not qualify as a refugee, but you cannot go back to your country of origin
If you receive refugee status or humanitarian protection, you are allowed to live in the UK for a minimum of 5 years. After five years, you can apply to settle in the UK. This applies to your dependents as well.
If you do not qualify for refugee status or humanitarian protection, you may be permitted to stay for other reasons. The period you are allowed to live in the UK will depend on your situation.
If you do not qualify for either of these, you will be asked to leave the UK. However, you can appeal this decision.
It would be best to appeal within the given timeframe, or you will have to leave. Also, you can only live in the UK if your appeal is successful.
What Happens After Asylum Is Granted in the UK?
You will have permission to live in the UK for a minimum of 5 years if you are granted asylum. Asylum Support and ‘section 4’ support will stop 28 days after the decision. This means you will have to move houses if you were previously given a house as an asylum seeker. You will also stop receiving your cash allowance.
The refugee status permits you to work in any profession and skill level in the UK. You can also opt to apply for benefits if you have very little income or are not able or ready for work.
You should also get a National Insurance number and open a bank account after you are granted asylum. The National Insurance number will come in handy when applying for benefits.
You may be entitled to benefits in the UK even if you no longer receive Asylum support.
Some of these benefits include:
- Housing benefits
- Pension credit
- Universal credit
- Refugee integration loan
What Happens if My Asylum Application Is Denied in the UK?
If your asylum application is denied in the UK, you can appeal to the Asylum and Immigration tribunal. This is a department that is independent of the Home Office. You are allowed to live in the UK during this process.
The tribunal will hear your appeal two months after the denial of asylum. In Wales and England, asylum seekers are only entitled to legal aid for their appeal if it is believed the appeal has a 50% chance or above of being successful.
You can also make a second asylum claim if you receive new evidence or if the UK changes its asylum law since your last case.
You should ensure you lodge your appeal within 14 days after refusal. To appeal, you will need to complete an IAFT-5 form and set out the grounds of appeal. You can do this on paper or online.
After appealing, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) will register it and assign a number. This number will be used when communicating within the FTT.
A Home Office representative, the applicant, the legal representative, and any other witness are expected to attend an oral hearing of the appeal. After the hearing, the Immigration Judge will reserve their decision and deliver it in writing within a week.
You should ensure you work with a legal representative to give you detailed advice regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. A lawyer will also explain the appeals procedure for you to complete the forms as expected.
How Long Does the Asylum Process Take in the UK?
After your substantive interview, the Home Office will review your claim and determine whether you are eligible for refugee status. This process may take months or even over a year. According to the Home Office website, the process should take six months. However, this timeframe is dependent on the particular case at hand.
How Can I Check my Asylum Case Status Online?
To check your asylum case status online, follow these steps.
- Visit gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status
- Click the green button ‘Start Now”
- Select the document that you used for your application. It can be a passport, national identity card, or biometric residence card
- Key in the number as requested and press continue
- Enter your date of birth and press continue
- You will be requested to confirm how you would like to receive a code to verify your identity. Choose either phone number or email and press continue
- Enter the code you received through phone or email and press continue
- Your digital profile card will then appear, showing your status
How Manchester Immigration Lawyers Can Help
Seeking asylum in the UK can be a daunting process, but it does not have to be. The asylum-seeking process, including the screening stage and the substantive interview stage, requires informed legal representatives to make things easier on you. You also need to work with a legal professional to help you understand what is expected of you throughout the process and provide emotional support.
Manchester Immigration Lawyers are the leading immigration service in the UK, and we can help you with all your asylum needs. From advising you on your rights and speaking on your behalf to representing you before the Home Office, our lawyers can do it all.
We understand that each asylum seeker is different, so we offer a personalized service to each client. We take the time to understand your individual needs and circumstances before working with you. We also remain in constant communication with our clients to ensure all information is shared promptly to avoid mishaps.
No matter how complicated you think your case is, our lawyers have the solution. Having been in the industry for years, we know the ins and outs of asylum-seeking, including appeals, documentation, translation, representation, and legal aid.
Contact us on 0161 826 9783 or chat with us online, and we will be glad to discuss how we can help you with your asylum claim in the UK.
In 2022, 75% of the 89,416 asylum applications received in the UK were accepted. Most of these applications came from Iran, Afghanistan, and Albania. Out of the 89,416 initial applications, 22,382 of them were answered positively after the first application. The most successful asylum applications are from South Sudan and Yemen.
No, you cannot work while your asylum is being processed. If considered destitute, you will receive accommodation and support to meet your essential living needs.
To claim asylum in the UK, seekers need to prove that they cannot live safely in their country of origin. This may be due to a fear of persecution as a result of ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs.