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immigration solicitors: asylum
What is Asylum?
Asylum is protection given by a country to someone who is fleeing persecution in their own country.
Asylum is given under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. To be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you have a well-founded fear of persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.
The UK also adheres to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prevents it sending someone to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
If you do not qualify for asylum but are able to establish that there are humanitarian or other reasons why you should be allowed to stay in the UK, the UK Border Agency may give you temporary permission to stay here.
How to Apply
If you want to apply for asylum and you are already in the UK, you will need to book an appointment to attend the UK Border Agency’s asylum screening unit in Croydon (south of London). If you want any of your dependants to be part of your application, you must take them with you.
The asylum screening unit operates an appointment system and will also accept applicants on a walk-in-service. If you choose to use the walk in service, you should be aware that depending on your personal circumstances, there will be no guarantee that you will be seen. Therefore, the UK Border Agency strongly recommends that you book an appointment.
What happens next?
When you make your application at the asylum screening unit, you will start the asylum process.
The first stage in the process is a brief interview at the unit known as 'screening' when you will be expected to produce the documents listed above. Fingerprints and photographs will also be taken.
At the screening unit, you will normally be given an application registration card, often known as an ARC. This shows you have made an application for asylum and contains your personal details and photograph.
You will be allocated to your case owner within a few days of making your application for asylum. Your case owner is responsible for interviewing you; making the decision on your application; managing any support you are entitled to receive and staying in touch with you; providing official documents; representing the UK Border Agency if you make a legal appeal.
You will not normally be allowed to work while you are waiting for the case worker to make a decision.
Your case owner aims to give you our decision within about 30 days of the date on which you made your application.
If you are recognised as a refugee, you will be given asylum and a residence permit that allows you to enter and stay in the United Kingdom for an initial period of five years. If you have any dependants, they will be given the same permission. Your case owner will help you to build a life in this country by giving you the documents and information you need.
If your asylum application is refused, you will be told what rights you may have to appeal against our decision and the time limits for this.
Your case owner may decide you are able to stay here for humanitarian or other reasons, in which case you may be given permission to stay temporarily.
How Can TM Fortis Solicitors help?
Our lawyers have many years experience in representing asylum seekers and many of them have spent working in the not for profit sector.