Qualifying for Asylum depends on whether you are a 'refugee'.
To be a refugee you must be outside your country of origin due to a well-founded fear of persecution for 1 or more of 5 reasons relating to your:
- Membership of a particular social group
- Political opinion
If you qualify, you cannot be sent back to your country until the risk is small or gone.
The decision is made by the Home Office, which can decide that circumstances have changed and a return would be safe.
How to apply
You may apply at any time to the Home Office, but failure to apply on arrival to the United Kingdom may mean you will not be entitled to receive any support. It is very important to seek advice on arrival if you have concerns. The Immigration Officers at the air or sea ports will help you.
What happens when you apply?
Firstly you will be interviewed. Its purpose is to discover:
- Your personal details
- Where you came from
- Whether there is a safe third country
- Whether you should receive support
An interpreter will be used if requested. You are entitled to a note of the meeting.
The next stage is induction. You will be sent to a centre where you will be told of the progress and what will happen to you.
A further interview will follow. This is a full asylum interview. If you have a legal representative, then they may help you. This interview is called the full asylum interview.
You have up to 5 further days to make available further information and then a decision will be made.
You will be finger printed and a photograph will be taken. You will be issued with an identity card known as an Asylum Registration Card, it is an important document as it is proof of the right to be in the United Kingdom.
The likelihood of detention depends upon a number of factors. Those likely to face detention are:
- People who are suspected Terrorists
- Where there is a prospect of you being returned to a safe third country
- If you have used false documents
- If you have a clearly unfounded case (such as coming from a Home Office considered safe country)
If granted support, you are likely to be housed in a hostel temporarily. You will then be dispersed to another part of the country, unless there good reason such as need for specialist medical treatment.
Once you are registered as an Asylum Seeker, you can get free medical care and register with a local doctor.
Help with claim for asylum
There is no longer an Adult Asylum team in place within the borough. Instead, the Home Office will provide support through the National Asylum Support Service.