Claiming Asylum

You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee, however, to be eligible you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution. You would need to apply for a visa if you wish to come to the UK for another reason, for example, to work or study. You should apply when you arrive in the UK or as soon as you decide it would be unsafe for you to return to your own country. To claim asylum in the UK, you must be unable to seek help from your own national country’s authorities. 

A person can claim asylum (permission to stay in another country) when they are at risk of being persecuted within their own country. This can be because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

After you apply you will be required to attend a ‘screening’ with an immigration officer, and also an asylum interview with a caseworker. You will usually receive a decision within six months. We will offer urgent advice for your asylum issues and one of our immigration experts will arrange an urgent appointment to discuss your options and assist with your application, assist in the gathering of documents and advise wherever we are able to do so.

One of our lawyers will work with you to ensure that your asylum application is completed to the highest standard before we submit it. The caseworker will create a Letter of Representation, to support your asylum claim and relate this to UK law. We will also liaise with the Home Office while your application is being processed.


What are the eligibility requirements to claim asylum in the UK?

In order for you to be granted asylum and recognised as a refugee in the UK, you need to show that you have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

The act or acts of persecution must be committed by the state or by groups of individuals, which the state cannot or will not control.

You must also ensure that you are claiming asylum from within the UK or at the UK border.

How do I get the asylum process started?

You must apply for asylum from within the UK or at the UK border, applications are usually made with an online tool.

It is important to submit your application for asylum as soon as you realise you cannot return to your home country.

How long does the asylum process take?

It usually takes about six months before a decision on whether to grant asylum to you is made by the Home Office.

However, it can take longer if documents need to be verified or more information is needed.

What is the Gateway Protection Programme?

In addition to the normal procedure for claiming asylum, the Gateway Protection Programme, operated by the Home Office in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is designed to resettle especially vulnerable refugees.

The programme allows for up to 750 refugees to settle in the UK each year. Applications for resettlement under this programme are made via the UNHCR who then refer the matter to the Home Office. Each application will be assessed on its own individual merits including refugee status, need for resettlement, security risks, family status, health and the health of dependants. Under the Gateway Protection Programme, refugees are granted Permanent Residence in the UK immediately.

What is Discretionary Leave to Remain?

If you do not qualify as a refugee or for humanitarian protection, you may be eligible for Discretionary Leave to Remain although this is only given in limited circumstances.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

If you have your Asylum application refused and you are not recognised or granted protection as a refugee in the UK, you may have a right of appeal or judicial review to the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal.

At the end of any appeals process you will be expected to voluntarily return to your country of origin/residence otherwise you risk an order for enforced removal. This may involve your arrest and detention in a secure centre, also known as an Immigration Removal Centre until you are required to leave. The asylum lawyers at Alexandra & Spencer can provide emergency advice wherever you are being detained.

If your appeal rights have been exhausted but you have new evidence about your case or there has been a change of circumstance in your home country then you may be able to make further submissions to the UK Home Office seeking a fresh asylum claim.

How can Alexandra & Spencer help?

Here at Alexandra & Spencer, we can assist with all claims for asylum and humanitarian protection in the UK including help completing an asylum application, visits for detainees and representation for appeals and reviews in the event of a refusal. One of our highly-qualified lawyers will guide you through your claiming asylum process.

We will check your eligibility for asylum and support you throughout your application process. Our services include:

  • checking your documents to ensure that they are sufficient for your application;
  • preparing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This letter outlines the details of your case and gives reasons for which your application ought to be accepted by the Home Office;
  • liaising with the Home Office during your application process;
  • completing each part of your application form to a professional standard.

Get in touch today on 020 7887 1916 or use our online enquiry form to get access to a specialist asylum lawyer who can guide you through the process of claiming asylum in the UK.

Get a free consultation call from an immigration specialist

Our highly professional, dedicated and knowledgeable specialists will do all the hard work to make the immigration process easy and understandable so you will be confident about successful outcome.