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There are many reasons someone might want to apply for asylum in the United Kingdom. Perhaps they are fleeing persecution or violence in their home country or may have experienced human rights abuses. Whatever the reason, applying for asylum can be complex and daunting.
Asylum is a type of protection that can be granted to people who are fleeing persecution or serious harm in their home countries. You must show that you are unable to return to your country of origin safely because of your race, nationality, religion, political viewpoint, or membership in a particular social group in order to qualify for asylum.
If you are granted asylum, you will be allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely and will be permitted to work. You will also have access to free healthcare and education. After five years, you may be eligible for permanent settlement in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).
The first step in applying for asylum is to contact the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) office in your home country and make an appointment to attend a screening interview. During this interview, you will be asked about your reasons for wanting to come to the UK and your circumstances. You will also be fingerprinted and have your photograph taken.
After your screening interview, you will be given an application form to complete. This must be returned to the UKVI office within 28 days.
Once your application has been received, it will be considered by an immigration officer. If they decide you are eligible for asylum, you will be called for an interview with another immigration officer. This is known as a ‘substantive interview’.
During the substantive interview, you will be asked about your reasons for wanting to come to the UK and your circumstances in more detail. You may also be asked about your journey to the UK and any family members or friends you have here.
After your substantive interview, the immigration officer will decide on your application. If they decide that you are eligible for asylum, you will be given a ‘positive decision’ and granted indefinite permission to stay in the UK. If they decide you are not eligible for asylum, you will be given a ‘negative decision’.
If you receive a negative decision, you can appeal against it. The appeals process is complex, so it is important to get advice from a qualified immigration solicitor before you appeal.
Due to the short deadlines involved in applying for asylum, we always recommend that you find a solicitor as soon as possible. At Ashwood Solicitors, our diverse team of asylum solicitors are ready to navigate you through the process of asylum in the UK.
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