What does it mean to apply for asylum?

When someone wants to apply for asylum it means that they have left their country of origin based on circumstances out of their control. This can be due to ongoing conflicts or persecution based on their race, gender or religious beliefs. 

What are the rights of an asylum?
When you apply for asylum in the UK you maintain the right to be treated fairly whilst your application is being processed. Get in touch with an asylum solicitor for advice and help with your case.

In what circumstances might you apply for asylum?
There are several scenarios in which a person might need to apply for asylum in the UK. They include being persecuted for the following in your home country. 

  • Race
  • Caste (social exclusion) 
  • Religious differences 
  • Different political opinion
  • Participating in various social groups or activities

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) also considers the following to be applicable. 

  • Sexual persecution (such as female genital mutilation) 
  • Civil War 
  • Ethnic Cleansing
  • Tribal Violence
  • Sexual or gender orientation

What are the differences between an asylum seeker, a migrant and a refugee?
An asylum seeker like a refugee, has been forced to leave their homeland due to persecution. The main difference is that a refugee has registered with an international agency beforehand whereas an asylum seeker has not. 

A migrant in comparison chooses to live, study or work in a different country and is able to return to their homeland.   

What affects a country’s asylum policies and rules?
Although it is recognised as a worldwide problem it is down to each individual country to decide on how they approach asylum policies, rules and the type of accommodation that asylum seekers are placed in whilst awaiting a decision. 

How does claiming asylum work in the UK?
First, you must apply for asylum status, once you have left your home country and are not able to return. You will then have a meeting with an Immigration Officer on arrival, after which the Home Office will consider your application. You will then be informed within 6 months on the decision. 

Can a convicted criminal seek asylum to avoid imprisonment?
Part of the application process involves being truthful about your status and criminal record in your own country. It is considered a criminal offence in the UK to be deceitful which can result in a prison sentence or being deported. 

Asylum seekers’ rights in the UK
Once your application is approved you are then allowed access to the same services that any British citizen would, so for example NHS healthcare treatment and legal representation

Can an asylum seeker work in the UK?
Generally, those who claim asylum are not permitted to work in the UK but are provided with support and accommodation during their stay and encouraged to volunteer in their local community. 

What responsibilities does an asylum seeker have in the UK?
During your time in the UK, you are expected to attend any necessary appointments with your caseworker and cooperate with the Home Office. 

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