The UK is a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951. It is an important mechanism that allows people to claim asylum in the UK. The Home Office is responsible for overseeing this procedure.
Lodging an asylum claim
You can claim asylum at a UK port, such as an airport or seaport. Alternatively, you can claim asylum once you have entered the UK.
If you decide to claim asylum at the port, you will need to tell a UK Border Officer about your intentions. You will need to tell them clearly why you are claiming asylum. For example, this could be due to a fear of being persecuted when returning to your country of origin. To establish your fear, the Border Officer may ask you further questions. This process is known as a screening interview. If your screening interview does not take place the same day, the Border Officer will aim to conduct this within 5 working days.
If you intend to claim asylum after you have entered the UK, you can do this by calling the Home Office Asylum Screening Unit. They will schedule you in for a screening interview. Your interview is usually conducted by the Home Office, at Lunar House in Croydon. You will need to attend this interview with your ID. Your biometric features will be taken during your interview. You will be issued with an Application Registration Card.
Once your Screening interview has taken place, the Home Office will invite you for a substantive interview. The Home Office will go into the detail of your claim and ask you what happened. You should be provided with a transcript of your interview, this will outline the questions that were asked the answers you gave. We will go through the transcript issued and issue any clarifications. This is an important step as sometimes the answers entered are incorrect, and this will be your opportunity to set the record straight. Once your asylum claim has been granted, you will be issued refugee status. If the Home Office is unable to grant you refugee status, they will assess whether your matter falls under humanitarian protection, i.e. that you face serious harm if returned to your country of origin.
You will usually get a decision on your application within 6 months.
We will need to assess the merits of your case by reviewing the documents submitted. We can lodge an in-time appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal, under the grounds that your removal would breach the UK’s obligations under the Convention.
Alternatively, you will have the option to submit a new claim. A new claim will need to be materially different, to the grounds you previously submitted and relied upon when claiming asylum. If your new claim is not successful, we will assess the matter and you may appeal the decision.