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At Batley Law, we are committed to helping those that are seeking refuge in the UK having fled persecution in their home country.

How to apply for asylum in the UK?

An individual can seek asylum in the UK, on the basis that he/she fears persecution in their home country. The law that applies to asylum claims is largely derived from what is known as the ‘Refugee Convention’.

A Refugee is a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside his country of nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear is unwilling, to avail himself of the protection of that country.

What is the Asylum Screening Interview?

The first part of the asylum application process is an interview with the Home Office. This takes place at an Asylum Screening Unit.

At this interview, your basic details and identity will be recorded and you will be given the opportunity to explain the basis of your asylum claim in brief.

What if there are mistakes in my Asylum Screening Interview?

We are often approached by clients that have attended an asylum screening interview, and have answered a number of questions from an interviewing officer. However, when reviewing the paper record of the interview, have noticed a number of mistakes. If this happens in your case, we can help.

We will assist you in making representations to the Home Office in order to clarify the mistakes. You should do this as soon as possible, otherwise there is a risk that if mistakes are left uncorrected, these could be held against as your asylum claim progresses.

What is a Preliminary Information Questionnaire?

In some cases, the Home Office will send out a Preliminary Information Questionnaire to be completed and returned by an asylum seeker. This provides an asylum seeker with an opportunity to provide further details about their asylum claim, including details of their background, family details, education and most importantly, their reason for claiming asylum.

We have considerable experience of advising clients on completion of these forms. If you have received a Preliminary Information Questionnaire and require advice and assistance, please contact us, and one of our expert team will be happy to guide you through the process.

The Asylum Interview

Your asylum claim will then progress to an asylum (also known as substantive) interview.  At this interview, you will be allowed to expand and explain in detail your reasons for coming to the UK, and the basis of your fear of persecution in your home country.

If you instruct Batley Law, one of our experts will advise you as to how you should prepare for this interview, and what to expect.

You will have an opportunity to submit clarifications and provide further information after your interview, but this must normally be done within a week.  This provides a further opportunity to put forward important information or evidence relevant to your case. This can also be a useful opportunity to clarify mistakes in the interview record, if for example, a question is misunderstood or if the Home Office interpreter makes a mistake.

Our team at Batley Law have years of experience of making representations to the Home Office in asylum cases. Feel free to request a call back, to discuss further with one of our team.

How long will my asylum claim take?

The Rules and Home Office guidance says that the Home Office should usually make a decision on an asylum claim within 6 months. However, this does not always happen and we are often approached by clients who have been waiting far longer than 6 months for a decision on their claim.

If this is the case, you can ask your solicitor or representative to ask the Home Office for an update. It is also useful sometimes to ask your local MP to write to the Home Office. In some case, where the delay is significant and is causing real problems for the asylum seeker, this can be challenged through the Courts by a process known as Judicial Review. For further details, see our blog post: Asylum Claim Delay.

At Batley Law, our team have experience of challenging Home Office delay’s in this manner, and in fact, we have had several cases in which the Home Office has agreed to make a prompt decision as a result of judicial review proceedings. If you find yourself in this situation, contact us today.

Are Asylum Seekers allowed to work in the UK?

Generally speaking, asylum seekers are not permitted to work whilst their asylum claim is pending. However, if you have been waiting for a decision on your case for at least 12 months, you can request permission to work in those circumstances.

Asylum Decision

The Home Office will then make a decision on your case.  If successful, you will be granted refugee status.  There are a number of rights that flow from a grant of refugee status. This includes the right to apply for a travel document, and for family reunion.

If unsuccessful, your asylum claim will be refused and you will be provided with a Refusal Letter.  At that point, we would meet with you and advise you about appealing against the decision.

What happens of my Asylum claim is refused?

Most refusals of asylum attract an in-country right of appeal. If you feel that the Home Office has made the wrong decision, you can appeal against this and your case will be heard by an independent judge at a First Tier Tribunal.

Please see our appeals page for more information about the appeal process, and how we may be able to help.

Can I get Legal Aid for my appeal?

The Legal Aid Agency provide Legal Aid funding for asylum applications. Our immigration solicitors will assess whether or not you qualify for Legal Aid, and if you do, we will represent you on that basis. If you are unsure as to whether or not you qualify, please contact us, and we will be happy to assess this for you.

How can Batley Law help with my Asylum claim?

As a team, we have a breadth of experience. We have more than 40 years experience between our team of assisting asylum seekers. All of our solicitors and case workers are accredited and have a strong grounding in asylum law and procedure.

We therefore have extensive experience of advising asylum seekers from the very early stages of an asylum claim, all the way through to an appeal before a Tribunal.

If you have claimed asylum or are planning to do so, below is some basic information about the process involved. For further advice and guidance, please contact us and one of our experienced practitioners will be happy to assist.

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The Law Society - Immigration & Asylum

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