When can I apply for asylum?

Who is an asylum seeker?

You have to meet this definition before you can make an application for asylum in the UK:

  • the UK is not your country of origin; and
  • you are in fear of persecution; and
  • you cannot ask for protection from the government, police or army in your country of origin.

‘Persecution’ means the police, army, government or other groups of people are carrying out acts of hostility, ill-treatment, abuse, torture or harassment. This can be physical, emotional or psychological.

There are 5 different reasons for persecution that count in asylum applications – persecution because of:

  1. Race
  2. Religion
  3. Nationality
  4. Political opinion
  5. Being a member of a social group

Refugee Council – important words and what they mean

Right to Remain – important words and what they mean

Refugee Council – definition of asylum seeker and refugee

 

Arriving in the UK for the first time

You must apply for asylum as soon as you can after you arrive in the UK. But get legal advice as soon as you can:

  • before you start your application, and
  • no more than 5 days after you come to the UK if you need money from the Government.

Your asylum application will be weaker if you delay applying. The Government might say your claim for asylum is not credible. ‘Not credible’ means you cannot be trusted because you are not telling the whole truth.

 

Already in the UK and applying for the first time

You can claim when you are already in the UK if

  • something happened in your country of origin after you left, that puts you in danger if you return, or
  • something happened in the UK after you came here, that puts you in danger if you return to your country of origin, and
  • you would not get protection from your government, police or army if you returned.

Get advice as soon as you can to apply for asylum:

  • before your leave to remain in the UK runs out; and
  • as soon as you know you cannot go back to your country of origin.

Your asylum application will be weaker if you delay applying. The Government might say your claim for asylum is not credible. ‘Not credible’ means you cannot be trusted because you are not telling the whole truth.

You can apply for asylum even if you have no leave to remain in the UK.

 

Find a local adviser

 

Choose 1 of the 3 options below

Option 1 – How do I apply for asylum?

Option 2 – Support for asylum seekers

Option 3 – Accredited immigration advisers

 

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