Seeking Asylum in the UK: The Process and Requirements
For those fleeing persecution and danger in their home countries, securing asylum in another nation can mean the difference between life and death. The UK has a robust process for evaluating and granting asylum to applicants who qualify under international and domestic law. However, navigating the complex UK asylum system can be daunting for asylum seekers. This guide breaks down the key steps and requirements for obtaining asylum status in the UK.
Who Qualifies for Asylum in the UK?
To qualify for asylum in the UK, an applicant must meet the definition of a refugee according to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. This states that a refugee is someone 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 the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”
The UK Home Office considers asylum claims based on criteria such as whether the account seems credible, if there is evidence to support persecution in the applicant’s home country, and whether state protection is available upon return. Applicants must prove they face a real risk of harm if returned.
Starting the Application Process
Applications for asylum in the UK can only be made once the applicant has arrived in the territory, including at ports of entry. There are some exceptions, such as being able apply from within the UK if your visa is still valid.
The first step is to complete a ‘screening’ interview with an immigration officer upon arrival to collect background information. Fingerprints and photos will also be taken. Following screening, applicants have up to 5 working days to formally register their claim at the Asylum Intake Unit. A caseworker will be assigned, and temporary accommodation provided if needed.
Preparing a Strong Application
After registering the claim, the applicant will work with their legal representation to gather documents, records, and testimony to support their asylum application. This may include police reports, media reports, medical records, and affidavits from witnesses, family and friends corroborating persecution. Strong evidence is key.
It is also essential to fully document the journey taken to the UK, including travel routes, visas obtained, and any threats or instances of harm along the way. Honesty and consistency are vital throughout the application process.
Attending the Substantive Interview
Usually within 6 weeks, the applicant will attend an in-depth substantive interview conducted by a Home Office official. An interpreter is provided if needed. The interviewer will probe the details of the asylum claim, ask follow up questions, and may challenge or question inconsistencies. Remain calm, truthful and clear.
Additional interviews may be required if more information is needed. It then usually takes 2-6 months to receive a decision from the Home Office. Granted claims result in asylum being issued, while denials can be appealed within 14 days.
Navigating the complex UK asylum process requires legal guidance, strong evidence, and meticulous documentation. For those with genuine claims and a credible fear of return, asylum remains life-saving sanctuary.
OISC Level 2 assessment remains popular for those who aspire to practice this area of UK immigration to serve and protect the vulnerable asylum seekers in the UK. However in the recent times, it has become even more challenging to pass the assessment to gain accreditation from the OISC as a Level 2 Asylum practitioner.
The OISC Level 2 exams test candidates on a broad range of UK immigration and asylum law topics. Insufficient studying and preparation can easily lead to failing scores. Candidates need to spend time thoroughly reviewing materials covering subjects like immigration rules, appeal procedures, asylum regulations, and human rights law. Gaps in core knowledge tend to result in exam failure.
To combat failures due to insufficient legal knowledge, a training course like the OISC Level 2 program offered by HJT Training would prove highly beneficial. HJT’s comprehensive curriculum is designed to methodically build and reinforce understanding of all key areas of UK immigration and asylum law tested on the OISC Level 2 exams. Through expert instruction and materials covering topics like immigration rules, appeals and procedures, EU law, and human rights statutes, students gain a strong foundation in the legal principles and frameworks needed to successfully apply their knowledge on exam day. HJT’s structured approach ensures all bases are covered, preventing knowledge gaps that could undermine success. With a proven record of fostering deep understanding and high exam pass rates, the legal grounding and retention gained through HJT Training delivers the thorough preparation students need to avoid common pitfalls of insufficient knowledge. The detailed substantive coverage and systematic methods for learning and retaining key legal concepts make HJT an ideal way to equip students with the robust command of immigration law necessary for OISC Level 2 exam achievement.
OISC Level 2 course also serves as an invaluable refresher for updating knowledge for qualified legal practitioners already handling asylum cases whilst meeting their annual CPD requirements.
As asylum law and procedures frequently evolve, the intensive training provides an efficient means to get up to speed on the latest statutes, regulations, and case law precedents impacting asylum claims and appeals. Condensing a broad range of asylum topics into an organized curriculum, HJT Training ensures practitioners reinforce their understanding of key principles and obligations. Detailed substantive instruction, combined with practical exercises applying concepts to hypothetical scenarios, enables practitioners to refresh and sharpen their legal knowledge and analytical skills in asylum practice. Having an intensive CPD-accredited program dedicated solely to asylum delivers an unmatched opportunity to plug any knowledge gaps, gain clarity on complex or emerging issues, and enter the new year with the confidence of being fully up to date on the latest asylum law standards and developments.
To secure your spot on the course, visit here