Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

Can a Refusal of My Asylum be Appealed?

Date: (28 September 2011)    |    

Total Comments: (0)    |    Add Comments

Duncan Lewis:Applications for asylum are made under the guidance and direction of an individual case worker who liaises with the applicant through the course of the process. Should it turn out that the application is unsuccessful, this case worker will tell the applicant whether he or she has a right to make an appeal against the decision and, if so, how this is to be done. A firm of immigration and asylum solicitors will usually become involved. Additionally, the case worker can, in some instances, deem it appropriate that the unsuccessful applicant nevertheless remain in the UK on humanitarian grounds.

Of the many thousands of asylum applications each year, typically about 17 per cent are granted, with an additional ten per cent of the applicants allowed to remain in the UK on various grounds; the remainder are refused. Most applications for asylum are therefore unsuccessful.

After an application for asylum has been refused, the case worker will let the applicant know whether they have a right to appeal against the decision and, if this is the case, the applicant will be provided with the relevant forms and told the time limits for completing them. If the failed applicant is still in receipt of any support benefits after the application was refused, these will still be provided whilst the appeal is ongoing. If the time limit for appealing passes without an appeal being made, the benefits will cease.

There are several grounds for appealing against a refused application for asylum. These include the decision having been made not in accordance with immigration law or rules; any breaches of human rights involved in the decision; and any form of racial discrimination. It is also possible for a failed applicant who has been allowed to remain in the UK for 12 months to make an appeal against the original decision to refuse full asylum.

Failed applicants who are appealing against the decision do not necessarily remain in the UK whilst they make their appeal. Where there was actually no realistic basis from the start for claiming asylum, the applicant is usually returned home to their native country to launch their appeal from there.

Appeals that are perfectly valid and might have resulted in a successful outcome can nevertheless fail because they missed the deadline for completion. Ten working days is usually the time limit for the completion of appeal forms in the UK.

Immigration advisers registered with the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) should be approached for legal advice by failed asylum seekers who have the right to appeal. The Immigration Advisory Service will also provide expert legal advice which may be free, depending on the applicant’s circumstances. Appeal forms have to be completed in English, and the available grounds can be discussed by the applicant with their legal advisor; for example, a solicitor from Duncan Lewis.

All appeals are made to the AIT (Asylum and Immigration Tribunal), an independent body, and members of the Tribunal make decisions about appeals at different locations around the country. If the AIT’s decision goes against them, applicants can sometimes appeal against this too.

After the AIT receives the appeal it takes about six weeks for a final decision to be reached. If asylum is granted, the case worker will help the applicant to settle in the UK; if asylum is not granted, the applicant must leave the country, preferably voluntarily rather than waiting to be deported.