Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

How to Claim Asylum

Date: (6 October 2011)    |    

Total Comments: (3)    |    Add Comments

Duncan Lewis:In the UK, claims for asylum are handled by the UK Border Agency. The complexity of asylum law is such that it is essential to secure the services of a firm of immigration solicitors at the earliest opportunity so that they can present your case expertly on your behalf, as otherwise the claim will stand little chance of succeeding. Solicitors such as Duncan Lewis have great expertise in this area and will be able to smooth the Byzantine complexities of asylum law to a large degree and help you understand your options and the ramifications of any decisions you make. The Law Society will have all the contact information to hand.

Be ready to answer a range of probing questions by your solicitor as he or she prepares your case. They will need to know when you arrived in the UK and when you left home; how you came in; why you left; if you are afraid to go back and why, and your family circumstances. They will also need to see any documents you were supplied with by the UK Border Agency, and know about any documents you were told to complete and return, and their deadlines.

From these essential facts your solicitor can start building up your case for claiming asylum. When you obtain your claim form he will help you complete it and will be able to write any formal statements necessary, and assist in many other ways to make your claim as effective as possible.

The crux of the issue when claiming asylum is that you have to prove to officials’ satisfaction that there is a real danger that you will suffer some form of persecution if you return to your home country, and that its government will not protect you. Humanitarian Protection applies to those who feel they would be punished if they returned home. Your solicitor can explain the various types of asylum, and whether you have a strong enough case to proceed.

You should apply for asylum as quickly as you can – perhaps at the point of arrival – or go to the Asylum Screening Unit in Croydon if you are already here. At the screening interview you tell an official the details of why you are claiming asylum and your fingerprints and photograph will be taken. Once this has been done you will get an ARC (Application Registration Card) which is proof that you have made an asylum claim; you will need to prove your identity, and should speak to your solicitor if you cannot do this.

Following the screening interview there may be subsequent interviews that are more in-depth, and a statement of evidence form may need to be completed. This is best done by your solicitor as it needs to be thorough and returned within ten days.

A Case Owner from the Home Office will then handle your claim from that point on, and he or she will sort out appeals and housing and welfare matters as well as helping you settle in the UK if your claim is successful.