In a situation where you want to move to the UK for safety reasons away from your country of origin, there’s a need to seek asylum. Whatever the legal reasons that make you a refugee, having an approved asylum status gives you international protection within the borders of the UK.
What makes you Eligible for Asylum?
The first requirement is that your country is not safe for you to live and the authorities of your country cannot give you the needed protection. This may be as a result of your race or nationality. It could also be because your political, social, or cultural view is not in line with your country’s norms. A good example of this may be persecution as a result of your sexual orientation.
It is advisable to make an asylum claim immediately on your entry into the UK to show how serious the situation is. Waiting for too long in the UK before you apply creates an impression that your situation is not as serious as you claim and you might be denied asylum. You are required to visit the office with some necessary documents for yourself as well as for your dependents (spouse and kids below 18 years) when called for screening.
The documents to be required includes your passport and other travel papers, police registration certificates, means of identification, and anything else that you think would be relevant for your asylum application.
It is mandatory to also visit with your UK accommodation documents. If you are staying alone, you may go with one or all of the following as long as it shows your full name and apartment address: Your bank statement, tenancy agreement, council tax notice, housing benefit book, or a household bill.
In case you are staying with someone, you will also need to tender a letter (not older than 3 months) to confirm that the person has permitted you to stay.
What Happens After your Screening?
Your application would be reviewed by the Home Office for consideration. An asylum registration card (ARC) would be sent to your UK address. The ARC shows who you are and your work permits. It also shows that you have made an asylum application and gives you access to health and educational services. An appointment letter could be sent to you instead with further instructions to follow if there has been a delay in getting your ARC.
Once the home department decides that your case is worth considering, you will be assigned a caseworker. If not, you may be directed to a third country for asylum consideration. A third country is generally referred to as one that is not your nationality; you are safe in it and won’t send you to a country where you are at risk of harm.
After being directed to a caseworker, you are scheduled for an interview where you will get more details about the asylum process, and decisions about your asylum application. There may be a need to frequently attend reporting meetings with your ARC till a final decision is made.
Failure to do this can get you detained. On detainment, you are only released if your application has been approved and you are permitted to stay in the UK. Or till your application has been declined and you are to be removed from the country.
Reasons Why your Claim May not be Approved
Your asylum claim may not be approved if you got into the UK directly from a third country or the UK government believes that you have connections with a third country where you could seek asylum and be safe there. Your claim may also not be considered if you are a citizen of an EU country.
How the UK makes its Asylum Approval Decision
This is done by the careful examination of the pieces of evidence that have been gathered in the course of the registration process. Evidence could be deduced from official observations about the applicant’s method, mode, and place of entry. Observations could also be made about the applicant’s first interaction with the home office and responses at the screening interviews.
The documents provided are also treated as physical evidence. Deductions could also be made from biometrics records if you have visited a safe country on your way to the UK or not. If your home officer detects you are lying, your application could be refused on a credibility basis.
Apart from getting your documents ready, try to make local contacts in the new area you intend to move to. There are volunteers and community centres that are willing to help and give you relevant advice, reach out to them. The support of people around you can help ease the asylum approval process.