Asylum and Refugees

There is a great deal of legislation and regulations which set up the complicated system of dealing with asylum seekers and refugees. A refugee is defined by the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 (CSR) as someone who, being outside his or her own country, has a ‘well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion’.

How do you qualify under the CSR?
The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate that he or she qualifies for protection under the CSR. In principle, the applicant needs only to establish that there is a reasonable likelihood that he or she will encounter persecution if he or she is returned to his or her home country.

How do you further your application?
Applicants for asylum who are already in the UK must now attend Immigration Nationality Department offices in person in order to have their applications recorded. Those claiming asylum while still in the transit area at a port, will be processed there.

Filling in a Statement of Evidence Form
All applicants are required to complete a Statement of Evidence Form. This statement will be issued at the point of application. This must be returned complete within 14 days of receipt. Failure to return the form in time may lead to an application being refused for non-compliance.

An interview with Immigration
An interview with an Immigration Officer should follow and attendance is mandatory. This is generally limited to requests for elaboration and/or clarification of matters in the Statement.

Appealing the decision
If the Home Office decides to refuse the application, the applicant has 10 working days to submit grounds of appeal.

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