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8 Claiming Asylum

Download Claiming Asylum (PDF File, 193kb)

1. Introduction

2. Who qualifies for asylum?

3. How do I apply for asylum?

4. What happens when I apply?

5. What can I live on while I am waiting?

6. What happens while I´m waiting?

7. Where can I get help with my claim?

8. What will be the outcome of my claim?

9. What if my claim is refused?

If your asylum application is refused, you will almost always be able to appeal against the decision. But if you want to make an appeal, you need to get advice very quickly.

You must fill in and return your notice of appeal within 10 working days of the decision (less than this if you are in detention).You must also give any reasons that you or a family member may have for being allowed to stay in the UK (for example, if it would breach your human rights if you were made to leave).

You will be able to get publicly funded legal help during the appeal process if you:

  • have no money to pay for advice; and
  • have a reasonable chance of winning your case.

The Refugee Legal Centre or the Immigration Advisory Service may also be able to help with your appeal, free of charge if you meet these conditions. Their details are on the appeal notice, see 'Further help'. The appeals process may take longer than the initial decision and there may be more than one appeal.

'One-stop' appeals
If you have any other reason why you or any member of your family should be permitted to stay here, you need to mention these at the same time as you ask for asylum. One of the most common reasons is that it will be against your human rights if you are removed (see 'Human rights claims'). But if you have any other claim, for example for medical treatment, or for other family reasons, you must explain this as well. Your appeal hearing will look at all your circumstances, and if you do not refer to something at the time it will be difficult to raise it later.

10. What happens if my appeals fail?

11. Further help

12. About this leaflet

The leaflets in this series give you an outline of your legal rights. They are not a complete guide to the law and are not intended to be a guide to how the law will apply to you or any specific situation. The leaflets are regularly updated but the law and the way the government deals with asylum seekers often change, so information may be incorrect or out of date. If you have a problem, you will need to get more information or personal advice to work out the best way to solve it. See 'Further help' for sources of information and advice.

This leaflet was written in association with the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and Mick Chatwin, a barrister and solicitor specialising in immigration law.

Leaflet version: February 2008

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