The Process of Staying in the UK as a Refugee

There are various requirements when entering another country as a refugee. If you are in the UK as a refugee and you wish to stay in the country, you must apply for asylum.

One of the top requirements to be eligible for asylum is that you cannot go back to your country for fear of persecution or your life is under threat.

You must apply for an asylum visa as soon as you arrive in the UK and you know you cannot return to your country. Applying early will ensure that your application has a bigger chance of approval. If the process is too complex for you, it is better to get professional help in applying for an asylum visa in the UK.

Steps for applying for asylum

There are several steps you must complete before they approve your asylum application.

1. Determining your eligibility

After submitting your application, you will receive a schedule to meet with an immigration officer. This is the screening part of the process. After the screening, the Home Office will decide if you are eligible. If you pass you will have an asylum interview with a caseworker. After the screening, you will be told what you should do while waiting for the decision.

The decision to approve your asylum application will usually take six months.

2. Factors supporting your eligibility

Persecution and threat to your life are circumstances that can qualify you to seek asylum in the UK. The persecution should be under any of these situations:

  • Political opinion
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Political situations such as your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and religious, cultural, and social situations putting you at risk.
  • You cannot get protection from authorities in your home country.

3. Required documents

You and your dependents (spouse/children under 18) should submit several documents for the asylum screening. These include:

  • Travel documents and passports
  • Police registration certificates
  • Identification papers, like school records, marriage certificates, birth certificates, identity cards

4. Other documents that can support your application

If you are already in the UK, show proof of your residence in the UK. It could be a bank statement, household bill, tenancy agreement, council tax notice or housing benefit book that shows your full name and address. If you are staying with someone else, show a letter (not less than three months old) from the person you are staying with confirming their permission to live with them, and documents showing their full name and address.

After the screening, an asylum registration card (ARC) will be sent to your address in the UK. If your case merits consideration, they will assign you a caseworker. You can use the ARC card as a temporary ID.

5. Passing the asylum interview

You and your solicitor can attend the asylum interview. If you pass, you will receive permission (leave to remain) to stay in the UK for five years. After your 5-year stay, you are eligible to apply to settle in the country.

You must check the experience of the immigration solicitor in handling asylum applications. It would mean they will do everything with the boundaries of the law to get your application approved or appeal the decision of the authorities.