If you are at risk of persecution in your country and are unable to return because of this risk, you may be recognised as a refugee and be given permission to remain in the UK. If this applies to you, you should claim asylum.

Your right to protection is based on the 1951 Refugee Convention which is also part of UK law. The UK authorities must protect you from ‘refoulement’: your forcible return to a country where you are at risk of persecution.

What are the main eligibility requirements for asylum or refugee protection?

In order to be recognised as a refugee you must:

  • Be outside your country of origin, or if you are stateless, the country in which you usually live;
  • Have a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or your membership of a particular social group that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious, or political situation in your country (for example, your gender, gender identity, sexual orientation);
  • Be unable or unwilling to get protection from the authorities in your country;
    Have no part of your country where you are able to live in safety that you can reasonably be expected to go.

Before assessing whether the criteria above are met, the UK authorities will consider whether they are responsible for examining your claim. They may find that they are not responsible if:

  • There is another country which you can go to which has already recognised you as a refugee or given you protection against ‘refoulement’;
  • There is another safe country which you can go to and ask for protection, where it would be reasonable for you to go to due to a previous connection there. For example, if you have previously claimed asylum in another EU country, or have family members living there.

What else do I need to know about asylum or refugee protection?

If you do not qualify as a refugee, but there is a real risk that you would be killed or suffer serious harm if you had to go back to your country, you may be granted humanitarian protection.

If you are recognised as a refugee or granted humanitarian protection, you will be issued with a residence permit valid for five years, which is renewable. If your partner or children under the age of 18 applied at the same time as you as your dependants, they will also be issued a residence permit. After five years, this residence permit may be renewed, or alternatively, you can apply for settlement.

You will have the same rights to work, education, healthcare, and benefits as a settled person. In addition, you can apply for a travel document, which you are able to use if you want to travel abroad.

How our immigration barristers can help

Our immigration barristers have extensive experience of preparing and submitting high-quality asylum applications and providing expert legal representation at appeals against decisions of the Home Office to refuse to grant asylum. We have assisted individuals from throughout the world to seek and obtain international protection in the UK.

Our barristers are able to guide you through the complex procedures to claim asylum, advise you on evidence, conduct country-specific research and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of your claim. We understand that this can be a difficult and stressful experience. We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs.

rTo discuss your Asylum situation with one of our immigration solicitors, contact our asylum visa lawyers on 07810 447971 or complete our enquiry form below.