Seeking asylum in the UK
If you have left your country and feel that you will not be able to return to your country due to fear of being persecuted, you may be able to claim asylum within the UK. However, in order to apply you must demonstrate that you have a well-founded fear of persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group and that you are unable to seek protection from the authorities within your own country.
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What is the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee?
An asylum seeker is someone who has asked the UK for permission to remain because they fear mistreatment upon return to their home state; a refugee is an individual who has received permission to lawfully remain within the UK.
What is the process of seeking asylum?
Once you initially apply for asylum, you will have a meeting with an immigration officer, known as a ‘screening’, followed by an asylum interview with a Home Office caseworker. At the screening, your photographs and fingerprints will be taken. You will also be required to submit the reasons you wish to claim asylum for. It is at that point that the immigration officer will verify your identity and your origin.
What happens once you have completed the process?
Decisions on asylum applications usually take around 6 months to process. You will not be able to work whilst your application is being considered. However, you will be able to attain some support. This includes providing you with suitable accommodation, cash allowance, healthcare and necessary maternity payment if you are eligible.