- Who is an asylum seeker or refugee
- How to claim asylum
- An “asylum” flowchart
- Asylum and mental health
Who is an asylum seeker or refugee?
An Asylum Seeker is an individual who has entered the UK to claim asylum and has registered this fact with the UK Home Office (UK Visa and Immigration Department). Those who have their asylum claim accepted become a refugee and are given “leave to remain” or they are rejected and required to leave. Other forms of leave to remain include Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave to Remain. See details for how to claim asylum.
A refugee has been give permission to stay in the country by the UK Home office. A refugee is entirtled to the same rights and support as any other foreigner who is a legal resident, including the right to work. Refugees are no longer given Indefinite Leave to remain, and most people allowed to stay in the UK must reapply after 3 or 5 years
To be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you have a well-founded fear of persecution because of your:
- political opinion
- membership of a particular social group
The criteria for the granting of asylum and hence the recognition of a person as a refugee can be found in the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The UK is a signatory to the convention, and thus has a legal obligation to protect refugees
How to Claim Asylum
Full details for claiming asylum can be found on the UK Home Office website. It explains
- who may be given asylum in the United Kingdom
- how applications for asylum are processed
- what an asylum applicant can expect while the application is considered
- what happens after the decision has been made.
You can also read about the Asylum process made simple by Asylum Aid
70% of people do not claim Asylum at the Port of Entry and have to get to Croydon to claim at Lunar House, the Asylum Screening Unit. To be sure of getting in you need to arrive early – before 1pm. They are shut at the weekend. The Home Office does not help people to do this, instead directing the potential Asylum Seekers to organisations like Asylum Link. The attachments below show how to get there from Liverpool.
Asylum and Mental Health
In 2008/2009 we undertook research into the way Asylum Seekers accessed mental health services and some of the issues they encountered. This was done in conjunction with Irish Community Care Merseyside, the Merseyside Chinese Community Development Association, and the University of Central Lancashire.