According to recent UN data, there are now 80 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide as a result of conflict, violence, or persecution.
Over 26.3 million people are refugees, many of whom flee to other countries for safety, such as Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, and Germany. Around 1% of the entire global population has been welcomed into the UK with open arms. Uk provided a safe and stable home to these courageous individuals and families.
On World Refugee Day (20th June 2021), we’d like to recognize the fortitude and bravery that these refugees and asylum seekers have exhibited in order to flee violence or upheaval in their home countries and build a brighter future for their families. Together, we can honour these people all around the world and ensure that they don’t just survive but also thrive in the United Kingdom.
What you should know about seeking asylum in the UK
Someone who comes to the UK and fears returning is referred to as an asylum seeker. This may be due to persecution, a high risk of persecution, or violence in their own country. They may have experienced violence or human rights abuses.
Seeking refuge is a fundamental and natural human right that is backed by the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and recognized by many nations around the world. To assist these individuals, the British government has established a procedure to help distinguish refugees and asylum seekers from those who do not qualify.
The term ‘asylum seeker’ refers to someone who seeks refuge or protection in a foreign nation but has not yet been recognized as a refugee. A refugee is a person who has been granted this status.
Who can apply?
The applicant must be already in the UK to apply for asylum. They must also fulfill the requirements of a refugee, as defined by the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
This definition is as follows:
“A person who is owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
In other words, the applicants must have departed their nation of origin and be unable to return due to fear of persecution. Note that factors such as gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation are among those considered in the definition of ‘membership of a particular social group or political opinion.’
However, meeting these criteria does not automatically guarantee your asylum status in the UK, especially if there appear to be no longer any grounds for fleeing. UK Immigration Law is quite stringent, and each case is handled on an individual basis.
Even if you are not granted asylum, humanitarian protection may be given to you if you qualify.
How to apply
When you arrive in the United Kingdom, you should inform the border official that you are afraid of returning home and want to apply for asylum. They will conduct a screening interview to see if you are eligible to claim asylum. This generally takes place immediately, albeit it can take up to five days in rare cases.
If you arrived in the UK and didn’t apply for asylum, you must phone the Home Office at 0300 123 4193 to make an appointment with the Asylum Screening Unit. They will call you back and ask you a few straightforward questions about yourself and your family. Your appointment is likely to take place one to two weeks after you contact them.
If you want to claim asylum in the UK, you must bring all of the necessary paperwork with you to your appointment, including proof of identification and any other papers that back up your claim. Any dependents or other family members who will be included in your asylum application should also attend the meeting.
At the interview, you’ll be fingerprinted and photographed, and you’ll be required to provide information regarding your claim.
You’ll be invited for follow-up interviews to confirm your words, and, if suitable, you will be granted asylum.
You should hear back within six months. If successful, you will be given refugee status and will be allowed to stay in the UK for five years. At the end of that time, if you have not left or been removed, you can apply for permanent residency.