Home / Asylum

Asylum

If you have come to the UK and you are unable to return to your country for fear of persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or because you are a member of particular social group you may be able to seek Asylum. We are particularly experienced in Asylum claims on the basis on sexuality.

What do I need to do to apply for asylum in the UK?

In order to claim asylum successfully in the United Kingdom we have to demonstrate that you have a well-founded fear of persecution. We must prove that you are a person who, 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 his country of nationality and is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.

Get in touch for expert advice

How will the case will be prepared?

In order to prove this, when preparing your application, Danielle will take a full statement from you to enable you to explain in full your circumstances and the reasons for your fear, she will compile a comprehensive bundle of evidence in support of your claim, including reports from experts in your country of origin and she will offer her advice and assistance throughout the asylum application process. When you claim asylum, you will first have to attend a screening interview, which will be followed a few months afterwards by a substantive interview. Both of these take place at the Home Office and one of the members of Danielle’s team of immigration solicitor will help you to prepare for both of these interviews and accompany you to them on the day.

Claiming Asylum and the Asylum Application Process

In order to claim asylum successfully in the United Kingdom we have to demonstrate that you have a well-founded fear of persecution.

The definition of refugee for the purpose of the Refugee Convention is contained in article 1(A)2 as applied by the 1967 protocol.  The Refugee is a person who, 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 his country of nationality and is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.

The Fear

A genuine fear of persecution must be behind the asylum seekers absence from his country of residence or nationality.  This is referred to as the subjective element of the definition.  The use of the term fear was intended to emphasize the forward-looking nature of the test and not to grant refugee status in an assessment of the refugee claimant’s state of mind.  The refugee does not have to have left the country because of such fear, since a person can become a refugee by reason of events after their departure as explained above. There is no reason why the fear should not arise from the refugee’s activities abroad, even if carried out in bad faith although a claim based exclusively on such acts will be scrutinized with some skepticism as self-serving and lacking in credibility.  The qualification directive acknowledges that the need for protection may arise as a result of events occurring after the applicant left the country of origin and that such events may include the applicant’s own activities. However, the qualification directive permits refugee status to be withheld where the applicant has deliberately created the risk of persecution exampled by deliberately bringing himself to the hostility of his authorities.

The fear must still exist at the date of the determination and therefore historic fear will not be sufficient to grant refugee status.  Historic fear may be relevant in providing evidence to establish present fear it is the existence or otherwise of the present fear which is the determinative.
The fear of persecution must not only exist but must be well founded.  It was held that well-foundedness was an objective test, to be asserted independently of the appellant’s state of mind.  Persecutions will always be of great significance.  Persecution of an individual may be contrasted with the past generalised occurrence of violence in an area which has been diminished by Government measures to prevent abuse.   The burden of establishing a well-founded fear is on the applicant.

For the fear to be well-founded, the question is whether there is a real and substantial risk or a reasonable degree of likelihood of persecution for the Refugee Convention reason. It is clear that showing a real likelihood of persecution is a lesser standard than proving the persecution will occur on the balance of probabilities.

The general Human Rights background of the country in question is important in assessing the objective foundation of the fear.  For that reason, I suggested that we obtain a report from Dr peter Verney and ask him to assess the credibility of your account and given an account of the current state in Sudan in respect of people such as yourself and in general.

Credibility

The issue of credibility is one which needs to be addressed seriously as the Home Office might make adverse credibility findings.  The question of how far a refugee should voluntarily refrain from exercising fundamental human rights to avoid persecution was revisited in some of the cases and it was held that this approach undermined the object of the Convention if the countries required claimants to modify their belief or opinion or to hide their race, nationality or membership of a particular social group before those countries will give them protection under the Convention.

Unable or Unwilling to avail himself of the Protection

The failure of state protection is at the heart of Refugee law. The refugee definition treats those with nationality and those who are stateless differently. To qualify as a refugee the former must be unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the country.  The later unable or unwilling to return to their country of habitual residence.  The mere possession of a valid national passport from a country where persecution is feared is not evidence that the person continues to seek protection from that country and is therefore no bar to refugee status.

The principal concern of refugee law is the provision of international protection to persons unable to receive protection from their own country. A purely localised risk will generally be insufficient to make someone a refugee.  International protection is not needed if the person can obtain protection by moving elsewhere in his own country.  Internal flight or internal relocation to another part of the country can sometimes not be reasonable or safe and it is not necessary to prove that persecution for a Convention reason extended to the whole of the country.  The qualification directives allow member states to refuse asylum if there is a part of the country of origin where there is no well-founded fear of persecution or real risk of suffering serious harm.  These considerations are reflected in the Immigration Rules.

Persecution

Get in touch for expert advice

The Refugee Convention does not define persecution and although the term, like the entire Refugee definition, has an autonomous meaning there is no universally accepted definition.  In the influential case of Gashi the Tribunal accepted the UNHCR’s analysis of persecution, which drew heavily on Professor Hathaway’s definition in relation to three categories of human rights.  Breaches of human rights such as a right to life and prohibition against torture cruel inhumane or degrading treatment will always be persecution.  Violation of rights whose limited derogation or curtailment by state could be justified only in terms of public emergency such as freedom from arbitrary arrest and freedom of expression will be persecution if unjustified.  The denial of rights reflecting goals for social economic or cultural development such as the right to livelihood could amount to persecution if it was systematic and discriminatory.

For Reasons

The definition of refugee requires consideration of the reasons for persecution.  It is not enough to face persecution; it must be connected to one of the reasons assigned by the Refugee Convention.  Generally, convention reasons require membership on the part of the refugee’s particular social group.  The issue of causation raises difficult questions should the proper focus of attention be on the fear of the applicant or the motives of the persecutor.  Persecutory conduct may have more than one motive and it is established that so long as one motive is a Convention ground the requirement is satisfied.  It is not necessary that the Convention ground is the sole reason for the fear.  The causation question must be considered principally on the particular facts of the individual case rather than on a group basis.

The Asylum Process in the UK

We draw your attention to the Home Office web https://www.gov.uk/claim-asylum which describes who may be granted asylum in the UK and how their asylum application is processed.

When you go to the screening asylum interview you should bring your passport and any other document that can support your application, documentary evidence about your accommodation which includes Bank statements and utility bills.  You must provide four unseparated passport sized photographs and print your name and date of birth on the back to each photograph.

Testimonials

Get in touch with us to
Book a Free Consultation

 

Parker Law Firm is a niche firm of specialist Immigration Law and Human Rights solicitors situated in the heart of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.

Address

28 King Street
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire CB1 1AH

E: [email protected]

Contact

T: 01223 755622

F: 01223 755623

E: [email protected]