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 for one or more of the following reasons:

  • race;
  • religion;
  • nationality;
  • political opinion; or
  • membership of a particular social group.

The onus is on you to prove that you have a well-founded fear of persecution, i.e. there is a serious possibility that you will be persecuted if returned to your country of origin. Persecution means a threat to your life or liberty or a violation of your human rights. You must be outside your home country at the time you make the application.

In addition to the above, you have to show the following:

  • You must show future persecution
  • The authorities of your home country are unwilling/unable to protect you
  • It is not possible for you to live elsewhere in your home country

The UK adheres to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prevents us from sending anyone to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.   If you do not qualify for recognition as a refugee but the Home Office believe there are humanitarian reasons why it should let you stay in the UK, you may be given temporary permission to stay here.

The asylum process

Since March 2007, every new asylum application is placed with a single person who will deal with every aspect of it from beginning to end. This person is known as a case owner.  The case owner aims to conclude your application within six months.  The reality is that often the decision process can be a lot longer.

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