If you want to stay in the UK as a refugee, you must apply for asylum. To be eligible, you must have left your country and be unable to return because you have a well-founded fear of persecution.

You should apply for asylum when you arrive in the UK or as soon as you believe it is unsafe for you to return to your own country. Your application is more likely to be denied if you wait, so it is important to make preparations as soon as you can.

After you apply for asylum, you’ll have a meeting with an immigration officer (this is known as a ‘screening’) and then an asylum interview with a caseworker. Most claims for asylum get a response within 6 months.




In order to stay in the UK as a refugee, you must be unable to live safely in any region of your own country because you fear persecution there. If you are stateless, your ‘own country’ is classed as the country you usually live in. For asylum claims, the persecution must be due to:

  • Your race
  • Your religion
  • Your nationality
  • Your political opinion
  • Anything else that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political situation in your country, for example, your gender, gender identity or sexual orientation


For most claims, you are expected to have failed to get protection from authorities in your own country, and officials not consider your claim if you:

  • Are from an EU country
  • Have a connection with another country you can claim asylum in, for example if you’ve claimed asylum in an EU country before arriving in the UK

Family members

You can include your partner and children under 18 as ‘dependants’ in your asylum application if they’re with you in the UK. If your children and partner make their own applications at the same time, they will not be treated as your dependants.

For further advice and assistance, call us on 01706 711 176 and our immigration specialists will be more than happy to help.