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Asylum Claims

Asylum is a protection given by a country to individuals who have fled their country of origin for fear of being persecuted is known as Asylum. However for an individual to be identified as a refugee he must have fled his country of origin and cannot return due to a justifiable fear of persecution; this is established under the United Nations Convention of 1951, which relates to the Status of Refugees.

The commitment of the United Kingdom to the European Convention on Human Rights makes it necessary that the British authorities do not send individuals to a country where there is a possibility of them being exposed to inhuman treatments such as torture, punishment etc. on their return.

In a situation where by the asylum seeker does not meet the requirements to be granted Asylum, the applicant may be allowed to reside in the UK on a temporary permission to remain on the basis that the Secretary of State has perceived humanitarian or other reasons as to why the Home Office should reconsider the situation.

An Asylum applicant in accordance with the Immigration Rules is an individual who:

  • Has requested recognition as a refugee under the Geneva Convention on the condition that if required to be remove from or leave the UK, it will be a violation of the obligation held by the UK under the Geneva Convention. Or;
  • Has made an “application for Asylum” requesting international protection.

Meanwhile every individual is permitted to apply for Asylum in their own interest.

Criteria For Grant Of Asylum

For an individual to be granted Asylum, the Secretary of State has to be satisfied on some issues in accordance to the Immigration Rules. These issues are:

  • That the individual is present in the United Kingdom or has arrived at any official port of entry
  • That the individual is a refugee as identified in the regulation 2 of the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulation 2006.
  • That there is no real reason to consider the individual as a threat to the Security of the UK.
  • That the individual having been convicted of a severe offence, does not constitute danger to the United Kingdom community
  • That by refusing the individual’s application, he would be demanded to leave the UK immediately or when he has elapse his leave to remain; which would be a violation of the Geneva Convention because the individual will face threats on account of nationality, political affiliation, race, religion etc. on his return to the country.

An individual might have a justifiable fear for persecution and harm on the basis of the occurrences that had happened since the individual’s departure from the country of origin, and/or on the other hand, the activities that the individual has been engaged in since the departure from the country of origin, especially if these activities aids in the continued arraignment and incarcerations as well as orientation occurring in the country of origin.

Unaccompanied Children

Children without the company of legal guardians may apply for asylum if there is a possibility they will face endangerment; their cases are treated as priority and with serious concern by the Home Office. In spite of the fact that it is stated in the Immigration Rules that any individuals of any age may be qualified for being granted asylum as contained under the Convention, that the rules applies equally to all applicants . The maturity of the individual is considered whilst assessing the claim of the individual; but in the case of the minors, priority is placed on factual evidence of risk rather than the child’s mental state and perception of his situation. If an asylum application is made on behalf of the minor, The Home Office is obliged to always pay close attention to the well-being of the child instead of making a decision based on the child’s age, his ability to understand his situation or his capability to have a justifiable fear of persecution.

Any Minor over the age of 12, who has as a result of his own claims formally requested for Asylum, he/she is scheduled for an Interview by the Home Office Immigration Officer so as to obtain the validity of the claim. Only in circumstances where the child is unable or is in poor condition to be interviewed is the child not interviewed. The interview is conducted in the presence of parent, guardian or another adult person independent of the Secretary of State who is responsible for the child. There is always a great tendency that the child during the course of the interview might feel shy or frightened which makes it necessary that the interviewer be a professional in handling such issues, the child will however be allowed to express himself in the way he feels most comfortable and at the time he wishes to. The interviewer is therefore bound to stop the interview if the child shows sign of exhaustion or distress.

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Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

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