UK asylum policy after Brexit - UK in a changing Europe (2023)

Since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the EU’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS) no longer applies to the UK. The government has now introduced its Nationality and Borders Bill to reform the UK’s asylum system.

This explainer sets out the UK’s pre-Brexit asylum system and what was (or was not) agreed in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. It then looks at what the UK government has proposed as its post-Brexit asylum policy plan and whether it is workable given the overall lack of EU support.

What was the UK asylum system before Brexit?

Until the end of the transition period, the UK was part of the EU’s ‘Dublin system’ – the EU arrangement for deciding which member state is responsible for the examination of an asylum application.

The Dublin III Regulation is the third iteration of EU law establishing the criteria and mechanisms for this allocation of responsibility. It applies to all EU member states and non-EU states that have agreed to the Schengen Area rules.

The criteria for establishing responsibility are, in order of importance: family considerations, recent possession of a visa or residence permit in a member state, and whether the asylum seeker has entered the EU regularly or irregularly.

The core principle underpinning the Dublin system is that responsibility for processing an asylum application lies with the member state most involved in the individual’s entry to the EU. This is usually the member state of first entry as the most frequently applied criteria is irregular entry: this criterion requires that the member state where an asylum seeker first entered the EU holds responsibility for processing their claim.

To help determine the country in which an asylum seeker first arrived, the European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database (EURODAC) – the EU-wide asylum fingerprint database – is used by participating states to cross-check fingerprints taken from asylum seekers.

Family reunion and the protection of unaccompanied minors are the main reasons why responsibility may not be allocated to the country of first entry.

Asylum policy – and migration more broadly – in the EU is a shared competence. When the UK was a member state, it retained control over elements of its asylum policy.

While the UK opted into the Dublin III Regulation and EURODAC, it opted out of the Family Reunification Directive which establishes the rules under which non-EU nationals can bring family members to join them in a member state.

Rather, the UK introduced further restrictions on Third Country Nationals (TCNs) before they could apply for family reunification.

While a member state, the UK opted out of the Emergency Relocation Mechanism (ERM) set up in response to the 2015 refugee crisis to shift pressure off Italy and Greece, the countries of first entry for most asylum seekers arriving in the EU. However, the UK announced it would contribute £1 billion in aid to Syria and take in 20,000 refugees from 2015 to 2020.

UK asylum policy after Brexit - UK in a changing Europe (1)

Did the UK agree anything on asylum in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement?

(Video) EU Deal After Brexit - Refugees and Asylum seekers

No agreement was reached on asylum policy in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and EU.

As a result, at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the Dublin III Regulation, EURODAC and all other elements of the CEAS ceased to apply to the UK.

During the negotiations, the UK government was clear that it did not want to remain part of Dublin III as a third party. Initially, the UK was interested in maintaining access to EURODAC but eventually stopped pursuing this.

The government proposed two draft agreements to the EU on certain elements of the Regulation: one on the transfer of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and the other on irregular migrant returns. The EU rejected both of these proposals arguing that it was ‘not in the EU mandate’ for TCA negotiations.

The EU did not propose alternative draft agreements on post-Brexit asylum cooperation. As a result, no agreements were adopted.

“The EU did not propose alternative draft agreements on post-Brexit asylum cooperation. As a result, no agreements were adopted.”

A Joint Political Declaration on Asylum and Returns, published on 31 December 2020, noted the ‘importance of good management of migratory flows’ and the UK’s intention to have ‘bilateral discussions’.

How does Brexit affect what the UK government can do with asylum policy?

There are some things that will not change. Given the UK’s non-participation in the Schengen Area before Brexit, the country already received lower numbers of asylum seekers than some other EU member states.

Both EU citizens and third-country nationals had to show travel documentation to enter the UK before Brexit. Given this ‘gate-keeping’ position, the UK’s specific geographical location, and the Dublin Regulation’s system whereby the first country of entry is responsible for considering an asylum application, it was already difficult for asylum seekers to apply for refugee status in the UK.

In 2016, the UK ranked tenth in the EU for absolute numbers of asylum seekers, rising to ninth in 2017.

The UK remains a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees and its 1967 Protocol. The Convention’s key principle of non-refoulement – that a refugee should not be expelled or returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom, now considered part of customary international law – remains applicable to the UK.

This means that the UK has the duty to verify that third countries receiving asylum seekers from the UK respect human rights. These obligations would therefore apply in any bilateral discussions the UK has with third countries.

However, as the UK is no longer party to Dublin III or EURODAC, there is great uncertainty about the UK’s handling of asylum seekers arriving in the country. There are currently no formal agreements between the UK and the EU or individual EU member states to determine responsibility for examining an asylum request.

Dublin III also provided rules on family reunion which are no longer applicable in the UK. As a result, it is harder for asylum seekers wishing to join family members in the UK to do so.

(Video) Research Insight: Migration After Brexit

As of 1 January, UK Immigration Rules changed: family reunion is possible only if the relative living in the UK has refugee- or subsidiary protection status, and unaccompanied minors can only reunite with parents.

UK asylum policy after Brexit - UK in a changing Europe (2)

What is the UK government’s proposed asylum policy plan?

On 6 July, the Nationality and Borders Bill was introduced to Parliament, the next step in the UK government’s ‘New Plan for Immigration’. The Bill passed its Second Reading on 20 July, with 366 MPs supporting it and 265 opposing.

The proposed legislation would introduce a two-tier asylum system for asylum seekers; Clause 10 of the Bill provides for ‘differential treatment of refugees’ based on whether they arrive legally or illegally into the UK.

Clause 10(5) sets out some of the areas where asylum seekers could be treated differently as a result, such as: the length of leave given, requirements for indefinite leave to remain, and whether leave to enter or remain is given to their family members.

A new ‘temporary protection status’ is set out which would allow failed asylum seekers to stay in the UK for 30 months with less generous entitlements and limited family reunion rights (Clause 11).

This comes as no surprise: the government’s ‘New Plan for Immigration’ announced in March 2021 set out this two-pronged strategy for treatment of asylum seekers arriving by ‘safe and legal routes’ and ‘illegal’ routes.

For those asylum seekers arriving legally, the government intends to provide indefinite leave to remain on arrival for resettled refugees – a shift from previous rules under which refugees received five years’ leave to remain on arrival.

Already, to claim asylum in the UK, a person must be in the UK as there is no asylum visa and it is not permitted to apply from outside the country. Hence, an individual would have to enter the UK either for another purpose (e.g. tourism, study) or illegally.

The Bill sets out provisions to pave the way for the use of offshore centres in asylum claims processing. Clause 12 states ‘an asylum application must be made in person at a designated place’. What is classified as a ‘designated place’ is left relatively open in the Bill: it includes ‘a place to which the claimant has been directed by the Secretary of State or an immigration officer’.

Under the Bill, asylum claims made by EU nationals (Clause 13) or those who have a connection to a ‘safe third country’ (Clause 14) would be inadmissible. This is not a totally new development.

UK Immigration Rules already allow an inadmissibility decision to be taken on the basis of a person’s earlier presence or passage through a ‘safe third country’. The ‘New Plan for Immigration’ also set out the government’s plan to introduce a ‘rebuttal presumption’ for the return of asylum seekers to all European Economic Area (EEA) states and other designated safe countries.

Clause 26 of the Bill provides for the removal of asylum seekers from the UK to safe third countries while their asylum claim or appeal is pending.

This follows the UK government’s intention, set out in their ‘New Plan for Immigration’, to secure returns agreements in order to ‘return inadmissible asylum seekers to the safe country of most recent embarkation’ or to ‘alternative safe third countries’.

(Video) Britain's immigration landscape is already changing | CNBC Reports

The Bill would create a new criminal offence of arrival in the UK ‘without a valid entry clearance’ (Clause 37). It is already a criminal offence to enter the UK illegally, however asylum seekers are not seen as having entered the UK until they disembark and pass through any immigration control.

The broadening of this offence from entry to include arrival would mean that asylum seekers could also be prosecuted for arrival on UK territorial waters before they have technically entered the country.

“The broadening of this offence from entry to include arrival would mean that asylum seekers could also be prosecuted for arrival on UK territorial waters before they have technically entered the country.”

UK asylum policy after Brexit - UK in a changing Europe (3)

Clause 38 of the Nationality and Borders Bill introduces two reforms to the Immigration Act’s provisions on those helping asylum-seekers enter the UK. Those assisting people across the English Channel could face life imprisonment, an increase from the current maximum sentence of 14 years.

The Bill also removes the words ‘and for gain’ from the Immigration Act’s section on helping asylum-seekers.

This means that charities like the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) could technically be charged with this offence. However, the Home Office has said this would not apply to organisations helping those in distress.

The UK Border Force would see its legal powers increase under Clause 41 and Schedule 5 of the Bill allowing it to ‘stop, board, divert and detain’ vessels on UK territorial waters.

Under these provisions, Border Force agents would be permitted to redirect vessels in the English Channel and the individuals on board them to France. However, permission from the French authorities would be required for that to occur.

The Nationality and Borders Bill also makes provisions (Clause 59) for the Home Secretary to impose visa penalties on countries that do not cooperate in the returns of their nationals who have had asylum claims rejected.

These penalties could include delayed processing of visa applications, temporary suspension of processing visa applications and/or additional financial requirements.

The ‘New Plan for Immigration’ also includes a commitment to ensure resettlement schemes are ‘responsive’ to international crises. However, no timetable or target number has been set out in the plan for resettlement schemes.

UK asylum policy after Brexit - UK in a changing Europe (4)

Can the UK government deliver its asylum policy without EU cooperation?

In the ‘New Plan for Immigration’, the UK government admitted its plans for the return of inadmissible asylum seekers are ‘contingent on securing returns agreements’ with safe third countries. Without such agreements, Home Office removals would not be facilitated by third countries meaning removals occurring would be on dubious legal grounds.

(Video) What does Brexit mean for asylum-seekers in the UK?

It is looking highly unlikely that the UK will secure bilateral returns agreements with its EU member state neighbours.

Countries including France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands have said they will not agree to bilateral returns deals with the UK. Previously, when part of the Dublin system the UK was party to its returns mechanism through which asylum seekers who travelled to the UK from other Dublin countries could be returned to them.

Without replacement returns agreements, UK removals of asylum seekers will not be facilitated by their EU member state neighbours.

On 20 July, the UK and France released a joint statement on the next phase in their cooperation to manage small boat crossings on the English Channel, setting out a new funding agreement in which the UK will contribute €62.7 million (£54.1 million) towards France’s border enforcement and technology capabilities.

The statement included an announcement that ‘the UK and France support the idea of a UK-EU re-admission agreement’. However, such an agreement would have to be to ‘mutual advantage’.

Furthermore, as noted by Professor Steve Peers, a UK-EU readmission agreement would not be ‘solely up to France’ on the EU side and the joint statement makes no mention of a bilateral UK-France readmission treaty.

On 9 July, it was announced that the UK has secured an agreement with the non-EU country Albania for the return of asylum seekers and Albanian criminals.

This is a significant agreement as Albanians make up a significant percentage of asylum applications and foreign national offenders (FNOs) in the UK. Albanians make up the largest number of FNOs held in UK prisons, at 16% of the total FNO prison population.

Similarly, the second largest number of asylum applications in the UK in the last two years has come from Albanian nationals, following the largest number of applications from Iranian nationals.

However, even with this UK-Albania removals agreement, there remains very little to facilitate the removals element of the UK’s post-Brexit asylum system.

A number of former civil servants have said that the critical lack of EU bilateral asylum deals means the ‘New Plan for Immigration’ will see an increased number of asylum seekers who are undocumented and increase delays in the asylum system.

Separate to removals agreements, the UK has opened talks with Denmark on the possibility of sharing an offshore processing centre in Rwanda. This comes after Denmark passed legislation in June allowing it to relocate asylum seekers offshore for processing.

UK asylum policy after Brexit - UK in a changing Europe (5)

However, Denmark’s willingness cannot be taken as a sign that talks on offshore processing could occur with the rest of the EU.

Rather, the European Commission has raised concerns around Denmark’s new law, stating offshore processing raised ‘fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection’.

(Video) What is the UK government's Rwanda asylum plan? - BBC News

The UK government has been domestically implementing other elements of its asylum plans. UK government data released in late May shows a quarter of asylum seekers who arrived in the UK from January to March 2021 have been informed their asylum claims will not be considered on ‘inadmissibility’ grounds.

Amnesty International UK raised concerns that this was ‘reckless and impractical… adding to the mountain of existing backlogs’.

BySarah Overton, researcher at UK in a Changing Europe.


What are the new asylum seekers Rules 2022 UK? ›

The 2022 Act and Part 11 of the Immigration Rules contains the legal framework within which a person granted refugee status in the UK will be provided with permission to stay. A recipient of refugee status will either be granted refugee permission to stay or temporary refugee permission to stay.

How has Brexit affected asylum seekers? ›

The data suggests that Brexit is making it easier for small boat crossings to reach the UK. This is likely due to the Dublin Agreement no longer being in effect, meaning that asylum seekers who make it to the UK can no longer be repatriated to other European countries.

What happens to asylum seekers in the UK after Brexit? ›

The UK government may refuse to consider asylum claims made after 1 January 2021 if they believe you “could enjoy sufficient protection in a safe third country” if you travelled through other countries on your way to the UK. Read the section below to find out more about these new “inadmissibility” rules.

Can UK asylum seekers travel in Europe? ›

However, since Brexit was finalized, visa-free travel for refugees who hold a Convention travel document issued by the UK is no longer valid. Currently, member states of the EU have individual freedom in deciding whether they allow visa travel for holders of a UK refugee travel document.

Can asylum seekers work in the UK 2022? ›

Asylum seekers or failed asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of an asylum claim or further submission cannot work as an employee or a worker, even for a voluntary organisation, unless they have been granted permission to work under Paragraph 360 or 360C of the Immigration Rules.

How long can an asylum seeker stay in the UK? ›

Grant of asylum as a refugee

If you are granted asylum in the UK you are recognised as a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention and are allowed to remain in the UK for 5 years (limited leave to remain).

What country in Europe accepted the most asylum seekers? ›

In 2021, Germany received over a quarter (30%) of asylum applications in the EU, followed by: France (19.1%) Spain (10.4%) Italy (8.4%)
Number of applications per EU country (2021)
Number of applications in 202138,615 38,615 38,615
Number of applications in 2021190,545 190,545 190,545
51 more rows
30 Aug 2022

What does Brexit mean for asylum seekers? ›

The UK's departure from the European Union's refugee framework will essentially strip the country of its ability to return asylum-seekers across the Channel. EU countries have agreed that anyone seeking a safe haven within the bloc must do so where they first arrive.

Can UK deport EU citizens? ›

Deportation. If you have Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status in the UK (or are eligible to apply), you could still be at risk of deportation from the UK if you are convicted of committing a criminal offence.

Can you go back to your country after asylum UK? ›

You may also be able to obtain a Certificate to Travel if you can show that you have formally and unreasonably been refused a national passport by your home country. Most often, your Certificate of Travel will allow you to travel around the world, with the exception of your home country.

Can asylum seeker switch to Work Permit UK? ›

The current position is that, generally, asylum seekers are not allowed to work. They can only apply for permission to work if: they have waited over 12 months for an initial decision on their asylum claim or for a response to a further submission for asylum; and.

Can asylum seekers get citizenship UK? ›

After five years of Refugee Status, you can apply for ILR, and after a year of ILR you can apply for British citizenship.

Can a refugee move to another EU country? ›

If you have refugee or subsidiary protection status, you can move freely within the Schengen area and stay for up to 90 days. If you wish to live in another country in the Schengen area (or another part of the EEA), you have to make an application for residence to that country's embassy before traveling there.

Can I go to Italy with UK Refugee Travel Document? ›

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Italy.

Can I travel to Europe with UK settlement visa? ›

The UK will stop accepting nationality identity cards for entry to the UK for EU citizens after 1st October 2021, with some exceptions. These exceptions include having settled or pre-settled status, in which case you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.

How much money do asylum seekers get in UK? ›

Cash support

You'll get £40.85 for each person in your household. This will help you pay for things you need like food, clothing and toiletries. Your allowance will be loaded onto a debit card (ASPEN card) each week. You'll be able to use the card to get cash from a cash machine.

Can asylum seekers get sponsorship UK? ›

Community Sponsorship provides a safe and legal route for refugees to come to the UK. It is a practical way for local people to help resettling vulnerable refugee families. Community Sponsorship is a way for people to increase the number of refugees who can find safety in their local area.

What jobs can asylum seekers do in UK? ›

Most jobs on the shortage occupation list are specialised (like civil engineers, architects, or classical ballet dancers). However, in 2021 and 2022 the list was expanded to include positions like nursing (and nursing assistants), and care work.

Do asylum seekers get free housing in the UK? ›

When someone gets refugee status, they can no longer stay in asylum accommodation. They can choose where to live, but they have to pay for their rent or ask for government help – like any UK citizen.

How long does asylum decision take UK? ›

You'll usually get a decision on your application within 6 months. You can get up to 2 years in prison or have to leave the UK if you give false information on your application.

How long do asylum seekers wait for a decision UK? ›

“The backlog of asylum seekers waiting more than six months for a decision to be made on their case has trebled [this means that it has increased 3 times as much] since Priti Patel took over as Home Secretary in 2019. While the pandemic might have made the issue harder to remedy, the trend began long before it began…

Which country is best for asylum? ›

Best countries for asylum seekers
  • The countries with the most favorable conditions are Germany, Finland, UK, Canada, and the USA;
  • Slightly less engaging circumstances in Sweden, France, Switzerland, and Norway;
30 Jul 2022

Which UK city has the most asylum seekers? ›

While Glasgow has taken the biggest share (3,311), cities such as Manchester, Bolton, and Rochdale - belonging to the poorest 25 percent of local authorities - are shouldering the financial burden the most.

Where do most UK asylum seekers come from? ›

In 2021, the top five most common countries of nationality of people who applied for asylum in the UK were Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Albania and Syria. Table 2 shows the fifteen most common countries of nationality of people (main applicants and dependants) who applied for asylum in the UK in 2021.

What is the difference between asylum seekers and refugees UK? ›

The definition of an asylum seeker is someone who has arrived in a country and asked for asylum. Until they receive a decision as to whether or not they are a refugee, they are known as an asylum seeker. In the UK, this means they do not have the same rights as a refugee or a British citizen would.

Why are asylum seekers not allowed to work in UK? ›

Most asylum applicants are not allowed to work while we consider their application. This is because entering the country for economic reasons is not the same as seeking asylum, and it is important to keep the two separate.

Is it hard to get asylum in UK? ›

76% The UK asylum system is strictly controlled and complex. It is very difficult for people seeking asylum to provide the evidence required to be granted protection. Despite these challenges, the majority of asylum claims are successful.

How long can EU citizen stay in UK without settled status? ›

In most cases you can stay for up to 6 months. You may participate in a wide range of activities including business-related activities such as meetings, events and conferences. You may enter the UK multiple times during that period but you may not live in the UK by means of frequent or successive visits.

What happens to UK citizens in Europe after Brexit? ›

The Withdrawal Agreement guarantees British citizens (who are lawfully resident in EU member states) broadly the same rights as they have now. They can continue to live, work and travel (although these rights would cease after a leave of absence of more than five years).

How will Brexit affect EU citizens in UK? ›

Before Brexit, free movement rules gave EU citizens the right to live and work in the UK without requiring permission. From 1 January 2020, free movement ended and EU citizens migrating to the UK are subject to more restrictive immigration rules, which are the same as those facing citizens from non-EU countries.

Can an asylum seeker change status? ›

To apply for adjustment of status, an asylee must prove that she: a) has been physically present in the United States for one year after having been granted asylum; b) remains a “refugee” (i.e. with a “well-founded fear of persecution,” etc.); c) has not been firmly resettled in any foreign country, and; d) is not “ ...

What are the safe routes to claim asylum in the UK? ›

The UK currently operates several safe and legal immigration routes: The UK Resettlement Scheme, Community Sponsorship, and the Mandate Scheme are refugee resettlement programmes.

What happens to asylum seekers when they reach the UK? ›

If their application for asylum is accepted, they are allowed to stay in the UK. If it is rejected, they face being returned to the country they came from, although they can appeal against the decision.

Can asylum seekers work in Europe? ›

Asylum seekers with well-founded claims will be granted the right to work no later than six months after their application is registered. Minors will receive education within two months after their asylum request is lodged.

Can an asylum seeker apply for a skilled work visa? ›

You may question why there is a need for a displaced talent visa if an asylum seeker, with the necessary skills, can apply for a skilled worker visa to be able to work in the UK. Under a skilled worker visa, an applicant can bring their family with them under dependant visas.

Can I work anywhere as an asylum seeker? ›

If you are a refugee or asylee, you have permanent permission to live and work in the United States. Several federal laws protect your right to work regardless of where you live in the United States.

Can asylum seekers get a bank account UK? ›

If you are a refugee (or right to remain in the UK)

To get a UK bank account you will need: A form of ID (passport, biometric residence permit); A proof of address (this could be a recent bill or a letter from the Home Office).

What is the benefit for asylum seekers in UK? ›

What benefits are people seeking asylum entitled to? People seeking asylum are not allowed to claim mainstream welfare benefits in the UK. In most cases, they are also banned from working. They can access support in the form of housing and basic living expenses while in the UK through the Home Office.

Can asylum seekers live with friends UK? ›

Special arrangements for asylum seekers

You can apply direct to a housing association or for private rented accommodation, but in England where immigration checks apply you will not have the 'right to rent' and landlords cannot accept you as a tenant. You can however stay with friends or family.

Can I move from one EU country to another after Brexit? ›

If you were lawfully resident in an EU country before 1 January 2021, your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You continue to have broadly the same rights to live, work, study and access benefits and services as you had before Brexit. Read: EU information about the Withdrawal Agreement.

How does asylum work in Europe? ›

All refugees entering the EU may apply for asylum. They must do this in the country where they enter the EU. Asylum seekers who do not require protection must return to their country of origin or to a safe third country.

How do I ask for asylum in Europe? ›

Under the Procedure Decree, the asylum claim can be made either at the Border Police upon arrival or at the Immigration Office (Ufficio Immigrazione) of the Police (Questura), if the applicant is already on the territory.

Can I travel to Spain with UK Refugee Travel Document? ›

Do I need a visa to travel to Spain if I am a holder of a Refugee Travel Document issued under the 1951 Refugee Convention? Yes. You need to apply for a Schengen Visa or an EEA Family Member Visa (when travelling with an EEA family member or when meeting an EEA family member in the country of destination).

Can I travel to Paris with UK Refugee Travel Document? ›

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website says that you can use it to travel to France, as long as you also have a residence document for the UK.

Can I travel to Canada with UK Refugee Travel Document? ›

No. Most people using a Refugee Travel Document to travel to Canada will need a visitor visa.

Which countries I can travel with UK Refugee travel document? ›

However, this does not mean that you can visit every country as you wish, there are only a handful of countries where you can go visa-free (or at all) with refugee travel documents.
New Zealand Refugee Travel Document Visa Free Countries
  • Germany*
  • Netherlands.
  • Belgium.
  • Croatia.
  • Slovenia.
  • Slovakia.
  • Hungary.
  • Cyprus.

Where can I move to from UK without a visa? ›

  • Belize. Belize's 30-day Temporary Visa makes moving abroad much less stressful. ...
  • Ecuador. If you have a monthly income of £772 or more – and can prove it – then moving to Ecuador will be pretty simple. ...
  • Paraguay. ...
  • Montenegro. ...
  • Singapore. ...
  • Thailand. ...
  • The United Arab Emirates. ...
  • New Zealand.
16 Feb 2022

Can I travel to Europe with settled status? ›

If you have an EEA biometric residence card

If you have pre-settled or settled status, you can still use your EEA biometric residence card to enter the UK until it expires. However, EEA residence cards are being replaced by EU Settlement Scheme residence cards.

How long does it take to get work permit for asylum 2022? ›

Asylum seekers can receive the work permit 180 days after filing their asylum applications. Wait time: The government must make a decision on asylum seekers' initial work permit applications within 30 days.

What benefits can an asylum seeker claim in the UK? ›

You can ask for somewhere to live, a cash allowance or both as an asylum seeker.
  • free prescriptions for medicine.
  • free dental care for your teeth.
  • free eyesight tests.
  • help paying for glasses.

What are the rights of an asylum seeker in the UK? ›

As an asylum applicant in the United Kingdom, you have the right to: be treated fairly and lawfully regardless of your race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or any disability. practise your own religion, and you are expected to show respect for people of other faiths.

What is the law on claiming asylum in UK? ›

You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee. To be eligible, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution. Find out more about who is eligible to claim asylum.

Can you switch from asylum to work visa? ›

So, according to the rules, if an asylum seeker's application is pending for more than a year, he can apply for permission to work. He will be required to present evidence that the delay is not his fault. He must also have attended all the scheduled interviews.

Can asylum seekers get jobs? ›

Working while in the asylum system

This is only allowed if the person has been waiting over 12 months for an initial decision on their claim through no fault of their own, and then only to work in shortage jobs.

What gives you the best chance to get your application for asylum approved? ›

Strategies for Improving Chances of Qualifying for Asylum

You must show that this persecution was (or would be) inflicted on you because of one or more "protected grounds": your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Which countries can claim asylum in UK? ›

In 2021, the top five most common countries of nationality of people who applied for asylum in the UK were Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Albania and Syria. Of all refugees resettled in the UK from January 2010 to December 2021, around 70% were Syrian citizens.

What is the difference between refugee and asylum seeker UK? ›

The definition of an asylum seeker is someone who has arrived in a country and asked for asylum. Until they receive a decision as to whether or not they are a refugee, they are known as an asylum seeker. In the UK, this means they do not have the same rights as a refugee or a British citizen would.

Can asylum seekers get a UK passport? ›

After five years of Refugee Status, you can apply for ILR, and after a year of ILR you can apply for British citizenship.

Who is allowed to claim asylum? ›

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. An asylum-seeker is an individual who has left their country of origin in order to seek asylum in another country.


1. How has Brexit changed trading between the EU and the UK? - BBC News
(BBC News)
2. Europe's shifting immigration policy | DW Documentary
(DW Documentary)
3. How Brexit is changing the EU
(The Economist)
(Visa and Immigration Updates)
5. British Politics after Brexit: Professor Tim Bale
(The UK in a Changing Europe)
6. Battle of Ideas: What will happen to immigration after Brexit?
(The UK in a Changing Europe)
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