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A Guide On Claiming Asylum In The UK as Iranian Asylum Seeker

Those fleeing Iran due to conflict and the political situation may seek asylum in the UK. Iranian asylum seekers look to the UK in current times, but it is a complex process. Yet, the secure immigration system in the UK looks to aid Iranian asylum seekers in obtaining a successful asylum claim.

If you are looking to claim asylum in the UK as someone fleeing Iran, obtaining legal representation can help with your claim. Here at Total Law, we are experts in asylum applications and can help ensure your claim is successful. Give us a call today at 0333 305 9375 to get started.

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    Claiming Asylum In The UK As Iranian Refugee: Is It Possible?

    Claiming asylum in the UK as an Iranian asylum seeker is possible. Recently, up to 20,000 Iraqi and Iranian asylum seekers had their claims put on the fast-track scheme earlier in 2023. This was done by the Home Office to clear a backlog of claims.

    It is said that if a positive decision on a claim can be made based on available evidence, then an interview may not be required; however, failure to comply with the immigration process would result in a withdrawn claim.

    There is no direct route for asylum in the UK for Iranians, although refugee resettlement and family reunion options are available if the applicant already has refugee status or relatives with refugee status in the UK.

    Otherwise, Iranian asylum seekers need to apply for asylum upon entry into the UK. That being said, it is possible that Iranian applicants may not have to wait for a decision for as long as previously due to the fast-track scheme in place to speed up decisions for Iranian claimants, introduced in May 2023.

    However, this is only available for those who lodged claims before June 2022. Those who lodged claims at this time were informed by May 2023 that they could fill out a form for fast-tracking. This is an invitation to do a shorter and more focused interview. The documents need to be filled out in English.

    However, recent political developments may see the clearing of this backlog end up fruitless, as more claims for asylum seekers from Iran flood into the UK due to the many who face persecution and remain concerned for their safety in Iran.

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    The Eligibility & Requirements For Asylum Claims In The UK As An Iranian

    Overview

    In the UK, there are no specific routes for Iranian asylum seekers UK. While the UK does have special routes for Ukrainians, Hong Kong nationals, and Afghans, there is no specific route for Iranians at the time of writing.

    This means that Iranians who wish to seek asylum in the UK have no specific routes they can take and must instead apply for asylum through the primary route, which still has a high number of outstanding claims awaiting decision.

    To stay in the UK as a refugee, applicants need to show that they are unable to live safely in any part of their own country because they fear prosecution there. This persecution could be for one of many reasons, such as:

    • Race.
    • Religion.
    • Nationality.
    • Political Opinion.
    • Any additional factors that could put an individual at risk due to the cultural, social, political, or religious situation in their home country, including gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity,

    The applicant will only be eligible for asylum in the UK if they have failed to obtain protection from the authorities in their own country.

    A claim may not be considered in some cases; this includes instances where the individual fits one of the following:

    • The individual is from an EU country.
    • The individual travelled through a ‘third safe country’ to get to the UK.
    • The individual has a connection to a safe third country where they would be able to claim asylum.

    Technically, a safe third country fits the following criteria:

    • The applicant is not a citizen of this country.
    • The applicant would not be harmed in this country.
    • The country would not send the applicant to another country where they may be harmed.

    Required Documentation

    To complete an asylum application, the individual applying will need to provide documents for themselves and their dependents at their asylum screening interview. The applicant should make sure to bring the following documents if they have them:

    • Passports and additional travel documents.
    • ID documents, such as identity cards, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and school records.
    • Any additional documentation that could aid with the application process

    An individual already present in the UK on another visa type may become eligible for asylum during their current stay. If this is the case, they should apply for asylum as soon as they are eligible.

    Those who are already in the UK will need to provide documents that prove their address in the UK. There will be different documents required depending on whether the individual is living in their accommodation or if they are staying with someone else.

    Documents For Those Living In Their Accommodation

    Those who have their accommodation in the UK will need to show documents that contain the individual’s full name and UK address. Such documents could include:

    • Bank statements.
    • House benefit books.
    • Tenancy agreements.
    • Council tax notice.
    • Household bills.

    Documents For Those Staying With Someone Else

    Those who are staying with someone else will need to provide documentation that can prove that they have permission to do so and prove the person’s address and identity. Such documents may include the following:

    • A recent letter, no older than three months, from the person with whom the applicant is staying confirms that they have permission to stay with them.
    • Documents that show the full name and address of the individual that the applicant is staying with. Such documents could include a council tax notice, a household bill, or a tenancy agreement.

    How To Apply For An Asylum In The UK: The Process

    Overview

    To register an asylum claim, the applicant will need to attend a screening interview. This is a type of interview conducted with an immigration officer. At this interview, the applicant tells the immigration officer about their case.

    Should the applicant claim asylum as soon as they arrive in the UK, this interview will be conducted at the UK border. However, if the applicant is already in the UK and they become eligible for asylum, they can be screened later on, once they become eligible.

    At a screening interview, the applicant will:

    • Have their photograph taken (biometrics).
    • Have their fingerprints taken (biometrics).
    • Have an interview with the immigration officer to check who the applicant is and where they are from.

    During this stage of the process, the applicant should expect to answer questions regarding why they want to claim asylum. The applicant can bring written evidence with them to this screening to support their asylum claim if they wish. Any additional documentation should also be provided, which can give their case a boost.

    Those who have their screening interview at the UK border will need to tell a border force officer that they wish to claim asylum in the UK. After this, they will have their application registered, and they will be screened.

    However, those who are already in the UK when they claim asylum must call up the asylum intake unit. They will call back and ask simple questions regarding the applicant and their family. However, the applicant will not be asked why they are claiming asylum during this phone call. The applicant may be asked if they need assistance with housing at this time.

    Those who have nowhere to live do not need to make an appointment. Instead, they should call up the asylum intake unit to find out what registration location they should attend.

    Those who have dependents with them will need to inform the asylum intake unit if any dependents need to be present at any time during the registration for asylum, such as for a welfare interview.

    After The Screening Interview

    After the screening process, applicants need to wait for the UK Home Office to review their case and make a decision. At this time, applicants can expect to be sent an asylum registration card unless they have been detained.

    It is also possible that the applicant will begin receiving questionnaires. Those who receive an asylum questionnaire should fill it out\ and return it by the designated deadline. Alternatively, it is also possible to be asked to attend a face-to-face interview; this is also known as being substantively interviewed and usually occurs when more information is needed to make a decision, such as in more complex cases.

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      The Typical Time It Takes To Get Results On Your Claim

      Asylum claims in the UK can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. With an asylum backlog, UK databases struggle to keep up with the number of asylum cases in the country.

      While the UK government is trying to clear this backlog, some asylum seekers can be waiting for a decision for over a year, and some find themselves spending years living in asylum accommodation while they wait for a decision.

      Those who need focused interviews or subsequent interviews for a decision to be made on their case can find themselves waiting longer. This is why the UK Home Office is trying to conduct targeted or shorter interviews to aid in the clearing of the backlog.

      Those who may be undergoing criminality checks can expect their asylum case to take longer due to necessary investigations.

      Asylum Denied: What Happens Next?

      It is only possible to apply for asylum within the UK while in the country. However, your application may be denied for one of many reasons. If the application is rejected and you are refused protection, the applicant can appeal against the decision.

      When seeking to appeal, it is best to seek out legal representation for the best chance of success.

      There is a relatively short time frame allowed for appeals; generally, appeals should be made within two weeks; however, a deadline for submitting an appeal should be noted on the rejection letter.

      It is possible to submit an appeal after the deadline, but it will be necessary to provide a reasonable explanation for not submitting it in time.

      The first stage of an appeal is to interact with the first-tier tribunal; at this stage, it is necessary to provide the relevant documentation. At this point, the applicant can ask for a simple review or to have a hearing that their lawyer can attend. The first-tier tribunal may still schedule a hearing even in cases where it was asked otherwise.

      When the appeal is heard at the first-tier tribunal, the application can be approved or the appeal can be refused. If it is refused, then the original decision is active. Otherwise, the appeal is allowed, and the process could continue.

      Note that a positive decision from the first-tier tribunal will not guarantee asylum in the UK, but it is a step closer to being granted asylum.

      If the first-tier tribunal gives a negative decision, there is still a chance, as the applicant can appeal to the Upper Tribunal, which is the last option to obtain a positive decision.

      If the decision is negative, the applicant will need to leave the country. The UK will not force failed applicants back to their home countries; however, it will be requested that they leave the UK.

      Asylum Is Granted: What Happens Next?

      If the application is successful, the applicant will be considered a refugee. Asylum support will end four weeks after the positive decision is made. Those who are granted refugee status or humanitarian protection can get homeless help from the council, work in the UK, apply for benefits, and rent accommodation from a private landlord.

      The individual will also obtain a residence permit, which is a BRP (biometric residence permit) and proves that the individual can claim benefits and apply for help with housing.

      Those who were living in asylum accommodation will be requested to move, and at this stage, they can ask their local council for assistance as soon as they receive the decision from the Home Office.

      Some individuals can get emergency housing if they are homeless when they have to leave asylum housing. Those who are eligible are those who fit the following criteria:

      • Individuals with children living with them.
      • Pregnant women.
      • Those at risk of domestic abuse.
      • Those under 21 years of age were looked after by social services at the age of 16 or 17.

      Trust In Our Total Law Immigration Solicitors

      There have been many historic asylum cases in the UK, and many reports are being made on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as attempts are made for further safeguards in UK immigration and speeding up asylum interviews. However, there are many Iranian cases still waiting for a decision, and many spend months waiting to discover if they will obtain refugee status.

      Ensuring your case is prepared with relevant documentation in advance can prevent any further delays in your decision. This is why you should seek out the assistance of legal representation for your case.

      Here at Total Law, we can help you. We provide many services to aid in many case types for asylum seekers, including:

      • Asylum applications and appeals.
      • Detained casework.
      • Bail (SoS applications, tribunals, and renewals).
      • Fresh claims.
      • Permission to Work Applications.
      • Travel documents.
      • BRP issues.
      • Family reunion applications and appeals.
      • Applications for permission to appeal at the first-tier tribunal and upper tribunal.
      • Errors in law preparation and hearing.

      If you are an Iranian asylum seeker claiming asylum in the UK, contact us today at 0333 305 9375 to get assistance with your claim as soon as possible.

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