Applications & appeals


For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767


The legal definition of a refugee is found in Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention. The definition can be broken down into five conditions, all of which must be met for the person to be considered a refugee:

  • Possession of a fear that is well founded
  • Of treatment that is so bad it amounts to being persecuted
  • For one of five “Convention reasons”: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion
  • Being outside your country of nationality
  • Being unable or unwilling to obtain protection in that country

You can claim asylum if you fear persecution from your own state, or from private individuals, as long as you can demonstrate your state’s level of protection is insufficient.

To speak to one of our solicitors about Asylum applications and appeals, call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

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How do you claim asylum

You may have already claimed asylum at your port of entry, for example at the airport, by simply telling a Border Force official you wish to claim asylum. When claiming asylum at a port of entry, you will usually be asked some questions about your claim; this constitutes something known as a “screening interview”. You may also be given a Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ), a self-completion form in which you outline your reasons for claiming asylum.

If you wish to claim asylum after entering the UK, you must call the Asylum Intake Unit (AIU) of the Home Office, and request an appointment. It is always advisable that you claim asylum at your earliest opportunity; failing to do so may be used against you by the Home Office.

Screening interviews which don’t occur in the port of entry will usually take place at Lunar House, in Croydon. You should attend this interview with evidence of your identity, and your address in the UK. You do not need to take evidence of your claim with you at this stage, although you will be asked basic questions about your case.

After completing your screening interview, you will receive an interview date for your substantive interview. This should be within 6-12 months, so you have plenty of time to begin gathering evidence in support of your claim. At your substantive interview, you will have to answer many questions about your claim. These questions may be confusing, upsetting, and unpleasant. Make sure you are consistent and clear in your responses. You are entitled to ask for breaks, and legal representatives are allowed to attend the interview, but generally, we can’t intervene except to draw attention to a serious misunderstanding between you and the interviewer. You will be given a copy of the interview after it is completed.

All evidence should be provided to the Home Office within five working days of completing your substantive interview. A decision should be made on your claim within 12 months, but this is far from guaranteed.

If your claim is accepted, you will generally be granted two and a half or five years’ refugee status, and you will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit, confirming your status, and right to work.

If your claim is refused, you will be given a right of appeal against this decision, unless you have previously made an asylum claim which has been refused. Your appeal will be heard by a Judge of the Immigration Tribunal. If your appeal is dismissed, you may be able to appeal to the Upper Tribunal, but only if the Judge has made an error of law – disagreeing with the decision is unfortunately not enough.

If your appeal is dismissed, and you are unable to appeal to the Upper Tribunal, then your only option is to submit a fresh claim. As the name suggests, you must submit material which is significantly different from what has previously been considered. This can be a new claim altogether, should one exist, or additional evidence of the same claim, which, when considered alongside the material you previously submitted, creates a realistic prospect of success.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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Appealing a refused claim

If your asylum claim fails, and is refused by the Home Office, you should be granted the right to appeal the decision to the independent Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal. You must make sure that your appeal is lodged within the given deadline (usually 14 days). If you try to lodge your appeal late, you will need a good reason of the tribunal might reject the appeal.

Once your appeal is lodged, you will receive you appeal number and some initial directions (like instructions) from the tribunal. Usually, the Home Office is required to provide a full bundle of all the evidence they looked at when they refused your claim. Once they have done this, or if they fail to do this, you will need to provide a bundle of any new evidence you want the tribunal to look at.

In practice, it makes sense to put everything in your bundle – the evidence you sent to the Home Office AND any new evidence you have – because the Home Office bundles are often not appropriate.

It may take more than six months before your appeal is heard by the tribunal but that time passes quickly and you should use it to gain extra evidence to support your claim. You can use the Home Office refusal decision as a guide. For example, if they thought evidence was missing, get it. If they wanted to see evidence from a particular person, get them to provide a statement. And if they thought something needed explaining, explain it.

The hearing will be before an independent judge. They will have read the evidence before the hearing but they will also listen to the evidence presented at the hearing, including those involving witnesses.

Normally, the Home Office sends a representative known as a presenting officer (PO) to the hearing. The PO will ask you a lot of questions and they will then explain to the judge why the appeal should not succeed (i.e. why the judge should agree with the Home Office’s refusal decision). After the PO has had a turn, you can then talk to the judge, or instruct one your expert solicitor who will explain why your appeal should succeed.

Our expert solicitors have many years of experiencing preparing and presenting appeals. We are frequently told by judges that they enjoy our appeals because they know, just by seeing Latitude Law, that the evidence will be clear and well presented.

How we can help

At Latitude Law, we can assist you at every stage of the asylum process. Whether you have not yet claimed asylum, or you have unsuccessfully navigated the entire process and wish to submit a fresh claim, we are here to help you. Our lawyers are thoroughly experienced when it comes to providing legal advice to those seeking asylum in the UK, as well as those who are hoping to overturn Home Office decisions on appeal.

Our in-depth knowledge of refugee and human rights law allows us to provide a comprehensive assessment of your chances of success in light of current legislation, case law, and Home Office policy.

Our refugee and human rights law solicitors regularly advise clients on:

  • Applying for asylum
  • Human rights law
  • Obtaining refugee or humanitarian protection
  • Obtaining the right for your family to join you in the UK
  • Challenging Home Office decisions
  • Appealing to the Immigration Tribunal

Contact us below.

"Joel Reiss understands our requirements and answered all my questions. He provides detailed written advice, including with advice on how to move forward and what would be the consequences of each option. He gives comprehensive advice."

Chambers & Partners 2024

Why choose Latitude Law?

Asylum claims are often difficult to evidence. You may have fled war or persecution with nothing and certainly not with documents neatly evidencing the dangers you face. You may have left everything and everyone behind with no way of getting documents from your home country.

Here at Latitude Law we will work with you to provide what you can and explain what you cannot provide. An asylum claim is deeply personal and we make sure that your story is the centre of any claim. We take detailed witness statements from you and anyone who might be able to support your case. Your statement is your story to the Home Office, or a Tribunal Judge, and we make sure that it is clear and compelling – explaining exactly why you need asylum.

With years of experience we understand the difficulties faced by those claiming asylum but we also have the knowledge to suggest evidence from unlikely sources or unconsidered areas or people.

Ultimately, we will work with you to make your application as strong as possible so that you know you have submitted everything possible to the Home Office or Tribunal for their consideration.

We understand how challenging it can be to navigate the process of applying for asylum in the UK. That is why our team of experienced solicitors, who have many years of experience in immigration law, will do everything they can to help your asylum application be successful.

We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of your asylum application so you can start your successful journey to safety in the UK today.

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Contact us

As the requirements for applying for asylum are complex, to ensure success, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about your individual requirements and ensure that your supporting documentation is compliant with the very latest immigration rules.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.

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For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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