Asylum Law

The United Kingdom has ratified the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and has transformed its provisions into domestic law. The true international meaning of the provisions have been interpreted by the senior courts in the United Kingdom on several occasions. 

Under the immigration rules, substantially amended in 2007 to implement the EU Council Directive on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status (2005/85/EC), an asylum applicant is a person who makes a request to be recognised as a refugee under the Convention on the basis that it would be contrary to the UK’s obligations to remove or require the person to leave the UK or otherwise makes a request for international protection.

The claim will need to be determined in accordance with the law and it will be determined whether the following criteria are met:

(a) has arrived or is in the UK (although there is a discretion outside the rules for Entry Clearance Officers to accept an application for entry clearance to come to the UK as a refugee which would only be exercised where the applicant has a primae facie claim, has close family ties to the UK and the UK is the most appropriate country);

(b) is a refugee as defined in the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006;
(c) is not a danger to the security of the UK; and

(d) refusal would result in refoulement contrary to the Convention.


A person who has claimed asylum cannot be removed from the UK until she is given notice of the Secretary of State’s decision on the claim and while any appeal is pending.

Asylum law is complex and a person claiming asylum may well be eligible for legal aid. It is highly likely that it will NOT be appropriate to use the direct access service provided through this site.

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