Here are some of the questions we often receive from asylum seekers and their advisors. Please click the question to see our answer. Also please contact our Advice Line so that we can give you up-to-date information and advice.
1. I need help claiming asylum, appealing an asylum refusal, or getting other information about immigration or asylum in the UK, can ASAP help me?
ASAP does not give general immigration advice and ASAP is unable to give advice about asylum support to individual asylum seekers. If you need advice about your immigration status please contact a regulated advisor. To find your nearest regulated immigration adviser please click here. If you are an asylum seeker and need advice about your housing or financial support from UKBA you should go to your nearest advice agency and ask an adviser to contact us.
2. I am a failed asylum seeker and I have no place to stay. Can UKBA help me?
Some groups of failed asylum seekers will be entitled to claim asylum support. This is known as Section 4 support and is only available to failed asylum seekers who have either signed up to return voluntarily or are unable to leave the UK through no fault of their own. This may be because they are too ill to travel or have outstanding representations with the Home Office such as a fresh claim for asylum or a Judicial Review. In addition, women in the late stages of pregnancy or who have babies under six weeks old will also qualify for S4 support.
You can get an application form for S4 support from your local One Stop Service. They may also help you with complete the form. If UKBA refuse you Section 4 support you have a right to appeal to the AST.
3. I received a letter from UKBA telling me that I need to leave my accommodation. What can I do?
UKBA can withdraw your accommodation either because you are no longer an asylum seeker (i.e. your claim for asylum and your appeals have been rejected) or because you have breached one of the conditions on which accommodation was provided to you.
If you are no longer an asylum seeker you have no right of appeal against UKBA’s decision to withdraw your accommodation unless UKBA have made a mistake and you can prove you are still an asylum seeker and you will be given 21 days from the date of your final appeal refusal in which to leave your accommodation. If you are unable to leave the UK for some reason you may qualify for Section 4 support. See Factsheet 2 – Section 4 Support.
If you are still an asylum seeker and are being evicted because UKBA say that you have breached one of the conditions you have a right to appeal to the AST. An appeal form should have been included with the letter you received from UKBA. You have five days from the date on the BIA letter in which to make an appeal. If you require advice with filling in the form please contact your local One Stop Service or other advice agencies. If they do not know how to do this, ask them to call the ASAP Advice Line for help.
4. I applied for section 4 support. But UKBA refused it. What should I do now?
Since March 2005 those who applied for S4 support and are refused have a right to appeal to the AST. An appeal form (known as the Notice of Appeal) should have been sent to you along with your refusal letter from UKBA.
You have 5 days from the date that appears on the BIA refusal letter in which to appeal. It is very important to complete every section of the form as the AST will not accept it otherwise. Please remember to include all of your details such as your date of birth and your UKBA reference number. You should also attach a copy of the refusal letter you received from UKBA.
If you need help with completing this form please contact your local One Stop Service or advice agencies. If they need advice about filling in the form or any other issues they can ring the ASAP Advice Line for help.
5. My client has just come to see me with a refusal letter from BIA, but they have missed the deadline. Can my client still appeal to the AST?
The AST will consider a late appeal if they think it is in the interest of justice to do so. If you are submitting an out of time appeal to the AST you will need to enclose a statement explaining why it is late.
Reasons accepted by the AST in the past have included situations where the person needed advice about completing the form but was unable to obtain it on time, where there were health problems which made it difficult to meet the deadline and where the person did not receive a copy of the appeal notice on time. In many cases the AST will consider accepting out-of-time appeals so if you are unsure it is worth sending in the appeal form with a covering letter. Please call the ASAP Advice Line every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 – 4pm on 020 7729 3042.
If the AST does not accept a late appeal you should advise your client to re-apply for asylum support as soon as possible.
6. My client brought me his Notice of Appeal form but I don’t know how to complete it. To whom can I go for help?
ASAP can help you complete the form over the phone via our Advice Line, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 – 4pm on 020 7729 3042.
However if you are unable to contact us you may be able to complete the form yourself with the help of our specially designed factsheet Appealing to the Support Tribunal. This factsheet takes you through all the sections on the form and explains the information you need to provide. There is also a detailed section on what type of information to include in the grounds of appeal.
7. My client has an appeal tomorrow and she is very worried about it. How should I help her?
A few days before the hearing your client will receive a list of instructions from the AST. These are known as directions and will cover the type of evidence your client will be expected to provide during the appeal hearing. In order to help your client prepare for her appeal it is important that you go through each of the directions with her. These directions will be based closely on the reasons UKBA have given for refusing your client’s support.
Your client will also need to gather any evidence requested by the AST. This might include letters from the GP/hospitals, bank statements, letters from any charities that have been providing support, letters from any friends who have been providing support to your client and the reasons they can no longer do so etc.
If you contact our Advice Line, we can also explain to you more fully what happens during the hearing. You can then pass that information to your client so that she feels prepared.