LGBT asylum seekers: a toxic mix of homophobia, misogyny and ignorance corrupts the asylum system

The treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans asylum seekers has been notoriously poor for many years. In 2010, my organisation, the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, exposed that 98-99% of gay and lesbian asylum seekers had been refused asylum and told to go back, often to violently homophobic countries like Iran and Uganda, […]

The Heart of the Matter: Assessing Credibility when Children Apply for Asylum in the European Union

Anyone working with child asylum seekers — lawyers, civil servants, judges — should read UNHCR’s new publication The Heart of the Matter: Assessing Credibility when Children Apply for Asylum in the European Union. It came out a couple of weeks ago but looking for it just now to update the Free Movement course on representing children, I […]

New restrictions on Syrian travellers to prevent asylum claims

UPDATED. Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 1116 restricts Syrians with transit visas travelling to the UK from travelling through the UK and forces them to apply for a UK visa. The refusal rates for such visas have steadily increased during the conflict and now stand at 60%. This is done to prevent […]

Backdating welfare benefits payments to those recognised as refugees in the UK

In Blakesley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA Civ 141 the Court of Appeal considered whether the UK Government is in breach of its international obligations towards refugees because of the lack of any provision to make back-payments of welfare benefits to those asylum seekers who, upon inquiry, are found to […]

Changes to asylum process and procedure

The circumstances in which an asylum claim may be treated as abandoned by an applicant have been extended with effect from 27 February 2015. Statement of Changes HC 1025 has inserted new wording into paragraph 333C of the Immigration Rules so that it provides: An application may be treated as impliedly withdrawn if an applicant […]