Asylum myths

There are lots of myths out there about asylum and refugees. Here are some of our posts dealing with common misconceptions.

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UK asylum policy posts

Collection of our posts on UK asylum and refugee policy

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Refugee law starter pack

Just getting started on refugee law and issues? Here are some of our explainer blog posts.

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Man in immigration detention for 45 months loses judicial review

Taskiran v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2679 (Admin) is a sad case. A web of domestic immigration law and international agreements have resulted in Mr Taskiran undergoing almost four years of immigration detention, which the court found legal. Mr Taskiran was brought to the United Kingdom from Turkey aged 13. In March 1994 his family, including his refugee father, were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, Mr Taskiran became addicted to crack cocaine. This seems to have fuelled a long history of offending: between August 1994 and January 2014, he had 27 convictions for 54 offences. In January 2014 he was convicted of rape and sexual...

7th November 2017 By Paul Erdunast

Could Catalan separatists qualify for refugee status in the UK?

Carles Puigdemont, erstwhile President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, fled Spain to Belgium this week following his parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence for Catalonia. Several of his ministers followed him into exile. A European Arrest Warrant will soon be issued seeking their extradition back to Spain to face criminal charges. Meanwhile, eight other Catalan ministers who stood their ground were detained yesterday by Spain’s high court and face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for their roles in the independence referendum, which was illegal under Spanish law. Other senior Catalan politicians face similar charges but their cases are complicated by parliamentary immunity. Puigdemont and his ministers breached Spanish...

3rd November 2017 By Colin Yeo

Host state handles the asylum claim if Dublin III transfer takes too long

Majid Shiri, an Iranian national, arrived in Austria through Bulgaria in 2015. He made an asylum claim in Bulgaria in February of that year but claimed asylum in Austria the following month. The Austrian authorities asked Bulgaria to take Mr Shiri back under the Dublin III Regulation, which ‘take back request’ Bulgaria accepted. In July the Austrian authorities decided his removal to Bulgaria was lawful, a decision then annulled “on account of Mr Shiri’s vulnerability owing to his state of health”. This decision was reinstated in September. By then, Mr Shiri was in a position to argue that Austra had become the member state responsible for examining his asylum application because...

1st November 2017 By Paul Erdunast

Guest post: barriers to migrants accessing public services

Getting to the UK and applying for the right to stay is only the start of the battle, writes trainee housing solicitor John Murphy. Newcomers to the UK, whether they have immigration status or not, face formidable obstacles in accessing services such as housing or social security. This is a look at some common scenarios and how foreign nationals and their advisers deal with them. They are based on real client cases. Scenario one: the single male refugee Soon after getting refugee status, he will receive a letter telling him his National Asylum Support Service support is about to stop. He can try to rent in the private sector but he...

30th October 2017 By John Murphy

Court of Appeal: private religious belief does not risk persecution

The difficulty of presenting asylum claims based on religion is well known. Such claims raise difficult evidential problems, which are addressed in this detailed post by Colin Yeo. But AS (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 1539 seems to pose a novel difficulty: should a claim by a person who would exercise their religion in utter privacy be accepted? Factual background and First-tier Tribunal decision The appellant is an Iranian national. She had made a previous asylum claim in the UK on the basis of her political activities, but was refused and removed to Iran in 2009. In 2012, she returned and shortly afterwards made a...

23rd October 2017 By Thomas Beamont

Guest post: citizenship for sale – at a cost stateless people can ill afford

Stateless people in the UK face enormous hurdles in the road to becoming British citizens. One of those barriers is the extraordinarily high cost of acquiring British citizenship, writes Asylum Aid’s Cynthia Orchard. The UK government has taken some steps to ensure its approach to statelessness complies with international law. In many respects, British nationality law complies with the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Further, the UK introduced a statelessness determination procedure in 2013, which was an important step towards achieving compliance with the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. There is, however, considerable room for improvement in the UK’s treatment of stateless persons. This...

5th October 2017 By Cynthia Orchard