Who is an asylum seeker and refugee?
An asylum seeker is someone who has entered the UK to claim asylum and has registered with the UK Border Agency.
A refugee is someone who has had their claim accepted and are allowed to remain in the country, to be recognised a refugee must be unable to return to their native country due to a fear of persecution due to:
· Political belief
· Membership of a particular social group
Refugees are entitled to the same rights and support as other legal residents, including the right to work. Most refugees most re-apply to remain in the country after 3-5 years.
The UK has a legal obligation to protect refugees as a signatory of the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
How to claim asylum
The UK Border Agency has full details of how to claim asylum, the website explains
· Who can claim asylum
· The asylum process
· The applicants rights and responsibilities
· Services and support available to asylum seekers
· The different possible outcomes of application.
Useful websites for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
The Home Office UK Border Agency, Asylum section ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/asylum/.
Asylum Aid, offers free legal advice over the phone www.asylumaid.org.uk.
Bail for Immigration Detainees, challenges immigration detention www.biduk.org.
Home Office, Immigration and Asylum statistics www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html
Home Office UK Border Agency, Complaints procedures www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/contact/contactspage/complaints
International Crisis Group, information regarding the prevention and resolution of conflict www.crisisgroup.org
National Association of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, providing support to people facing deportation www.ncadc.org.uk/.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman , to make a complaint about UK government department and their agencies www.ombudsman.org.uk
Refugee Action, London homepage http://www.refugee-action.org.uk/london/default.aspx
The Refugee Council, refugee and asylum seeker support www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/
Refugee week, events celebrating the contribution of refugees to the UK http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk/