The Asylum Process

The Asylum process is complex, and it is essential that young people get specialist legal advice.  Coram Children's Legal Centre have produced a guidance document that you can download here.  An asylum process flowchart is also available to view here.

Outcomes of the Asylum process

  • Refugee Status: valid for 5 years. Following which the young person can apply for indefinite leave to remain. Short of British Citizenship this is the most secure form of legal status for young people.
  • Humanitarian Protection: this is granted if the Home Office do not accept that the child meets the criteria of the Refugee Convention. It is granted if their individual circumstances mean that it is too dangerous to return them back to their country of origin. It is valid for five years following which they can apply for indefinite leave to remain. At the present time, very few young people are granted this type of leave to remain.
  • UASC Leave: this is granted for 30 months or until the young person is 17.5 years old, whichever is shorter. It is important to note that UASC leave is a refusal of asylum and is a weaker form of protection; this is coverered in the UASC Leave Coram factsheet download.
  • Discretionary Leave – granted where there are exceptional circumstances or compelling reasons, such as if the child is a victim of trafficking.
  • Section 67 leave: this is only available to those transferred from Europe under the Dubs amendment. It is a refusal of refugee status and humanitarian protection. After 5 years the holder can apply to permanently settle in the UK.  Section 67 leave is explained in greater detail below.
  • Calais Leave: Only available to those transferred from Calais to reunite with family during a certain time period. It is a refusal of refugee status and humanitarian protection. It lasts 5 years after which the holder can apply for a further 5 years and then to permanently settle in the UK.

Section 67 leave

Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (known as the ‘Dubs amendment’) placed a requirement on the Secretary of State to ‘make arrangements to relocate to the United Kingdom and support a specified number of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe’. The government has committed to transferring 480 children from France, Greece and Italy under section 67 and over 220 children have been brought to the UK to date.

The new immigration rule creates a form of leave (permission) to remain in the UK. Just like refugee status and humanitarian protection, this new leave would last for five years, and give the holder the  right to study, work, and to access public funds and healthcare. Unlike refugees, young people granted section 67 leave will require three years’ ordinary residence before they are entitled to a student loan. Subject to the normal security, criminality and deception checks, those with section 67 leave will be able to apply to settle in the UK permanently after five years without paying a fee. Children or young people granted section 67 leave get an appeal right as asylum applicants. However, the only way to challenge a refusal to grant section 67 leave is judicial review.

Children for whom the main applicant has parental responsibility will also be granted leave in line with the main applicant for leave. These changes will apply from all decisions made on and after 6 July 2018. If any of the 220 children relocated to the UK under section 67 have already had asylum refusals, please contact the Coram advice line.

We wholeheartedly welcome this development, which will bring much needed stability for those children fleeing conflict, exploitation and abuse. It also implicitly acknowledges that the leave currently granted to all other unaccompanied children not granted refugee status (‘leave as an unaccompanied child’, or ‘UASC leave’) is not an adequate long-term solution for children living in this country.

Appealing the Home Office decision

Young people are able to appeal the Home Office decision and it is important that they are linked in with solicitors who can help them do this. The Home Office has the same rights of appeal as the young person.

Appeal Rights Exhausted

once a young person has gone through the appeal process and the refusal still stands they become ‘Appeal Rights Exhausted’ and will be expected to leave the UK when they reach 18 years old. Appeal Rights Exhausted (ARX) means that they have No Access to Public Funds (NAPF) post 18. In practice this means that the young people are not entitled to education, housing or financial benefits. They are also not allowed to work. However, as care leavers, young people will continue to be supported by Brighton and Hove with housing and living expenses in the same way as any other care leaver or until they are removed from the UK.



Like this site?

Like us on Facebook!



Text Size