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Asylum And Humanitarian Protection


You can apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee.

To stay in the UK as a refugee you must be unable to live safely in any part of your own country because you fear persecution there because of:

  • your race
  • your religion
  • your nationality
  • your political opinion
  • anything else that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political situation in your country, for example, your gender, gender identity or sexual orientation


You must been unable or, due to your fear and circumstances, unwilling to get protection from authorities in your own country.

Your claim for asylum might not be considered if you:

  • are from an EU country
  • have a connection with another country you can claim asylum in, for example if you’ve claimed asylum in an EU country before arriving in the UK
  • there are reasonable grounds for regarding you as a danger to the security of the UK


Family members of asylum seekers

Family members such as your partner and your children under 18 can be includes as as ‘dependants’ in your application if they are with you in the UK.

These family members can also make their own applications for asylum and these claims will be treated independently.

Humanitarian Protection

HP is designed to provide international protection where it is needed, to individuals who do not qualify for protection under the Refugee Convention.

It covers situations where someone may be at risk of serious harm if they return to their country of origin but they are not recognised as refugees because the risk is not of persecution for a reason covered by the Refugee Convention.

Serious harm is defined as consisting of:

  • the death penalty or execution;
  • unlawful killing;
  • torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of a person in the country of return; or
  • serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict.

If your claim for asylum or humanitarian protection is successful, you will be granted permission to remain for five years.

Family reunion

Once you have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection, the Secretary of State for the Home Department provides a family reunification programme that allows you to bring your family to the UK.

Your partner or child can apply to join or stay with you in the UK if:

  • you were separated when you were forced to leave your country to claim asylum in the UK
  • you have been granted asylum or 5 years’ humanitarian protection but are not yet a British citizen.

If their application is successful, your family members will be allowed to come to or stay in the UK on the same basis as you as you.


Your partner must be someone with whom you remain in a genuine relationship with and are either married to or in a civil partnership with.

If you are not married or in civil partnership your partner can apply if:

  • you were given refugee status or humanitarian protection on or after 9 October 2006
  • you lived together in a relationship like in a marriage or civil partnership for 2 years and have  been given asylum or humanitarian protection after 9 October 2006


You and your partner must intend to live together and continue your relationship after they apply.


Children applying for family reunion must:

  • be under the age of 18
  • intend to live with you
  • going to be supported by you without using public funds
  • not married or in a civil partnership
  • not in full-time employment

Fresh Claims for Asylum

If your initial claim for asylum was unsuccessful, and you have exhausted your appeal rights, you may submit a second claim for asylum in what is known as a “fresh claim”.

The submissions will only be considered a fresh claim if they significantly different from material previously considered. Significantly different content is identified as:

  • material that has not been considered before; and
  • material which, taken together with previous materials, has a realistic prospect of success notwithstanding its rejection.

Fresh claims generally have a lower success rate on average and it is important that you instruct a qualified solicitor before submitting a claim to the Secretary of State.

Contact Us

At Descartes Solicitors our experienced lawyers can assist you whether you are making an initial or fresh application for asylum, humanitarian protection or family reunion or whether you have been refused and wish to exercise a right of appeal.

Descartes Solicitors can provide trustworthy advice on any new evidence and prepare detailed representations in order to increase your chances of success.

For further information please contact us on 0208 995 3556 or on 0844 556 9901. You can also email us at email us at