This advice is for non-LGBT refugees who are seeking asylum in the UK. LGBT refugees should see the separate LGBT advice section.The Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF) is unable to take on individual asylum cases – we are a very small organisation, with very limited staffing and resources. While we help asylum seekers get appropriate advice and support, we are not asylum experts or solicitors.The PTF Foundation can point you to people and organisations who can help you file a credible, effective asylum application or appeal.You are mostly likely to win asylum if you prepare a detailed, credible statement to assist your solicitor, MP and asylum campaign groups.
Right to Remain
Formerly known as the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, Right to Remain works with communities, groups and organisations across the UK, providing information, resources, training and assistance to help people to establish their Right to Remain and to challenge injustice in the immigration and asylum system.
Key areas of work of Right to Remain:
- provide information and resources to groups and individuals on working to establish the right to remain and campaigning for migration justice.
- deliver capacity-building training, workshops and meetings with grass-roots groups and networks.
- expose the human impact of unjust immigration laws and policies, and we advocate for positive change.
The Right to Remain website is here: http://righttoremain.org.uk/index.html
Right to Remain do not provide any individual support or advice – but they do provide online self-help and solidarity resources in the form of the Right to Remain Toolkit: www.toolkit.righttoremain.org.uk
Asylum Aid complements the campaigning work of the organisation Rights and Justice. Asylum Aid was established to ensure that specialist legal advice and representation was accessible to individuals seeking asylum in the UK. Their website is: http://www.asylumaid.org.uk/ Asylum Aid provides legal representation for people fleeing persecution. Their email is [email protected]. You can contact their advice line on 0207 354 9264
every Tuesday: 1.00pm-3.00pm, asylum, domestic violence, trafficking. 3.00pm-4.00pm statelessness. The general enquiry number is 0207 354 9631.
The address of Asylum Aid is:
Club Union House,
253-254 Upper Street,
London N1 1RY
Movement for Justice
It may help if you have the support of an asylum campaign group, like the Movement for Justice (MfJ). They provide asylum seekers with support and – if desired – with publicity and campaigns.
Their website is here: http://www.movementforjustice.org/
You can contact MfJ here: http://www.movementforjustice.org/get_in_touch/index.html
Migrant Law Partnership (MLP)
The Migrant Law Partnership is a company dedicated to providing legal advice and representation with flair and fairness on immigration and human rights. You can contact them by filling this form here http://www.migrantlawpartnership.com/index.php/contacts or by email: [email protected] or by phone: 0207 112 8163.You can find a link to their website here: http://www.migrantlawpartnership.com/
The address of Migrant Law Partnership is:
13 Shoreditch Stables,
138 Kingsland Road,
London, E2 8DY
Contact your MP and MEP
We suggest that you contact your local MP and MEP. Ask him/her to write a letter supporting your bid for refugee status. You can find out the name of your MP and MEP and email them direct from this website: http://www.writetothem.com You can also phone your MP’s office at the House of Commons via the main switchboard: 0207 219 3000. Ask for the MP’s secretary or researcher.If you are not in detention, visit your local MP at their weekly advice surgery. The location, dates and times can be obtained from your local town hall or library – or from the website of your local MP. Take a copy of your prepared written statement. Personal contact with your MP is likely to prompt a better response from them.
Prepare a written statement
This is crucial to winning an asylum claim or appeal. Type your statement in short, separate paragraphs. Explain what happened to you in your home country and the reasons you are seeking asylum. Gives examples of why you are at risk of persecution. Conclude by stating what specific help you want. See more detailed advice below.It is very important when you contact anyone for help (a solicitor, MP etc) that you include your full name, address, phone number, date of birth, nationality, passport number and Home Office asylum or appeal reference number. They will need this information in order to assist you.If you are being held in detention, be sure to state the name, address and phone number of the detention centre.
What is needed for a well-prepared asylum application / appeal?
To win your asylum claim/appeal, you need a full, detailed personal account of the persecution that you suffered – or you know that other people in your situation have suffered in your home country. You should also provide evidence of the persecution that you fear you will suffer if you return to your country of origin. This information needs to be very detailed and specific, with dates, places, names and so on. Vague, general statements are deemed not credible. They will be rejected.You need supporting evidence. This can include written statements from friends, family and partners. They need to give their full name, date of birth, address, relationship to you and their statement needs to be signed, dated and witnessed by one or two other people (who also need to give their full name, date of birth, address etc).If you have been injured or arrested, also provide medical and police records.It can be helpful to have letters of support from your local councillor, MP, MEP, neighbours and other friends in the UK, who know you and can confirm that you are a person of good character and that you have a real and legitimate fear of persecution if you are returned to your home country.Supporting evidence can also include copies of newspaper reports (dated and sourced), reports from human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
See also Peter Tatchell’s personal website www.petertatchell.net
Look under International for information about persecution in your county.
You also need an expert witness who can testify to the nature and extent of persecution, discrimination and violence in your home country.An expert witness is an academic or human rights organisation official who has specialist knowledge of the type of persecution that you suffered in the country you fled from. The expert witness can testify in court or can present a written submission to your solicitor – signed and dated on headed notepaper.If you need an expert witness and don’t know of one, your solicitor should contact Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA), Lindsey House, 40-42 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6JN. Their phone number is 020 7251 8383.The ILPA has a list of expert witnesses covering most countries in the world.
Finally, your solicitor needs to present evidence of previous successful asylum claims by refugees from your country who were victimised for reasons similar to the persecution that you’ve suffered. These case precedents are vital to win a case. If you can show that other people from your country have been granted asylum it will greatly strengthen your chance of success. Good luck.