The Asylum interview by UK Visas and Immigration officials is a two-stage process:
• The Asylum screening interview;
• The Asylum substantive interview.
The substantive Asylum
interview gives Asylum
seekers the opportunity to put their case in support of their Asylum
claim. The substantive Asylum
interview can take place many months after the Asylum
-screening interview but it is important that the information you give at both interviews is consistent
The best London immigration solicitors
recommend that you take legal advice about your Asylum
claim as soon as possible and definitely before your substantive Asylum
interview. That is because the top London immigration solicitors
specialise in Asylum
seekers refugee claims and are experienced in advising Asylum
claimants on how to prepare for the substantive Asylum
interview. You may think that you do not need help or legal advice because you think your claim is overwhelming and that you will be granted Asylum
or because you are worried about speaking to a solicitor.
• Talk to you about the availability of Legal Aid. If you are eligible for Legal Aid as an Asylum seeker then you will not need to pay for the Immigration law advice;
• Talk you through the Asylum seeking claim process;
• Advise you on the Asylum screening interview and the substantive Asylum interview and how to prepare for the two interviews;
• Advise you on what further information will help your case.
• Judge you or your family;
• Tell other people what you have said to them unless you give permission for them to do so or professional solicitor rules oblige them to do so (this is only in exceptional cases);
• Talk to you in a way that you do not understand. If you need an interpreter for your meetings with your solicitor then tell the solicitor so that they can arrange one for you. If you do not understand technical words or what the solicitor says to you then let them know, as they are there to help you.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
Making an Asylum
claim can be intimidating because of the interview process and the complex Immigration
Rules relating to Asylum
seekers. It is therefore important that you get advice from a top London Immigration
solicitor so that you get the help and support that you need in your Asylum
OTS Solicitors specialise in all aspects of personal and business immigration
law and have particular expertise in:
• Asylum and humanitarian protection claims;
• Applications for Administrative Review;
• Preparation of judicial review applications;
• Certification challenges including Asylum and Human Rights claims where no appeal right has been given;
• Challenges to unlawful detention and to the Detained Fast Track procedures;
• Detention and Immigration bail applications;
• Deportation cases;
Please call 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help you.
Preparation before a substantive Asylum interview
In addition to asking for the substantive Asylum
interview to be recorded, you can also ask for:
• A male or female interviewer, depending on your preferences;
• A male or female interpreter, depending on your preferences.
If you want to ask for specific arrangements, it is important that you ask in advance so that the Home Office can accommodate your requests. The substantive Asylum
interview will go into a lot of detail about your claim so if you do not think that you will feel as comfortable talking about your experiences in front of a man or woman then you must let the Home Office know. That is because if you hold back from giving information at the interview because of embarrassment or sensitivities then your Asylum
application is less likely to be successful.
Preparing a written statement in support of a substantive Asylum interview
A statement can assist an Asylum
claim, although your claim is often more powerful when you can expand, in your own words, on why you need Asylum
when you are taking part in the substantive Asylum
Your top London Immigration
solicitor should guide you on whether they think that a written statement should be prepared for you. If the solicitor recommends that a statement be prepared it is likely to cover:
• Why you are afraid of returning to your home country;
• What happened to you to make you decide to leave your home country.
It is vital that what you say in your statement is consistent with what you said at the Asylum
-screening interview and what you say at the substantive Asylum
interview. That is why, even if a solicitor prepares the statement for you, that you read and check the statement. If there are mistakes in the statement or things have been missed out then you should let your Immigration
solicitor know so that they can change the statement before it is finalised.
Documents you need to take to a substantive Asylum interview
• Application registration card (ARC);
• Passport or travel document;
• Police registration certificate;
• Evidence of your address;
• Birth certificate.
If you do not have all these documents or you are not sure, whether you should take other paperwork then speak to your Immigration
The substantive Asylum interview
At the substantive Asylum
interview, you will be asked questions about your Asylum
claim. If you or your Immigration
solicitor sent a written statement to the Home Office then the interviewer is likely to use the contents of the written statement as the basis for their questions.
• Why you left your home country and why you think your home country is dangerous for you;
• How and when you got to the UK.
• Some of the interviewer’s questions may appear to be unnecessary or repetitive, because you answered those questions in your written statement or you think that you have already answered a similar question. You should try to answer the questions and not get frustrated if you think that the questions are going over old ground;
• Some of the interviewer’s questions may be very personal in nature or you may think that they are unnecessarily intrusive. The interviewer does need to know about your experiences so it is important to try not to get too frustrated by the interviewer;
• The interviewer’s questions will bring back painful memories that may be upsetting to you. If you get very upset then you can ask for a break in the interview;
• You may not understand all of the interviewer’s questions or their phrases. If you do not understand a question or a phrase then let the interviewer know;
• If you have the assistance of an interpreter at the interview and you think that they have not used the right word for what you want to say , because you have an understanding of English, then tell them;
• If you do not know the answer to a question then it is better to say that you do not know the answer rather than make one up because you think you have to answer all questions or because you want to please the interviewer.
• When you are asked to describe what you have been through do not be worried about using simple words to explain your Asylum claim. Sometimes putting something simply is a lot more powerful than overthinking what you want to say;
• Do not be embarrassed by what you have to say. It is important that the interviewer knows what you experienced in your home country, however sensitive the information, and what you fear if you were to return to your home country;
• Although it is sensible to think about what you want to say to the interviewer at your substantive Asylum interview it is important not to appear as if you have learned a script. Sometimes an Asylum seeker can think it helps to know precisely what they will say but by doing that you can lose the emotion from your experiences and thus lose credibility. The answer therefore is to prepare for the interview but to not over prepare.
Sending a statement after your substantive Asylum interview
The best London immigration solicitors
say that after a substantive Asylum
interview you can send in a statement or make representations. There is a deadline to do this. Your Immigration
solicitor should guide you about whether they think a statement or representations are in your interests.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration
law matters and have teams of solicitors who help Asylum
seekers make Asylum
claims. The firm has substantial experience in making successful Asylum
claims and in challenging Home Office decisions to refuse Asylum
OTS Solicitors are recommended for Immigration
law in the law directory, The Legal 500. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration
For advice on asylum claims and any other aspect of immigration law please call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.