What is asylum all about?

Claiming asylum is about applying for "refugee" protection and assistance.   The UK policy is defined here:

Claim asylum in the UK


This document above says:

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

To be eligible, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution.


Apply for a visa if you want to come to the UK for another reason (for example to work, study or remain with family). If you’re already in the UK and want to remain with family living here, apply for a family of a settled person visa.

You should apply when you arrive in the UK or as soon as you think it would be unsafe for you to return to your own country. Your application is more likely to be denied if you wait.


You will not usually be allowed to work while your asylum claim is being considered.

The details of this policy are given in this document.

Working in the UK while an asylum case is considered  (Feb 2014)


The official statistics concerning asylum protection are here:

How many people do we grant protection to?  (May 2023)


An asylum application relates to one or more people (family members) requesting asylum protection.  Section 6.1 defines asylum applicants as:

An asylum applicant (also referred to as ‘asylum seekers’) is someone who makes a claim to be recognised as a refugee under the ‘Refugee Convention’ and receive protection and assistance. Asylum applicants will receive a decision on their application, which may be a grant of refugee status, humanitarian protection, or another form of permission to stay, or a refusal.

The number of asylum applications is dealt with in section 2 of this document:

There were 75,492 asylum applications (relating to 91,047 people) in the UK in the year ending March 2023. This is 33% more applications than in the year ending March 2022 (56,560, relating to 66,838 people), and the highest number for 2 decades.


The increase in applications in the year ending March 2023 partially reflects an increase in small boat arrivals to the UK. In the year ending March 2023, 90% of small boat arrivals (40,444) claimed asylum or were recorded as a dependent on an asylum application. In total, just under half (44%) of the asylum applications in the year ending March 2023 were from people who arrived on a small boat.

But wait ...

Exposed: the real scandal at our borders. A Led By Donkeys investigation with Hassan Akkad.



Right to Remain



The Right to Remain Toolkit - A guide to the UK immigration and asylum system



Contributors: Mark Collins, Paul Hazelden, Brian Monahan 

Prev: What is the small boats crisis?       Top: Immigration     Next: The real problem ...


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