New Quick Asylum Processes
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor LinkedinDanielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
The Home Office have announced that it is introducing a streamlined asylum process and removing the requirement for a substantive asylum interview when appropriate when the decision can be made from information available. This process will be rolled out for legacy asylum claims who are confirmed nationals of Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen and this cohort will be kept under close review. To aid this process for adults and family claims the Home Office will be issuing an asylum claim questionnaire for those who have not been interviewed as yet and are one of the aforementioned nationalities. The intention of these questionnaires is to enable the claimant to provide any further information about the claim which could lead to a positive decision being taken, without a substantive interview. No applications will be refused without a substantive personal interview unless certain exceptions apply.
As an immigration and asylum lawyer I am looking forward to being able to work with the asylum seekers who are served with these questionnaires as there will be 20 working days in which a claimant will have to return it to the Home Office. An extension can be requested where required. However, failure to return the questionnaire without reasonable explanation may result in the individual’s asylum claim being withdrawn. It may be that the scheme will be extended to other claimants awaiting an asylum decision in due course. Where further information is required after the questionnaire is returned, the Home Office will conduct a targeted or short interview to obtain the necessary information. Therefore, we feel that the more information that is being put in the questionnaire, and the better the explanation that is provided, with the assistance of a specialist lawyer, the quicker a positive decision will be.
The targeted interviews are meant to concentrate on the claimant’s nationality and will last for around one hour, whilst shorter interviews will concentrate on a small number of material facts and will last for around two hours. Sometimes a claimant can be referred to a substantive interview as is the current practice. We encourage you, if you have a legacy claim, and you are from one of the above countries, to approach us for further guidance.