What does asylum mean?

The word asylum means when a country gives protection to someone fleeing persecution in their own country. There can be lots of reasons why people claim asylum in England and Wales. There are also legal issues that need to be taken care of and processes that must be followed for anyone in that situation. This includes making an application to the British Government. People claiming asylum in England and Wales must have a legal representative. Often this will be a lawyer working in this area of law, or a qualified immigration adviser.

Finding a legal adviser

The British Government's website has advice on how to find a legal representative.

This includes how to pay for their services, and how they can help you.

Regulated lawyers

If your legal representative is a regulated lawyer like a solicitor, they will need to meet the standards set down by their regulator.

Your lawyer must tell you which organisation regulates them, and how to complain if you wanted to. There is more information on our types of lawyers page.

If you aren't happy with a regulated lawyer that provides you with asylum services you can make a complaint.

Immigration advisers

Your legal representative might instead be an immigration adviser regulated by an independent organisation called the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

You can find a list of immigration advisers, or you can search for an immigration adviser in your area.

If you're not happy with an immigration adviser you might be able to complain about them. Find out how to complain about an immigration adviser, and what you can complain about.

Claiming asylum - helpful resources

The Government's website has useful information about asylum. It refers to the documents you must provide and explains how asylum interviews work.

There are also charities and advice groups that can help. One of these is the Refugee Council that can give you information and sometimes legal advice for people wanting to claim asylum.