A person typing on a laptop while sipping from a cup of coffee, staying updated on the new rules for asylum seekers in the UK for 2022.

Recently the Nationality and Borders Act came into force which bring in some changes to the asylum system. Our ‘How to apply for asylum’ guide has now been updated and here is what you need to know if you are seeking asylum in the UK.  

From the 28 of June 2022, people who have been recognised as refugees in this country will be separated into two groups: 

Group 1: Those who were able to travel directly to the UK and who claimed asylum “without delay”, i.e. as soon as reasonably practicable. If they did not have permission to enter or be in the UK at the time they claimed asylum, then they must also show “good cause” for their entry or presence here. 

Group 2: Those unable to meet the conditions for Group 1 status. 

People treated as ‘Group 2’ will have a shorter form of leave and they will also be penalised with the lesser form of status if the Home Office deems them to have delayed in claiming asylum.  

Those treated as ‘Group 1’ are granted the same form of status as before the Act, which is five years of leave following which they can apply to live in the UK permanently. However, those treated as ‘Group 2’ will be granted two and a half years of leave at a time, and can only apply to stay permanently after ten years.  

We are here to help you navigate these changes and we have made sure to update the English version of our ‘How to apply for asylum’ guide accordingly (the guide in other languages will be updated soon). If you have questions, please get in touch at hello@rainbowmigration.org.uk 

A note from our Legal and Policy Director, Sonia Lenegan:  

Delays in screening interviews is an issue that we have been concerned about since last year, after many of our service users reported delays of up to 20 weeks from first contact with the Home Office to being able to register their asylum claim.  

Olivia Blake MP kindly put in a written question on our behalf in May, asking what the position would be for people who had contacted the Home Office to say they wanted to register an asylum claim prior to 28 June 2022. It was confirmed on 24 May 2022 in the response to the written question that these people would be treated as having claimed asylum before the implementation of the Act. This means they will not be given ‘Group 2’ refugee status. The Home Office published guidance on 28 June 2022 that also confirmed this was the position, however at this time the new rules were already in force.  

As we had managed to get earlier confirmation of the position, in the last days of June, we called everyone who had recently made contact with us to encourage them to start their asylum claims before 28 June, ensuring that as many people as possible were able to avoid this particular punishment under the Act.