Information on the policy to Streamline the UK asylum process
Find out who is eligible for the new UK streamlined asylum process and how it works.
What is streamlined asylum processing?
The UK government announced streamlined asylum processing to help move people through the asylum system. It is for adults and families with who are nationals of:
People seeking asylum from those countries will now not need to have an asylum interview. Instead, they will be asked to complete an asylum questionnaire and return it to the government.
How does streamlined asylum processing work?
The UK's streamlined asylum process is for people from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. You need to have started your asylum claim before 28 June 2022.
If you have not yet had an asylum interview, then a questionnaire will be sent to your home address.
If you have already had an asylum interview, you cannot use the new process. Instead, you should continue with the process you have already started.
Who cannot be part of streamlined asylum processing?
You cannot use the UK streamlined asylum process if:
- you have already had any asylum interview
- you have already claimed asylum and are appealing a decision
- you are a child under 18.
What should I do if I can use the streamlined asylum process?
You should get legal advice to complete the questionnaire within 20 working days from the date it was sent to you. If you have a legal advisor, they will also be sent your questionnaire. If you don’t return the questionnaire your asylum claim may be treated as withdrawn, so it is important to respond.
You can ask for an extension, but you will need to provide clear reasons and explanations as to why you can't respond within the 20 days.
You need to:
- Make sure your address is up to date with the Home Office.
- It is important to have a solicitor to make sure you get the right legal advice.
What does the asylum questionnaire cover?
- whether the claimant wishes to withdraw their claim
- personal details, for example residential address
- identity and nationality
- previous employment
- previous addresses
- reasons for claiming asylum
- fear of what would happen if returned to country of origin
- physical and mental health issues
- exploitation (trafficking and modern slavery if applicable)
- other reasons for needing to stay in the UK
- whether there are grounds for suspecting the individual may have been involved in activities of concern that would cause them to be excluded from the Refugee Convention
- family members who depend on the claim including any children born in the UK
- any further evidence the claimant wishes to provide in support of their claim.
Support with filling out the questionnaire
If you are having trouble filling out the questionnaire, we've created three downloadable letters which you can fill in and send to the Home Office.
- Letter 1: I'm unable to complete the questionnaire in English
- Letter 2: I have a legal representation capacity issue
- Letter 3: I have not received the questionnaire and need you to send me a copy
Disclaimer: We recommend that you get legal advice instead of trying to fill in the questionnaire and send the letters by yourself. These template letters amount to general guidance. They are not legal advice, and are no substitute for legal advice, and as such British Red Cross accepts no liability for use. Government guidance on this issue may change and so we cannot account for changes that occur post publication date.
- Refugee Action FAQ in multiple languages Streamlined Asylum Processing (ragp.org.uk)
- Your local British Red Cross refugee service may be able to help you
- The Right to Remain Toolkit offers general guidance outlines more about the asylum process
- The Northern Ireland Law Centre also offers helpful advice
I need a solicitor
Find a registered immigration adviser
Use the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Adviser Finder to find a registered adviser near you.
All immigration advisers must be registered with OISC or be a member of an approved professional body.
When an immigration advisor is registered with the OISC, they will only be permitted to provide advice at the level they are registered at. The OISC’s position is that only advisers working at level 2 or above can provide asylum advice to people completing the Asylum Claim Questionnaire.
If you want legal help
You can find solicitors who give immigration advice through:
- The Law Society (England or Wales - the law firm will need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to provide this advice)
- The Law Society of Scotland (Scotland)
- The Law Society of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland)
A solicitor can help manage your case and instruct a barrister for you. There are also public registers of authorised practising barristers:
- The Bar Council’s Direct Access scheme (England or Wales)
- The Faculty of Advocates (Scotland)
- The Bar of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland)
If you’re managing your own case but want legal advice or advocacy, you can also make an enquiry to view a list of barristers with Direct Access Status that match your requirements through the Bar Council’s Direct Access scheme (if you live in England or Wales).
Regulating immigration advisers
OISC regulates immigration advisers and makes sure they meet certain standards. For example, advisers must:
- carry insurance against giving poor advice
- keep up to date with current immigration advice
OISC maintains a register of the immigration advisers that they regulate.
Can I get an extension?
You will need to provide a clear explanation of the reasons why you would need to request an extension. The Home Offices will then consider these reasons on a case-by-case basis. The request must be reasonable and proportionate.
Do I need to provide evidence?
Any evidence you can give will help to show if you need to have a personal interview. It may result in a quicker decision on your asylum claim.
I can't find my family
If you have family in the UK and have not found them, our international family tracing service may be able to help. You can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name and telephone number.
Someone from the international family tracing service will then contact you.
What about people under 18?
You can find information on the Streamlined Asylum Process for children through the Right to Remain toolkit. The process for children is different to the process for adults.
The Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit also offers some helpful advice on the Streamlined Asylum Process for children.
Could this policy apply to people who have been trafficked?
When you are interviewed, you will be asked questions to help find out if you are a survivor of trafficking or modern slavery. If it seems like you are, the interviewer will ask for your permission to refer you to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).
If you think someone may be a survivor or caught up in trafficking, the NRM and Duty to Notify referral forms are available on Report modern slavery on the UK government website.
Referring someone to the NRM does not stop an assessment of the person’s asylum claim. They can still be granted permission to stay in the UK.
For further information, please see the statutory guidance in relation to Modern Slavery (PDF).
How the Red Cross can help with the streamlined UK asylum process
For more information, please contact your local Red Cross refugee service.
We will monitor how the streamlined asylum process develops and keep updating this page.
If you are finding it hard to cope, you can use the information and activities on our website to help when you feel anxious, stressed or confused.
We have translated resources for refugees and asylum seekers on our website and pages for people from Afghanistan and Ukraine.