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Registering an Asylum Application in the United Kingdom

1. Summary 2. General Principles 3. How to Make an Asylum Claim (In Country) 3.1 Where to Register your Asylum Application once in the UK 4. ASU Croydon Walk-In Service 4.1 Reception 4.2 General Advice for Potential Applicants (for Officers to Note): 5. ASU Croydon Appointment Process 5.1 Appointment Process 5.2 Children 5.3 Applicants who have extant leave 5.4 Confirming the appointment by letter 6. Screening Summary 6.1 Basic Overview 7. Exceptional Cases Inability to Travel to ASU Croydon 7.1 Exceptional Cases Change Record

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1. Summary
This document sets out how a foreign national should register an asylum application in the United Kingdom once they have already entered the UK. This document does not replace existing arrangements for Immigration Officers who in the course of their work encounter persons who want to register an asylum application e.g. lorry drops or enforcement activity.

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2. General Principles
Foreign nationals who wish to make an asylum application in the United Kingdom should make their claim at the first available opportunity. This expectation is underpinned by Article 31 of the 1951 Convention which states that applicants should present themselves without delay to the authorities of the host country. This is also reflected by the powers of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (2002) which prohibit support for those applicants who have not made their asylum application as soon as reasonably practicable. This would normally be at the port of entry into the United Kingdom. However, the principle of refugees sur place recognises that some may find the need to make an application following entry to the host country due to a change in circumstances. It is further recognised that those who enter the United Kingdom illegally may need to seek the protection of the authorities, which they should do without delay. This instruction offers general guidelines of how to make an asylum application for foreign nationals who have already entered the United Kingdom.

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3. How to Make an Asylum Claim (In Country)


3.1 Where to Register your Asylum Application once in the UK Foreign nationals who wish to claim asylum in the United Kingdom are expected to register their application in person along with any dependants at the Asylum Screening Unit (ASU): Asylum Screening Unit Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY Opening Hours: Monday Friday: 08.00 13.00 hrs ASU appointment booking number: 020 8196 4524. The appointment booking line is open Monday - Friday 08:00 - 15:00 hrs. The Asylum Screening Unit will accept asylum applications on a walk-in basis, but to complement this service foreign nationals can also choose to make an appointment. Instructions for the walk-in process at the ASU can be found in Section 4: Walk-In Process. Instructions for the appointment process at the ASU can be found in Section 5: Appointment Process. Please note: The role of the Asylum Screening Unit is to process new asylum applications. Those who have already made an asylum application in the United Kingdom should not attend the ASU for an update of their case nor call the appointment booking number. Officers should direct existing applicants to contact their case owner or alternatively call for the Immigration Enquiries Bureau: 0870 606 7766. For a full and up to date list of the facilities currently available at the ASU see the UK Border Agency website: UK Border Agency | Asylum screening unit.

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4. ASU Croydon Walk-In Service


4.1 Reception When an individual enters the ASU the front desk Officer should issue them with a numbered ticket and gather some basic personal details relating to their identity, language spoken and their particular circumstances (e.g. if they need accommodation). They should then be asked to wait in the ASU waiting area. The information taken by the front desk will be used by the ASU to determine the order in which those waiting will be seen. For a full and up to date list of the facilities available at the ASU see the UK Border Agency website: UK Border Agency | Asylum screening unit.

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4.2 General Advice for Potential Applicants (for Officers to Note): A summary of how to claim asylum is available for public reference on the UK Border Agency website. This advice is summarised below for Officers to note and disseminate if asked about the process: The screening process can be lengthy and could take several hours to complete. The ASU opens at 8am and those who wish to claim asylum should arrive as early as possible. The ASU can only deal with a certain number of applicants on any given day. If the ASU reaches full capacity it will close for the day and advise anyone waiting to be seen to either make an appointment or alternatively return early the following morning. Those who have long distances to travel are advised to book an appointment in advance. Documents that potential applicants are advised to bring: Passport(s) (for the main applicant, their spouse, or any dependants in the United Kingdom). Police Registration Certificates (for the main applicant /their family - as applicable). Other Identification Documents - these are needed to help establish identity and nationality and can include ID cards, birth/marriage/school certificates, membership cards, etc. Four un-separated passport-sized photographs (of the main applicant, together with four un-separated passport-sized photographs of each of their dependants included to be included on the application). The photographs must meet the following requirements. a. Passport size (approximately 4cm x 5cm). b. Recently taken (within the last few months). c. Full face. d. Light background. The name and date of birth of the person who appears in the photograph should be clearly printed on the reverse of each copy. Uncontrolled if printed

Evidence of Accommodation Those who attend the ASU should provide documentary printed evidence of their current accommodation (such as: recent bank statements, building society book, council tax demand, medical care, housing benefit book, tenancy agreement, telephone/electricity/gas bills, etc). The document should clearly display the individuals full name and address in the United Kingdom. If they are living in another persons house (e.g. friend or relative), then they should bring a letter (no older than 3 months) from the householder stipulating permission to, along with documentary evidence such as a bank statement, council tax demand (as per above) which shows his/her full name and address. Potential applicants should also bring any other relevant documents which will support the basis of their asylum application. Travel Expenses It should be noted that the UK Border Agency does not reimburse travel expenses for foreign nationals who want to claim asylum. The process can be lengthy (taking most of the day) and there is a possibility of detention. Potential applicants are advised to take this into consideration when purchasing return rail tickets. Please refer to 6 Screening Summary for further information on what the process entails.
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5. ASU Croydon Appointment Process


5.1 Appointment Process The appointment booking number for the ASU is 020 8196 4524 If there are problems communicating with the individual, an interpreter should be used where appropriate. The officer should first check that the individual in question has not already claimed asylum in the UK. If they have, they should be advised to contact their case owner and no appointment should be booked. If the individual has not claimed asylum previously, the following details should be taken and recorded on the ASU appointment booking form.

Name Nationality Language they wish the screening interview to be conducted in How many dependants the individual has Address and contact telephone number Any immediate or special needs that need to be considered

The individual must be advised that their claim will not be recorded until they attend their appointment. Discretion should be exercised where exceptional circumstances of a case warrant an individual being asked to attend the ASU the next day rather than waiting for an appointment.

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5.2 Children Appointments for children should only be booked where the child is being accommodated by social services. An appropriate adult should accompany the child to the appointment on the scheduled date. All other children should be invited to attend the ASU without an appointment. Officers to note: Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the UK Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. For further guidance on the screening process for children see the Asylum Instruction Processing Asylum Applications from Children

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5.3 Applicants who have extant leave If an individual states that they have extant leave which is due to expire before an appointment can be made they should be advised to attend ASU Croydon on a walk-in basis.

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5.4 Confirming the appointment by letter Generally appointments should be given on a first come first served basis and allocated according to the next available slot from the ASU Spreadsheet. However, flexibility (where possible) and a common sense approach should be adopted by Officers when booking appointments for those who have a long distance to travel. Details of the appointment should then be given verbally to the individual and an Appointment letter should be sent by post or fax (if appropriate). If the individual speaks good English they should also be sent copies of the self completion (Part B) form and asked to return this when they attend their appointment. An outline of what potential applicants should bring with them is detailed in the Appointment Letter or refer to the 4.2 General Advice guidelines within this instruction. When the individual attends for screening, Officers should ask to see a copy of the appointment letter to confirm the individual has an appointment and that it is scheduled on that day. Please refer to 6 Screening Summary for further information on what the process entails.

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6. Screening Summary
6.1 Basic Overview This outline is not specific to screening in the ASU, rather a synopsis of the general actions that will occur wherever an asylum application is registered. Before the registration of the asylum application Officers should cross-check UK Border Agency databases to see if the applicant is already known to the Agency. If the asylum application is then accepted it will be recorded on UKBA database and a file created. The Screening Interview should then commence and Stages One and Two, completed by the Screening Officer. Stage one consists of he following sections: Introduction Bio-data Travel History and Documentation Health Basis of Claim Summary Security Screening Stage two: Family Background If the applicant has dependants they should also be screened on a Dependant Screening Form. During the screening process the applicant should be: Fingerprinted and checked against UKBA and Eurodac databases. Checked against security/watch list databases. Photographed. Depending on the immigration history of the applicant Officers may decide to interview under caution if it is suspected that they have committed an immigration offence. If an applicant is not fully honest during the screening process it may harm their asylum application and result in prosecution. Offences can include verbal deception and entering the UK without valid travel documentation. Depending on what the individual circumstances that apply to the applicant they may be detained, given temporary admission, or if they have leave to remain given directions to regularly report and live at a particular address. If the applicant is not detained then an Application Registration Card (ARC) will be issued along with the other documents; such as an IS96 (reporting conditions), a routing letter and the appropriate information leaflets. If the applicant has requested accommodation then it will be provided under section 98 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1999. The applicant will have to complete a separate application whilst in initial accommodation if they wish to remain accommodated by the UK Border Agency. Uncontrolled if printed

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7. Exceptional Cases Inability to Travel to ASU Croydon


7.1 Exceptional Cases Foreign nationals that are considered to fall within an exceptional category and are destitute or in the case of children are in the care of social services may be treated discretionally and have their application recorded and screened regionally at a Local Enforcement Office. The criterion is limited to the following: Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASCs) who cannot travel to the ASU (i.e. due to the distance involved). Those whose condition (documented or visually apparent) is such that they cannot reasonably be expected to travel to ASU Croydon. (This also applies to the principle dependants of the main applicant). Such cases will be very exceptional in nature. Foreign nationals, who are already in the United Kingdom, have access to accommodation (supported, hospitalised or imprisoned) and who fulfil the following criteria can submit written notification requesting the registration of an asylum application: those who have a disability or severe illness and are physically unable to travel those who are imprisoned and unable to make their application in person It should be noted that satisfactory medical evidence must be provided to substantiate a postal application where the applicant claims to have a disability or severe illness and are physically unable to travel to ASU Croydon. For further information refer to the Postal Claims instruction.

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Change Record
Version 1.0 Authors CB Date 12/10/09 Change Reference Published Edition

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CASE MANAGEMENT FOLLOWING ONWARD MOVEMENT OF APPLICANTS


Table of Contents 1. Introduction 1.1 Purpose 1.2 Audience 1.3 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and those with Children 2. Change of Address 2.1 Applicant Requests a Change of Address 2.2 Applicant Fails to Provide Advanced Notification of Change of Address 2.2.1 Checking Accommodation and Support Payments 3. Assessing When to Transfer Case Ownership 3.1 In-time Asylum Cases (i.e. Cases Still Within 6 Months of the Application Raised Date) 3.1.1 Explanation of Reasonable Progress 3.1.2 Imminent Casework Actions 3.1.3 Arranging Transfer of Case Ownership 3.2 Out of Service Cases (i.e. Cases Post 6 months of the Application Raised Date) 3.3 UASC Active Review Cases 3.4 Section 4 Support 3.5 Post Detained Fast Track Cases 4. Arranging Transfer of Case Ownership 4.1 Applicant Fails to Travel/Arrive Glossary

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1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose Applicants managed by the regional asylum teams may move from their accommodation for a variety of reasons - e.g. to change from UK Border Agency accommodation and subsistence to subsistence only support and private accommodation; or they move from one private address to another. The new accommodation may be in another UK Border Agency region. This guidance sets out the process for maintaining the onward management of these cases.

1.2 Audience This guidance is aimed at: Asylum workflow managers within the regions; Asylum case owners within the regions.

1.3 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and those with Children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate:

Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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2. Change of Address
Applicants are required to reside at the address detailed on the IS.96 or IS.248 as a condition of their reporting regime. If an applicant fails to comply, they would be in breach of their conditions and would therefore be liable to detention, in accordance with Paragraph 21 of Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971. Failure to inform the UK Border Agency of a change of address could lead to the applicant being unable to access subsistence support or result in the suspension or termination of any ongoing support. Case owners must inform applicants who relocate to another UK Border Agency region without prior permission, that they are in breach of their restrictions and are liable to detention or a revised reporting regime. Applicants should be reminded that accommodation is allocated on a no-choice basis.

2.1 Applicant Requests a Change of Address Applicants who wish to move from a private address into support accommodation or support accommodation to alternative support accommodation must outline their reasons for wanting to be relocated in a written signed request. Applicants in asylum support accommodation would have been informed that accommodation is offered on a no choice basis and that relocation would only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Cases which involve domestic violence, harassment or antisocial behaviour, may be referred to an Investigations Officer for further consideration. Applicants moving from one private address to another or from support accommodation to a private address must submit a written declaration of the changes and include written confirmation that there are no costs the applicant would need to meet, i.e. rent or utility bills. Any costs associated with the accommodation will not be paid by the UK Border Agency. 2.2 Applicant Fails to Provide Advanced Notification of Change of Address Applicants are instructed to notify the UK Border Agency in writing, if they are planning to move to a different address, before the move takes place. If the applicant fails to do this and relocates, they are in breach of their reporting restrictions and therefore their reporting regime and suitability for detention will be reviewed. Failure to report a significant change in circumstances is a breach of the conditions of support which are outlined to the applicant in the asylum support agreement issued to them at their Initial Accommodation or on allocation of support. Where applicants notify a case owner of a new address following a change of location, the case owner must instruct the applicant to submit a written declaration of the relocation and written confirmation that there are no costs, for the private accommodation. Applicants who were granted accommodation and subsistence in order to avoid a breach of their convention rights under s55(a), should have that decision reviewed. Applicants who were allocated accommodation in one region and then move to another region and are reassessed and re-allocated support, must be moved back to the original region if accommodation is available. For cases where this is not possible, workflow managers from both regions must discuss and base their decision on how far the case has progressed and whether there are any extenuating circumstances which might prevent the Uncontrolled if printed

case from moving back to the original region. Such decisions must be made on a case by case basis. 2.2.1 Checking Accommodation and Support Payments Where case owners learn an applicant has moved without permission, an Accommodation Maintenance Check must be carried out to establish whether the new accommodation is appropriate. Case owners must confirm whether the new address is in fact private, support accommodation or a commercial property. Case owners should also check the applicant will have or did have access to their subsistence support during the relocation. In some cases support may need to be stopped and emergency payments issued. Following a change of address case owners must reassess support and if appropriate allocate it to the applicants new address. If the applicant requests any missed support payments as a back payment, case owners should be aware that, if the reason an applicant was unable to collect their support is owing to their own actions, a back payment would not normally be paid.

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3. Assessing When to Transfer Case Ownership


Where the applicants new address is in the same UK Border Agency region, they will remain the responsibility of the same asylum team. 3.1 In-time Asylum Cases (i.e. Cases Still Within 6 Months of the Application Raised Date) If the applicants new confirmed address is located in another UK Border Agency region the applicants case must be transferred if it meets the following criteria: Actions defined as Reasonable Progress have been; It is not within 2 months of day 182 of the application raised date.

If the case does not meet the above criteria the holding region must retain ownership until after day 182 of the application raised date and resubmit a transfer request to the receiving region. Once the case has been transferred, the receiving region must initiate contact with the applicant or their representative. 3.1.1 Explanation of Reasonable Progress Cases must be accepted by the receiving region if they have been reasonably progressed by the holding region in line with the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Specifically, these are: Substantive interview conducted within 20 days of allocation to region; Decision served within 10 days of substantive interview; Emergency Travel Document (ETD) interview completed within 30 days of allocation to region and application pack submitted at earliest opportunity as per nationality, except in relation to issues of non-compliance (which have been recorded on CID); Further submissions completed within 15 days of submission.

However, where reasonable progress has not been made for legitimate reasons, the receiving region cannot refuse the case transfer. The accepted legitimate reasons are: Medical Foundation/Helen Bamber Reports (decision must be made within 10 days of receipt of report); TCU interest (decision must be made within 10 days of resolution of interest); Applicant moved to new address before substantive interview could take place; Medical condition that results in applicant not being interviewed; Applicant 8 months pregnant at point of allocation to region.

3.1.2 Imminent Casework Actions The applicants case must be transferred if it meets the criteria specified above. However, in some cases there will be circumstances in which, for the benefit of the applicant and the UK Border Agency, the holding region should complete a decision, which could be done within a few working days, before the case is transferred to the receiving region. This would be when a decision, whether substantive or further submissions, is due before the transfer is requested. If a decision is outstanding it should be completed within the timescales identified above, before the transfer takes place. Uncontrolled if printed

3.1.3 Arranging Transfer of Case Ownership Each region must have a dedicated inbox and named contacts to which other regions must submit transfer requests. It is the responsibility of each region to monitor their dedicated inbox and ensure that named contacts are kept up to date. Each region must also have a central CID Allocation Unit for the holding region to use. If a holding region considers that a case meets the above transfer criteria, they must email the appropriate receiving regions inbox and state all of the following details: HO Reference; Application Raised Date; Date of allocation to holding region; Name; Nationality; DoB; Current Postcode; Date interview completed; Date decision completed; ETD Progress; Mitigating circumstances if above is not complete.

The receiving region must formally respond to the transfer request within 5 working days. If it does not, then it forfeits the ability to reject the transfer and the holding region can reallocate the case on CID, with an appropriate note to indicate what action has occurred (including the date of transfer request). This must then be followed by another email to the receiving region to confirm what action has been taken.

3.2 Out of Service Cases (i.e. Cases Post 6 months of the Application Raised Date) If the applicants new confirmed address is located in another UK Border Agency region the applicants case must be transferred within 5 working days without exception. The receiving region must accept the case, even if they consider that the holding region has not, during the period of their ownership, progressed the case in accordance with KPIs, published policy and process instructions. If, after the case has been transferred, the receiving region feels aggrieved, an appropriate regional senior manager should be notified. If they then feel it is warranted they should raise their concerns with the holding region to try and prevent the issue arising again. However, the notification of a senior manager cannot prevent these cases from being transferred. Once the case has been transferred, the receiving region must initiate contact with the applicant or their representative.

3.3 UASC Active Review Cases It remains the responsibility of the asylum team which initially granted leave to maintain contact with the child, their representative and social services during their period of leave and especially when the applicant reaches the age of 17. Case owners must establish whether the applicant is still residing in the region and if not the case must be transferred without undue delay to the UK Border Agency region where the applicant now resides. If Uncontrolled if printed

the child has relocated during the previous leave being granted and submission of the new application, the new receiving region must contact the applicants previous case owner to request the file from the holding region. Case owners must ensure that liaison with the applicants social worker (or any other services provided for children) is maintained in order to sustain the ongoing development of the child.

3.4 Section 4 Support An applicant must submit their section 4 application to their case owner. Where an applicant has moved to a different UK Border Agency region and makes a section 4 application, the case owner in the holding region must still consider the section 4 application. If accommodation is to be granted the applicant must be moved back to the holding region unless there are exceptional reasons that prevent this action, e.g. a lack of supported accommodation or medical provision in the holding region. Applicants who have been granted section 4 support might be required to move to accommodation in a new location, which may fall within another UKBA region. Prior to an applicant being accommodated in the new region, agreement must be sought from the appropriate Grade 7 within the receiving region (when the case is transferred depends if it is an in-service or out of service case).

3.5 Post Detained Fast Track Cases In certain circumstances, an applicant may be released from the Detained Fast Track (DFT) process and their claim will be considered by a regional asylum team. All cases must be referred to the Asylum Routing and Initial Accommodation Team (ARIAT) in the first instance who will then decide which regional team will have responsibility for the case. ARIAT will make all the arrangements for routing the applicant to a regional asylum team.

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4. Arranging Transfer of Case Ownership


The details and practicalities of the transfer, including the new case owner and reporting arrangements, must be agreed between workflow managers from the respective asylum teams within the different regions, taking into consideration section 3. Assessing when to Transfer Case Ownership. The IS.96/248 must also be revised to reflect the new reporting location, any changes to the frequency of reporting and the applicants new address. Confirmation of the transfer must then be given to ARIAT by the receiving region in all cases. Case owners of the holding region and the receiving region must ensure the case is allocated to the receiving region on CID, minute CID and the applicants file appropriately. Where there is more than one asylum team in a UK Border Agency region, the workflow managers should set up a rota system to evenly distribute the cases.

4.1 Applicant Fails to Travel/Arrive Where an applicant notifies the ASU they will not be travelling or the applicant failed to travel from overnight accommodation to the allocated region, ARIAT must be contacted. ARIAT will then allocate the case file to the asylum team which is best placed to take the case, dependent on any required further arrangements regarding dispersal. Case owners in the holding and receiving regions must then minute CID and the applicants file accordingly.

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Glossary
Term ARIAT ASU CID DFT IS.248 IS.96 KPIs Meaning Asylum Routing Team Asylum Screening Unit Case Information Database Detained Fast Track Reporting restrictions for applicants with leave to enter Reporting restrictions for applicants with temporary admission Key Performance Indicators

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 Authors J.Rozario M-A.M M-A.M CB M-A.M M-A.M BN BN Date 26/02/07 06/06/2007 20/12/2007 13/11/2008 18/03/2009 21/09/2009 08/06/2010 19/08/2010 Change Reference Re-formatted for Website Publication Amendments to instructions. Amendments to Hyperlinks Re-branding Process changes Addition of Childrens Duty wording, Further submissions process change amendments. Amendments made to style and the removal of discretion / ambiguity, where possible. Amendments to section 3 added reasonable progress criteria.

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ROUTING ASYLUM APPLICANTS TO REGIONAL ASYLUM TEAMS


Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Overview 3. Case Considerations 3.1 Absconders 3.2 Children (Accompanied and Unaccompanied) 3.3 Criminal Casework Cases 3.4 Damaged Fingerprints 3.5 Detained Fast Track 3.6 Disputed Age Cases 3.7 EEA National 3.8 Medical Cases 3.9 Operation Support Certification Unit 3.10 Pre 5 March 2007 Cases 3.11 Prosecution Cases 3.12 Repeat Applications 3.13 Third Country Unit Cases 3.14 Applicant appears to be a Victim of Trafficking 3.15 Withdrawn Claims 4. Asylum Routing Team 4.1 Initial Officer Actions 4.1.1 Referral Form 4.1.2 Checklist 4.1.3 Routing Database 5. Routing the Applicant 5.1 Allocate Case to Regional Asylum Team 5.2 Allocating Initial Accommodation 5.2.1 Overnight Accommodation 5.2.2 Service Commission Form 5.3 First Reporting Event (FRE) 5.4 Transport 5.4.1 Arranging Transport 6. Routing Cases on CID 6.1 Initial Checks Uncontrolled if printed

6.1.1 Special Conditions 6.1.2 Case Notes and Person Notes 6.1.3 Submitted Documents 6.2 CID Updates 7. Out of Hours Claims 7.1 Routing Team Closed 7.2 Out of Hours Accommodation 7.3 Out of Hours Transport 8. Routing Documents 8.1 IS96 8.2 IS248 8.3 FRE Invitation Letter 8.4 RT1 8.5 RT2 8.6 RT4 Queries Glossary

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1. Introduction
Applications for asylum are made at designated ports (including the Asylum Screening Unit), through Local Enforcement Office or Local Immigration Team operations. The applications are considered by case owners situated in regional asylum teams across the UK. This guidance gives an overview of the case considerations taken when determining whether to contact the Asylum Routing Team (ART) or other specialist team. The guidance also provides, where the case is suitable for routing, an overview of the processes which are followed when routing asylum applicants from the point of claim (port, ASU, LEO and LIT) to regional asylum teams and onwards.

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2. Overview
Following a claim for asylum being made the application is registered; the applicant must be fingerprinted and will then have a screening interview. The applicant is screened to determine their identity and nationality. The screening officer must also establish the applicants route into the UK to ensure the correct immigration paperwork is issued. The fingerprints should immediately be sent to the Immigration Fingerprint Bureau (IFB); the fingerprints will be checked and added to the Immigration Asylum Fingerprints System (IAFS) and the Eurodac database, the results of which may impact upon how the case is handled. All cases will be considered and decided by case owners in one of the regional asylum teams across the UK, with the exception of those which, fit the suitability criteria for Detained Fast Track, are a possible Third Country Case or have any other special case considerations and may be handled by a specialist unit or department. The regional Asylum Teams are situated in the following locations: Cardiff Glasgow Leeds Liverpool Central London West London Solihull

If the applicant falls to be considered by a regional asylum team the case is referred to the Asylum Routing Team (ART) who will allocate the applicant to a regional asylum team and inform the screening officer of this. Within 48hrs (2 working days) of an asylum claim being made the applicant should be routed to a regional asylum team. The referring office at the ASU/LEO/LIT/port must ensure that in both forwarding the case physically and on CID that the file is allocated to the appropriate unit. All cases created on CID since the 13 December 2008 will be assigned to the case creator until another unit/person agrees to take the case. It is therefore in the interest of the creator to send the file to the correct destination and for them to run a Business Objects (BO) report to determine which cases have not been accepted by the nominated team.

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3. Case Considerations
Some cases should not be routed to a regional asylum team and will be considered by a specialist unit. The screening officer at the point of claim should consider whether the case has any special factors meaning that the case should not be referred to the Asylum Routing Team (ART) or only referred after particular preparatory work, for example possible prosecution action cases or where there is a Eurodac hit. Please see below, for further case examples. On a daily basis ART will run a CID Business Objects (BO) report to identify any cases which have not been referred to ART on the day of the claim, and remain unallocated. Such cases will be assigned to a department so that all cases are accounted for.

3.1 Absconders Cases where the applicant absconded during the screening process i.e. where the applicant failed to return to a UK Border Agency office to complete screening and registration of their claim will be referred to ART to be allocated to the asylum team nearest to the point of claim. Where an applicant who absconded after screening but before a decision was made comes to light, they should where practical, if they are not going to be detained and are still entitled to asylum support be routed to the region ART initially allocated the case to. 3.2 Children (Accompanied and Unaccompanied) The referral of an unaccompanied child to Social Services or the checking of the relationship of an accompanied childs contact person or sponsor, should take place on the day of claim prior to the referral to ART. Cases will be referred to ART when the basic bio details have been gathered and the asylum record has been registered on the Case Information Database (CID). CID should include the name, phone and fax numbers and postal address of the Social Services contact who is handling the case or the name, relationship and address of the contact or sponsor. ART must be informed of cases where it is decided that an accompanied child should not leave with their contact person or sponsor but should go into the care of Social Services. For further information and guidance on child applications see the Asylum Instruction Processing Asylum Applications from Children. Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Uncontrolled if printed

Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

3.3 Criminal Casework Cases The asylum claim of an applicant who has been convicted of a non serious offence and is sentenced to serve or is serving less than one year in prison, will be considered by a regional asylum team. ART should allocate the case to the asylum team nearest to where the applicant is serving their sentence. Cases which involve court recommended deportation orders, sentences of more than one year and/or convicted of an offence listed in The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Specification of Particularly Serious Crimes) Order 2004 will be considered by the Criminal Casework Directorate (CCD).

3.4 Damaged Fingerprints At the point of claim when an applicant has been fingerprinted and the fingerprints are deemed to be of poor quality or damaged, the point of claim will refer the case to the Sector 8 Compliance Team who will decide upon the next course of action. ART should be contacted for all cases which the Sector 8 Compliance Team has not recommended detention; they will allocate suitable initial accommodation. The case will remain with the Sector 8 Compliance Team until the applicants identity is established. For further information regarding cases with damaged fingerprints, refer to the Asylum Instruction: Applicants with Poor Quality Fingerprints.

3.5 Detained Fast Track Cases which fit the Suitability Criteria for Detained Fast Track (DFT) should be referred to the Asylum Intake Unit (AIU). The AIU will gather information to confirm the applicant fits the criteria and where the criteria are met, the applicant will be detained. Cases which have been referred to the Asylum Routing Team (ART) directly from the point of claim will undergo the second pair of eyes procedure to ensure any potential DFT cases have not been missed. In the event a case is considered suitable for DFT, the ART will instruct the referring officer to contact the AIU.

3.6 Disputed Age Cases Applicants claiming to be under the age of 18 but whose physical appearance/demeanour very strongly suggest that they are significantly over 18, will be treated and routed as adults. Applicants who claim to be under the age of 18 but whose appearance/demeanour suggests they may be over 18 years of age, but not significantly so, should fall within the age dispute process and will be routed as an age dispute case. For both disputed age case categories an IS97M and a BP7 (ASL.3596) must be completed and issued to the applicant. Uncontrolled if printed

Where an age assessment has been carried out by on-site social workers and the assessment is accepted by UKBA, the applicant should be routed according to the findings of the assessment, (providing that assessment is fair; based on adequate information; considers the general background of the applicant; includes a reasoned decision; and is generally Merton-compliant). Where the applicant is found to be a child, ART should be informed of the name, phone and fax numbers and the postal address of the contact in Social Services. Details must also be entered on CID. For further guidance see the Asylum Instruction: Disputed Age Cases. UKBA must ensure that disputed Age cases are treated appropriately. This should be done in line with Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

3.7 EEA National The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of the member states of the European Union (EU), together with Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland. Applicants in EEA States can claim asylum, but they should be informed of their treaty rights and asked if they wish to withdraw their application to exercise their treaty rights. If the individual wishes to continue with an asylum application and they require accommodation, they should be informed that, they are not entitled to claim asylum support. They should neither be issued with an ARC nor served an IS96/IS248. Such cases are not suitable to be referred for the DFT process and should be referred to ART.

3.8 Medical Cases Applicants may have medical issues or raise issues which suggest the applicant has a need for care and attention over and above destitution; a care need. These cases should be referred by the point of claim to Social Services. Local Authorities have a duty to support applicants assessed as having a care need, in accordance with section 21 of the National Assistance Act. The Asylum Routing Team should be informed of the referral to social services and will allocate the case to the regional team covering the local authority. For further information and guidance see the Asylum Instruction: Medical Evidence and PB 85: Dispersing asylum seekers with health care needs. Where medical evidence is offered in support of an application for accommodation in a specific area, such as London, the applicant may be routed to that region. If the applicant is Uncontrolled if printed

accommodated in Initial Accommodation in the London area the applicant may still be rerouted to another region when they are fit to travel.

3.9 Operation Support Certification Unit Failed asylum seekers that return to the United Kingdom and state that they wish to claim asylum again (a repeat applicant) should not be treated as initial claims but as further submissions. Consideration of the submissions will be under paragraph 353 and must be recorded as further submissions on CID. All cases should initially be referred to Operation Support Certification Unit (OSCU), those that fulfil the JANUS criteria will be handled by OSCU. Those which do not fit the JANUS criteria will be treated as a repeat claim. For further guidance see Enforcement Guidance (OEM) Chapter 29 Repeat Asylum Claims.

3.10 Pre 5 March 2007 Cases Any application with a pre March 5th 2007 date which was not allocated to a regional asylum team will not be routed to a regional asylum team for consideration but will be considered by the Case Resolution Directorate (CRD). If such a person comes to light then the CRD case owner should be contacted.

3.11 Prosecution Cases Cases where there is a possibility of prosecution action should not be referred to ART. Cases will be highlighted from a CID Business Objects (BO) report of unallocated cases. The Asylum Routing Team will establish where the applicant is being held and allocate to the nearest team unless the Criminal casework Directorate (CCD) have an interest.

3.12 Repeat Applications This category relates to the failed asylum seekers that return to the United Kingdom and state that they wish to claim asylum that OSCU cannot consider and those failed asylum seekers who have not left the UK but state that they wish to claim asylum again. All such cases should be recorded as further submissions, see the Asylum Instruction: Further Submissions. In port cases if the individual claimed asylum before the 5 March 2007 then the case should be referred to CRD, if the asylum application was on or after the 5 March 2007 then the case should be referred to the regional asylum team with responsibility for the case. In the individual is in-country then where an initial claim was made before 5 March 2007 and the applicant should submit their further submissions to the Liverpool Further Submissions Unit. For those whose application was made on or after the 5 March 2007 then the individual should be directed to contact their case owner if they are not reporting to find out when and where they should submit their further submissions. See the AI: Further Submissions.

3.13 Third Country Unit Cases Cases where there is a possible third country involvement will be referred to the Third Country Unit (TCU) for further action. For further information refer the Asylum Instruction Third Country Cases: Referring and Handling

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If the applicant claims to be or there is prima facia grounds for considering that the applicant, adult or child, has been a victim of trafficking you must follow the Asylum Instruction Victims of Trafficking.

3.15 Withdrawn Claims Where a case has been withdrawn any new submissions will be treated as further submissions and considered under paragraph 353, which should be submitted in person, at the Liverpool Further Submissions Unit for claims made before 5 March 2007 or at the applicants designated reporting centre for claims made on or after 5 March 2007. Any cases where the applicant has withdrawn their asylum claim are not referred to ART but are picked up on the BO report and allocated to an asylum team where the applicant is residing, in order to oversee the applicants removal. For further information regarding withdrawn claims see Withdrawal of Applications

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4. Asylum Routing Team


Where the application will be handled by a regional asylum team, officers at the point of claim will refer the case to the Asylum Routing Team (ART) directly by telephone, for the arrangements for the applicants routing to be made. The Asylum Routing Team is responsible for: Allocating the application to one of the regional asylum team Allocating Initial Accommodation, where requested Making the arrangements for the applicant to be collected from the point of claim and transported to Overnight Accommodation or Initial Accommodation and Setting up the First Reporting Event (FRE) or an initial standard reporting event according to regional practices

Cases where the applicant will not be accommodated in accommodation provided by the UK Border Agency, but at a private address, will be allocated to the regional team that covers the area where the applicant will reside. Transportation will not be provided; the applicant will be expected to make their own travel arrangements to their accommodation. The Asylum Routing Team operates on a shift basis 7 days a week. The process for routing applicants when the ART is closed will vary slightly; local practices must be adhered to at all times.
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4.1 Initial Officer Actions Once the Asylum Routing Team is informed of a new application, the case will be logged. ARIAT need to gather as much information as possible from the referring officer in order to route the applicant. ART will: Check that the application has been entered onto CID Carry out some initial checks to ensure there are no barriers to the routing process Complete the Referral Form from the information on CID for ASU cases or with the referring officer over the phone for port and LEO referrals Check with the referring officer, whether the applicant will be screened that day Attach a case Checklist to the referral form Update the Routing Database

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4.1.1 Referral Form ARIAT must complete a referral form which acts as an aid as to how the application should be handled. Officers will enter the applicants personal details such as: Name Port reference Nationality Gender Date of Birth Religion 1st language and level of English number of dependants whether the applicant has been fingerprinted whether the applicant has been screened whether the applicant has been issued an ARC whether the applicant is an UASC or Age Disputed and whether a Merton Compliant Age Assessment has been carried out whether the applicant requires accommodation, if not the current address whether the applicant has any special conditions taking care not to breach data protection laws

4.1.2 Checklist A case specific checklist i.e. children, LEO or applicant who requires accommodation, is added to the referral form. The checklists are case specific as each checklist has functions which are specific to each case type. 4.1.3 Routing Database The Routing Database is an ARIAT register which is updated by ARIAT and contains the details of the applicants routing i.e. the asylum team, the applicants port reference, date of claim and the date and time of the FRE, where one is taking place. Regional Asylum Teams access the database to establish which cases have been allocated to their region.
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5. Routing the Applicant


5.1 Allocate Case to Regional Asylum Team Cases are assigned to a regional location based upon, a fixed percentage of the total number of applicants to be routed. Each regional location has a fixed percentage of cases they should receive. There are 25 asylum teams in total; the ratio may vary due to factors affecting specific regions but in general the allocation of cases is as follows: Location Cardiff Glasgow Leeds Liverpool Central London West London Solihull No of Asylum Teams 2 2 5 4 4 4 4 Percentage of Cases 8 8 20 16 16 16 16

The number of applicants who require accommodation being routed to a regional location will be adjusted to accommodate the number of applicants who have found their own accommodation in that area. For applicants who reside in private accommodation ART check the regional map to see which asylum team covers that area. A child will be allocated to the region in which their sponsor is located. Children in the care of Social Services will be allocated to the regional asylum team which covers the Social Services Department which has accepted responsibility for that case. Where there is no Social Service address details recorded on CID the case will be allocated to the region which recorded the asylum claim. Officers will take into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK in accordance with section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. The Asylum Routing Team will inform the asylum teams of cases that have been allocated to them via the Routing Database.

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5.2 Allocating Initial Accommodation The UK Border Agency has contracts with Initial Accommodation providers in all the regional areas. In order to assess where bed spaces are available, ART will contact each provider to establish the current occupancy and number of expected departures. This figure is subtracted from the total number of bed spaces the accommodation contains to derive the number of applicants they can be allocated. For example, IA currently has 50 applicants; total number of bed spaces is 75 therefore the IA has the capacity to be allocated up to 25 applicants. Uncontrolled if printed

The ART will: Check how many bed spaces the provider in the allocated region has and reduce the number of available bed spaces accordingly. Contact the accommodation provider in order to refer an applicant for accommodation; the IA provider will allocate the accommodation to the applicant, and fax confirmation of the booking to the ART within 15 minutes. Contact/telephone the IA provider to verify the address. Check the Special Conditions on CID for any health or special needs i.e. dietary or additional information which needs to be entered onto the Service Commission Form, taking care not to breach data protection laws. Any health or special needs are also discussed with the IA Provider to ensure the accommodation is suitable. An applicant who has medical issues which suggest a need for care and attention over and above destitution; a care need, will fall into the care of Social Services, who have a duty to support applicants assessed as having a care need. Enter details of any dependants onto the Service Commission Form. Fax a completed Service Commission Form to the IA provider to inform them of the name of the applicant and the estimated time of arrival. Once the Service Commission Form has been faxed to the Initial Accommodation provider to inform them of the applicants and any dependants intended arrival, the routing process can be completed on CID. Update the Routing Database.

5.2.1 Overnight Accommodation As many applicants as possible will be moved to IA in the region where their asylum claim will be considered, on the day of claim. However, where this is not possible, arrangements may be made for the applicant to be collected from the point of claim and transported to Overnight Accommodation. This Overnight Accommodation enables all applicants to be at one point for collection to travel to their Initial Accommodation in the regional location, the following day; day 1 of the claim. The Overnight Accommodation that an applicant is transferred to will depend upon where the asylum claim is made. Applicants in the south of the UK are transported to overnight accommodation in the London area. Those in the north are transferred to Overnight Accommodation in Liverpool. The north south border is Birmingham. 5.2.2 Service Commission Form The Service Commission Form is faxed to the Initial Accommodation provider in order to inform the provider of the applicants intended arrival. Officers must enter their contact details and the applicants: Name, DOB, Nationality and Religion. 1st language and their level of English each dependant and the relationship to the main applicant, if any Uncontrolled if printed

date, time and reason of any appointments the applicant will be attending i.e. with a solicitor the date, time and location of the applicants FRE or initial standard reporting event any Special Needs or health issues the provider should be aware of (taking care not to breach data protection laws).

The Service Commission Form for Overnight Accommodation asks whether the applicant has been screened and there are two options for the length of stay for officers to choose from one night or until you are notified about their departure
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5.3 First Reporting Event (FRE) The First Reporting Event is an optional first contact point between an adult applicant and their asylum team. The FRE is compulsory for unaccompanied asylum seeking children. Where an FRE will not take place an initial standard reporting event may be set up. The first reporting event is normally booked for day 2 (48 hrs/2 working days after the claim) or day 10 for children. Weekends are not included in the count. Children and Age disputed applicants are informed of the time, date and location of the FRE in the FRE Invitation Letter, issued to them at the point of claim prior to travel. The Initial Accommodation provider will be notified of the date and time of the applicants FRE/ initial standard reporting event when the Service Commission Form which the Asylum Routing Team will fax to them is received.

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5.4 Transport The Asylum Routing Team may arrange for the applicant to be collected from the point of claim and transferred to Overnight Accommodation or directly to Initial Accommodation (IA) and arrange the transport for those placed in Overnight Accommodation to be taken to their Initial Accommodation. Transport will be arranged to take the applicant from the IA to the FRE or an initial standard reporting event in line with regional practices. Applicants residing in private accommodation will not be provided with transportation and are expected to make their own arrangements to travel to their accommodation and where necessary, to the FRE or initial standard reporting event. 5.4.1 Arranging Transport ART commission journeys from the non-detained transport provider. There may be up to 3 journeys arranged by the Asylum Routing Team, depending on the applicants circumstances, for example, the applicant may require transport from: Point of Claim Overnight Accom. Initial Accommodation FRE

Where the applicant is transported directly to their Initial Accommodation only two journeys will be requested of the Transport provider, G4S. Transport is arranged through a webbased portal provided by the transport provider. The details of each journey that the Uncontrolled if printed ntrolled

applicant will be expected to take should be entered on to the portal along with information about the person/s to be transported. In certain circumstances the journey request is emailed to the transport provider.

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6. Routing Cases on CID


6.1 Initial Checks Initial checks must be carried out on CID to ensure there are no issues which may have an impact on the routing process. To do this officers will look at the CID NAM Routing Scenario, which takes you through all the screens and fields within CID which need to be checked and/or updated to carry out the routing process. 6.1.1 Special Conditions Officers will check for any health issues or special needs which the IA provider needs to be informed of where accommodation is required. Officers will also check if the applicant is age disputed or a child (and whether an age assessment has been done); if age disputed the additional information should say if the applicant should be routed in the adult process or disputed age process. Any special needs and/or health problems must be entered onto the Service Commission Form faxed to the IA provider when confirming accommodation. Care must be taken to ensure that information given to the IA provider does not breach data protection laws. 6.1.2 Case Notes and Person Notes Officers will check for information which may have an impact on the case, such as: Whether the referral sheet information is consistent with the information entered on CID Whether there are any family members not linked Any reasons the applicant will be unable to travel e.g. pregnancy Whether accommodation is required Whether the case is a TCU, OSCU, further reps or whether there may be possible prosecution action. In which event the case cannot be routed unless advised to. 6.1.3 Submitted Documents Officers will check to see what documents the applicant submitted when the claim for asylum was made, in order to establish what documents should be prepared for the applicants onward movement. If the applicant was issued an IS151A, an IS96 should be prepared. If the applicant has a valid passport and extant leave an IS248 instead of an IS96, if there has not been suspected illegal entry should be prepared.

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6.2 CID Updates When the initial checks have been completed, and if applicable the Initial Accommodation has been booked and the Service Commission Form has been faxed to the provider confirming the Initial Accommodation booking, the routing process can be entered on CID. Officers should save the changes before moving onto the next screen.

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7. Out of Hours Claims


Where applications for asylum are made when the Asylum Routing Team are closed, cases will still be referred, however no action will be taken by ART until the following day. In keeping with the timescales of end to end case management once the asylum claim has been registered on CID it is considered day 0. Therefore if a claim is made at 03:00hrs, the end to end process will not commence until the case has been entered onto CID.
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7.1 Routing Team Closed The Asylum Routing Team is open for new referrals between the hours of 08:00 and 19:00 Monday to Friday; 08:00 18:00 on Saturday; and 09:00 15:00 on Sunday. Where the ART is closed the case will be brought to their attention the following day, for action. The Asylum Routing Team will route as per usual practice and: fax a copy of the FRE Invitation Letter to the point of claim send a copy to the relevant Social Services childrens contact or to the applicant at his current address send guidance to the point of claim regarding where the file should be sent

Officers should issue an IS96 to the applicant. However, where the point of claim defers screening to another date the IS96 should reflect the screening date. In all cases the point of claim must fingerprint the applicant. When the applicant attends and screening is completed the applicant should receive a new IS96 reflecting the date, time and location of the FRE or standard initial reporting event where booked. This only applies to out of hours claims.

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7.2 Out of Hours Accommodation Where a claim for asylum is made and accommodation has been requested, the point of claim will telephone the transport provider and the applicant will be taken to Overnight Accommodation from a pre-determined list. Where the applicant comes to the attention of another agency, e.g. the police or hospital, and there is no record of a previous asylum claim the authority should contact an Agency designated official who will determine whether the applicant is vulnerable, i.e. has dependants, is pregnant or has medical or special needs. If they are deemed vulnerable they will be given access to Initial Accommodation overnight for the applicant to make an asylum claim the following day. For further information see the Asylum Instruction Eligibility and Assessment of Asylum Support and the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 73: Provisions of Emergency Accommodation.

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7.3 Out of Hours Transport Officers will contact the Transport Provider directly, who will take the call details and transport the applicant to Out of Hours Accommodation, nearest to the point of claim. The Transport Provider will email the details of all the transfers of applicants carried out overnight to the ART Transport Section the following morning. ART then update the Out of Hours Log, with the following details: name of port, LEO or Police Station full address referring officer warrant number of Immigration Officer contact details time date

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8. Routing Documents
The Asylum Routing Team will generate the appropriate documents the applicant will need in order to be routed. Asylum routing letters are issued to the applicant, with the exception of the RT4, prior to being transferred from the point of claim. These are: IS96 or IS248 FRE Invitation Letter (ICD.3391) RT1 or RT2 RT4

The Asylum Routing Team will inform the point of claim that the documents have been completed. This will enable the officers in the ASU, LEO or port where there is access, to look at the documents on DocGen and check for any errors and highlight any amendments that may need to be made.

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8.1 IS96 In cases where an IS151A has been issued, ARIAT will generate an IS96 reflecting the date, time and location of the FRE or an initial standard reporting event. For cases involving children and age disputes an FRE Invitation letter will be issued. For out of hours cases the point of claim will issue an IS96 to the local reporting centre to where the applicant will be TAd to. The ART may, depending on timings send the FRE invitation letter to the applicant at the accommodation or the applicant will receive the new IS96 when they report to the reporting centre. An IS96 must be prepared for the main applicant and all adult dependants in all cases with the exception of Heathrow cases, where an IS96 is prepared for the main applicant and all dependants. Age disputed cases will be issued IS97M in all cases. Where a Merton Compliant Age Assessment has not been completed at the point of claim an Age Dispute Report BP7 will be completed.

8.2 IS248 An IS248 will be generated in cases where the applicant has made an in time after entry claim. An IS248 should be prepared for the main applicant and all dependants, in all cases.

8.3 FRE Invitation Letter The FRE invitation letter is always issued to children, those accepted into the age disputed process and to an adult applicant when illegal entry papers are not being served or EEA nationals. The invitation letter notifies the applicant of the date, time and place of their FRE and informs the applicant that they must arrive on time and what action the applicant should take in the event they are unable to attend the FRE.

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Officers will insert the FRE details and select the corresponding location and telephone numbers from the drop down menus.

8.4 RT1 The RT1 is issued to applicants who request accommodation provided by the UK Border Agency. The letter outlines which regional location the offered accommodation is and confirms the date and time the applicant will be collected from the Overnight Accommodation and transferred to the Initial Accommodation and how much luggage they will be able to travel with. Officers will amend the letter to reflect whether the applicant is being transferred to Overnight Accommodation to await further travel to Initial Accommodation or being transferred directly to Initial Accommodation. The names, DOB and port references of each dependant, if any must be included in the letter.

8.5 RT2 The RT2 Asylum Routing letter is issued to applicants who have private accommodation. The letter confirms that the applicant did not request accommodation although, should they wish, they can later request to be accommodated. There are no travel arrangements necessary as the applicant is expected to organise their own travel arrangements. The names, DOB and port references of each dependant, if any must be included in the letter. Please note this letter should not be given to EEA nationals. 8.6 RT4 The RT4 is not issued to the applicant but it informs the point of claim what documentation has been prepared to be issued to the applicant, which region will be responsible for the case and where to send the file. The RT4 (File Cover Sheet) will be completed with the applicants HO ref, date of application, point of claim, routing officers name and date the case was routed. In the event letters are for the attention of Social Services, the ART will insert the relevant Social Services department, for example Lambeth Social Services etc.

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Queries
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Glossary
Term AIU ART ASU BO Report BP7 DEPMU DFT FRE IA IS96 IS97M Meaning Asylum Intake Unit Asylum Routing Team Asylum Screening Unit Business Objective Report Age Disputed Report Detention Escort and Population Management Unit Detained Fast Track First Reporting Event; Occasion where case owner and applicant meet for the first time. Initial Accommodation Immigration Service document that details, when, where and how frequently the applicant must report. Immigration Service document (Port) that informs the applicant that both screening and supervising officers believe the applicant to be over 18. Immigration Service document that details, when, where and how frequent the applicant must report, given to applicants with extent leave to remain or enter when they claimed asylum. Immigration Service Illegal Entrants notice to a person liable to removal Local Enforcement Office Asylum Routing Letter issued to applicants who require accommodation Asylum Routing Letter issued to applicants who do not require accommodation Routing Teams file cover minute sheet.

IS248

IS151A LEO RT1 (ICD.3070) RT2 (ICD.3072) RT4 (ICD.3074)

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 Authors M-A. M M-A.M M-A.M Date 23/04/08 21.09.09 20/10/09 Change Reference Approved Draft Review and amendments inline with changed FRE policy and Childrens Duty Amendments in line with Liverpool ASU and Further Submissions change

Review
Reviewed By Name Grant Trimmer Katy Russell Grant Trimmer Katy Russell Charlotte Baldock Grant Trimmer Date April 2008 April 2008 2009 2009 Sept 2009 Oct 2009 Position Process Manager Senior Process Manager Process Manager Senior Process Manager Senior Programme Support Officer Senior Programme Support Officer

Issue Control
Approved for Publication by Name Justin Russell Hugh Ind Date Role

April 2008 Sept 2009

Director Performance Directorate Director L&SE Region

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POSTAL CLAIMS
Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. When is a postal claim valid 2.01 Historical Information 3. Asylum Applications Received by Post 3.01 Asylum Screening Unit 3.1 Correspondence Received in the Document Management Centre (DMC) 3.2 Further Correspondence Received by DMC 3.3 Correspondence Received in the Asylum Team 3.4 Correspondence Received from Detained or Imprisoned Applicants 4. Applicants Unable to Travel to the Asylum Screening Unit 4.01 Cases where Exceptional Circumstances have been mentioned 5. Where Evidence exists that a Postal Claim was made Prior to 08 February 2003 6. Glossary

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1. Introduction
Any applicant present in the United Kingdom who makes an initial claim for asylum is required to attend the Asylum Screening Unit (ASU) for a screening interview before their claim is recorded and processed. This requirement became effective on 8 February 2003. In some exceptional circumstances the UK Border Agency may waive this requirement and arrange for the screening and recording of the application to occur locally to where the applicant is residing. If a failed asylum seeker who is appeal right exhausted makes any representations by post after the 13 October 2009 they should be informed that further submissions are no longer accepted by post and they must submit them in person. See the Asylum Instruction on Further Submissions. If the postal application is from a dependant of an asylum applicant/failed asylum seeker, (a swap-over case), then follow the Asylum Instruction Handling Swap Over Claims.

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2. When is a postal claim valid


In order for a postal claim to be valid it must have been received on or before 8 February 2003. A valid postal claim for asylum received on or before 8 February 2003, or with a post mark date from Royal Mail of 7 February 2003 or before, should be treated in accordance with previous guidance. Where the date of the postal claim precedes 8 February 2003 but was not postmarked by Royal Mail until on or after 8 February 2003, the new procedures should be followed. 2.01 Historical Information All postal claims from any area were accepted prior to the 31st July 2000. Thereafter until 8 February 2003 only postal applications received from outside the London Boroughs were accepted. From that date no applications were accepted by post.
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3. Asylum Applications Received by Post


Since 08 February 2003 asylum applications have not been accepted by post and all individuals wishing to make an asylum claim have been required to attend for a screening interview before their claim is recorded and processed. On 01 December 2007 the Immigration Rules changed. From this date claims for international protection should be construed to be an asylum application and the applicant required to attend the Asylum Screening Unit for a screening interview before the claim is recorded and processed. Where a stand alone article 3 protection related claim was received by post before 01 December 2007, the applicant should be invited to attend the Asylum Screening Unit for their application to be recorded and processed as an asylum claim. Written correspondence received by the UK Border Agency from an individual wishing to claim asylum or who requests international protection should not be accepted and recorded as an asylum claim on CID and will not be counted for statistical purposes. The original correspondence with any supporting documents should be returned to the would-be applicant accompanied by a Rejection of Postal Claim letter (ASL.1036) to refuse the postal application. The applicant should be instructed to attend the Asylum Screening Unit (ASU) to lodge an application.

3.01 Asylum Screening Unit A claim for asylum should be made at the screening unit where the claim can be registered and processed. The Asylum Screening Unit is located at: Lunar House 40 Wellesley Road Croydon CR9 2BY Also see the Asylum Instruction Registering an Asylum Application in the United Kingdom where information on booking an appointment in advance can be found. Any general enquiries should be made to the Immigration Enquiry Bureau (IEB) on 0870 606 7766.

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3.1 Correspondence Received in the Document Management Centre (DMC) Postal claims received in the Document Management Centre should be returned to the sender, along with any accompanying documents and an ASL.1036 Rejection of Postal Claim letter. At this stage, details of the correspondence or the applicant should not be recorded on CID and a Home Office asylum file should not be raised. The DMC will not keep copies of correspondence received.
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3.2 Further Correspondence Received by DMC If a response to the rejection letter is received describing circumstances, why a would be applicant is unable to attend the ASU, the correspondence should be forwarded to the Regional Asylum Team (Team 1) nearest to where the applicant resides. This should then be passed according to local practice to the nominated team. The case owner assigned the representations should then decide if the circumstances are exceptional. For further information on exceptional circumstances see Applicants unable to travel to the Asylum Screening Unit. If the Asylum Team considers that the circumstances are not exceptional, the correspondence along with any supporting documents should be returned to the sender by the Asylum Team, with an ASL.1036 Rejection of Postal Claim letter, advising the applicant to attend the Asylum Screening Unit to register their claim.
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3.3 Correspondence Received in the Asylum Team In the event that correspondence is received by an asylum team, indicating an applicant wishes to make an asylum claim, the correspondence along with any supporting documents should be returned to the sender by the asylum team, with an ASL.1036 Rejection of Postal Claim letter. Where the correspondence indicates circumstances which prohibit a would be applicant from attending the Asylum Screening Unit in person to make a claim, the Asylum Team should request evidence (if this has not been provided). On receipt of the evidence, the Asylum Team should decide if the circumstances are exceptional, then liaise with the Local Enforcement Office (LEO) to make alternative screening arrangements. For further information see Applicants Unable to Travel to the Asylum Screening Unit.

3.4 Correspondence Received from Detained or Imprisoned Applicants Any postal asylum applications received from individuals who are detained or imprisoned should be sent to the Criminal Casework Directorate (CCD) for further action. At this stage, a Home Office asylum file should not be raised. The Criminal Casework Directorate (CCD) will in some circumstances accept a postal application from prisoners. A postal application accepted by CCD will be recorded on CID.

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4. Applicants Unable to Travel to the Asylum Screening Unit


In some exceptional circumstances it may be possible for an applicant who is unable to travel to the Asylum Screening Unit to have their claim registered and processed at a local enforcement unit, with the agreement of the Local Enforcement Office (LEO). Examples of an exceptional circumstance could be where an applicant or one of their dependants has a disability or a serious illness or is otherwise physically incapable of travelling to the ASU in Croydon. 4.01 Cases where Exceptional Circumstances have been mentioned Correspondence detailing serious or exceptional circumstances stating that an applicant has a disability or where other exceptional circumstances prevail, for example a severe illness, which prevents the individual from making a claim in person and where satisfactory evidence is provided, should be forwarded to Asylum Team 1 in the region the applicant resides in. The representations will be assigned to a case owner who will decide if exceptional circumstances apply and if so will liaise with the LEO and offer an alternative screening arrangement or location to the individual. Alternative screening may involve a visit to the applicants home or hospital to record the asylum claim. It should be noted that having insufficient funds or inconvenience is not an acceptable reason for a person not being able to make a claim in person. It should also be noted that an asylum file should not be raised and the claim should not be recorded on CID until the individual is screened. Once the applicant has been screened, the claim should be recorded on CID. The Asylum Team should keep records of the number of exceptional circumstances cases that have been accepted.

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5. Where Evidence exists that a Postal Claim was made Prior to 08 February 2003
If the applicant submits a copy of a postal claim and provides satisfactory recorded or registered delivery details, or an officer becomes aware of a letter or correspondence attached to a family member or associated persons file that has not been responded to dated prior to 8 February 2003 and it is considered that the postal application is valid then the Asylum Register of the NAM+ Programme should be contacted for further advice.

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6. Glossary
Term ASL.1036 ASU CID CCD CRD DMC FCU LEO Meaning Letter to be sent to applicant to applicant to refuse a postal application Asylum Screening Unit Case Information Database Criminal Casework Directorate Case Resolution Directorate Document Management Centre File Creation Unit Local Enforcement Offices

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 Authors Unknown Unknown M-A. M G Trimmer M-A.M Date 08/02/03 00/01/05 Feb 2008 30/10/08 09/10/09 Change Reference

Amendments to process Update branding and hyperlink change Amendments following ASU Liverpool re-designation

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FIRST REPORTING EVENT (FRE)


Table of Contents

1. Introduction 1.1 First Reporting Event - Adults 1.2 First Reporting Event Unaccompanied Children 1.2.1 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and those with Children 2. FRE Not Taking Place Required Actions 3. FRE Taking Place Required Actions 3.1 Before the FRE 3.2 During the FRE 3.3 FREs for Unaccompanied Children over the Telephone 3.4 After the FRE 4. Legal Representatives 5. Glossary

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1. Introduction
1.1 First Reporting Event - Adults The First Reporting Event (FRE) is an optional first contact point between an adult asylum applicant and a member of their appointed regional asylum team. It provides an opportunity for the applicant to be provided with documentation and information in person. Regional asylum teams can choose not to conduct an FRE with an adult applicant. However, they will need to ensure that the applicant still receives all the required documentation and information (see chapter 2. FRE Not Taking Place - Required Actions). Alternatively they could choose to conduct an FRE over the telephone and then send out all the required documentation and information.
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1.2 First Reporting Event Unaccompanied Children An FRE must be completed for all unaccompanied children who register an asylum application. This should always be a face to face meeting unless the child is in the care of Social Services where it can be agreed between the case-owner and social worker to conduct the FRE by telephone. For further guidance see 3.3 FREs for Unaccompanied Children over the Telephone). Case owners who consider unaccompanied child asylum applications should read this instruction in conjunction with the chapter First Reporting Event (FRE) within the Processing Asylum Applications from Children instruction. 1.2.1 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and those with Children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate:

Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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2. FRE Not Taking Place Required Actions


If a decision is made for an FRE to not go ahead, the applicant must still be issued with all the information they would have received if they had attended the FRE. Furthermore, it must be ensured that information is delivered directly to the applicant and/or their representative and not to any Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for them to hand out to the applicant (e.g. Refugee Council). The case owner allocated the case, must ensure that the applicant receives the following: Invitation to substantive interview letter (ASL.0062); Covering letter to the applicants representative (ASL.0063) if applicable; Point of claim information leaflets (if these were not previously issued by the Asylum Screening Units (ASUs) (the leaflets can be printed out from here); Pink IS.96 or IS.248, ensuring the applicants reporting regime is appropriate and setting out their residency requirements; Letter of appointment to an allocated representative, a list of representatives or phone number for Community Legal Service Direct (depending on region and if accommodated by the UK Border Agency); Dependant letter (ASL.1959) if applicable and required; Refugee Council letter; RepARC information sheet.

It must be ensured that the case owners details have been included on all relevant documents. Once these documents have been issued to the applicant, the Case Information Database (CID) must be updated to confirm this.
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3. FRE Taking Place Required Actions


3.1 Before the FRE The date of the FRE should be checked and it must be ensured that an interview room and where required, an interpreter, is booked. CID and/or the screening interview record should also be checked for the applicants language/dialect and to ensure that there has not been a specific gender request. It must also be checked that all the applicants details are correct on CID. The following documents which will need to be given to the applicant must then be prepared: Invitation to substantive interview letter (ASL.0062); Covering letter to the applicants representative (ASL.0063) if applicable; Letter of appointment to see allocated representative, the list of representatives or phone number for Community Legal Service Direct (depending on region and if accommodated by Asylum Support); Dependant letter (ASL.1959) if applicable and documenting the dependants; Point of claim information leaflets (if these were not previously issued by the Asylum Screening Units (ASUs) (the leaflet can be printed out from here); Refugee Council letter; RepARC information sheet.

It must be ensured that the case owners details have been included on all relevant documents.
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3.2 During the FRE The applicant will arrive at the Reporting Centre and present themselves at the desk. The Reporting Centre officer will check CID to see if the applicant is due to attend an FRE, they will then ask the applicant to take a seat and wait for a member of the regional asylum team to arrive. Once a member of the regional asylum team arrives in the reporting centre they will call the applicant and escort them to an interview room. During the FRE they should introduce their self and provide the applicant with the contact details of the case owner (if the case owner is not conducting the FRE). The member of the regional asylum team should check that the applicant can understand them and where an interpreter is used that they are able to understand the interpreter. If the applicant is unable to understand, an alternative interpreter should be used.

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The member of the regional asylum team should explain the role of the interpreter and inform the applicant that they can, if they wish to do so, request a gender specific interpreter for the substantive asylum interview. The following actions must then be completed: Confirm and obtain the applicants contact details; Explain the dispersal procedure if the applicant is in Initial Accommodation; Check if the applicant requires legal representation; Check if the applicant requires assistance with travel expenses. Further information on travel expenses can be found in the instruction Arrangements for Travel Tickets; Explain the role of the case owner, i.e. that they have responsibility for the case until completion, the asylum process and timings (asylum interviews, decision service, appeals, electronic monitoring if applicable, assisted voluntary return and integration); Inform the applicant of the restrictions that they must comply with i.e. work, travel and residence; Explain the invitation to interview letter (ASL.0062), stating the date, time and location of the interview. Explaining what will happen during the interview (NINO & Redocumentation I/Vs). It must be stressed to the applicant the importance of attending their asylum interview. Where an applicant fails to attend an asylum interview, and does not provide any evidence within an acceptable timeframe (ordinarily 5 days) that their non-attendance was due to circumstances beyond their control, the claim will normally be treated as implicitly withdrawn and will result in the application being discontinued. See Immigration Rule paragraph 333C and the instruction Withdrawal of Applications for further information; Explain to the applicant the importance of attending the reporting events, including RepARC and stressing that failure to report will result in the loss of subsistence payments and a reassessment of the contact management regime, as well as scope for electronic monitoring (tagging or voice recognition (VR)), or increased physical reporting, or detention; Explain to the applicant the frequency of their reporting regime and issue the applicant with the revised PINK IS96 or IS248; Ask the applicant if they have any questions or concerns.

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3.3 FREs for Unaccompanied Children over the Telephone Unaccompanied children under the care of the social services can have their FRE conducted over the telephone with their social worker present, and then have all the required documentation and information sent to them. If an FRE is being conducted over the telephone the regional asylum team must liaise with the childs social worker to ensure that they are content for the FRE to proceed in this Uncontrolled if printed

manner and that if required, an interpreter is available to relay the telephone conversation between the member of the regional asylum team and the social worker, to the child. Please note: Unaccompanied children in private foster care must continue to have a faceto-face FRE. When considering the above, refer back to and fully consider 1.2.1 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and those with Children.
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3.4 After the FRE Following the FRE, CID must be updated to state that the applicant has completed their FRE and the notes screen to show any outcomes, confirm the frequency of the reporting regime and any concerns, i.e. potential applicant for tagging or VR. A minute should also be placed on the applicants file, outlining all the events that have taken place.
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4. Legal Representatives
Regional asylum teams should be aware that the process for issuing information on legal representatives varies from region to region and they should act according to local regional practices. Typically, where applicants qualify for accommodation, an independent voluntary sector agency tasked in the area will be notified. They will allocate and set up a meeting with a legal representative. Details of the appointment may be passed to the regional asylum team to give to the applicant at the FRE, if it is taking place, or to post to the applicant if it is not. If the applicant has arranged their own legal representative then the appointment should be cancelled. Non-accommodated applicants are given in the ASU or in Initial Accommodation the phone number for Community Legal Service Direct, which is provided by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). If an applicant indicates that they are yet to find legal representation and an appointment has not been set up on their behalf a member of the regional asylum team should: Issue an approved LSC list to the applicant (if the region has one); or Issue the telephone number of Community Legal Service Direct in order to obtain legal representation (not Scotland, non-accommodated applicants); or Inform the applicant that they should contact the Scottish Refugee Council (Scotland cases only).

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5. Glossary
Term Dispersal Electronic Monitoring Initial Accommodation Meaning When the applicant is moved from Initial Accommodation to long term accommodation. A form of reporting which involves tagging the applicant or Voice Recognition (VR). Where an applicant who requests accommodation from the UKBA, is accommodated until they are dispersed to longer term accommodation A document that gives the applicant temporary admission to the UK, details, when, where and how frequent the reporting events will be and where the applicant is expected to reside. National Insurance Number. If the applicant is granted leave they are issued with a National Insurance Number so they can access benefits or work. Failure to attend or comply with a reasonable request for information in connection with the asylum process. Electronic system that must be conducted at each reporting event to ensure support is given to the applicant.

IS.96

NINO

Non-Compliance RepARC

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 Authors JR M-A.M M-A.M M-A.M BN BN GL GL Date 03/03/07 06/07/2007 20/12/2007 14/03/2008 27/02/2009 28/07/2009 01/10/09 23/10/09 Change Reference Re formatted Draft for Publication Amendments to links Amendments following change to Immigration Rules Minor amendments in light of change to FRE policy. Clarification of UASC policy. Inclusion of Childrens Duty Further Update To Childrens Duty

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ADDITIONAL SERVICES OR FACILITIES UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM ACT 1999
Table of Contents Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Different types of Additional Services and Facilities Handling Additional Services or Facilities Applications Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 Stage 9 Applying for an Additional Service or Facility Quality Checking Application Form Assessment of Eligibility Travel Travel - Supported person requires healthcare treatment Travel - Registering a birth Birth certificates Telephone calls Stationary One-Off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers Additional weekly support for pregnant women Additional weekly support for children under 3 Additional weekly support for childrens clothing Exceptional Specific Needs Refusal of an Application for an Additional Service or Facility Grant or Partial Grants of Additional services or facilities Applications Additional services or facilities delivered via payment card Additional services or facilities delivered via the accommodation provider ASYS Minute Templates Following a Grant of an Additional Service/Facility Travel - Service User requires healthcare treatment Uncontrolled if printed 1

Travel - Registering a Birth Birth Certificates Telephone Calls Stationary One-Off Supply of additional support for pregnant women and new mothers Additional weekly support for pregnant women Additional weekly support for children under 3 Additional weekly support for childrens clothing Exceptional Specific Needs

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Introduction
This Asylum Instruction (AI) deals with additional services or facilities for destitute persons supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act). It must be read in conjunction with both the AI on Section 4 Support and the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007 (the 2007 Regulations). Throughout this document, the title of these regulations will be shortened to the Additional Services Regulations. Persons on section 4 support may require further services or facilities that are above and beyond those which can be provided in the form of ordinary section 4 support. The aim of the Additional Services Regulations is to set out in legislation the power to provide additional support to supported persons who are already receiving section 4 support and require additional services or facilities that cannot be met by their current support. All the different types of additional services and facilities, and the relevant amounts, for which supported persons may apply, are set out in the legislation. A supported person must be in receipt of section 4 support in order to be eligible to receive an additional service or facility. However, in addition to a supported person applying for an additional service or facility while he/she is in receipt of section 4 support, an applicant can apply for an additional service or facility at the same time he/she is applying for support under section 4. A grant of an additional service or facility to an applicant granted but not yet in receipt of section 4 support, will be on the proviso that the applicant must be in receipt of section 4 support before the additional service or facility will be provided. Additional support will not be provided until the applicant is a supported person in receipt of section 4 support. For further information on the criteria a failed asylum seeker and his/her dependants must meet to be eligible for section 4 support, see AI Section 4 Support Instruction. Those supported under section 4(1) are only eligible for these additional services or facilities if they can demonstrate that they are destitute. For information on the provision of support under section 4(1)(c) to persons released on bail from detention under any provision of the Immigration Acts, refer to the Section 4 Bail Accommodation AI. Throughout this document, the terms he/she, him/her and his/hers will be used for all decision-makers and supported persons regardless of their gender unless the section can only apply to one gender. An example of a section that can only relate to one gender is the One-off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers. The term supported persons will be used to apply to all persons already receiving support under section 4, regardless of whether they were a main applicant or a dependant upon submission of the section 4 application. The term applicant will be used to apply to all persons who have either an application outstanding for section 4 support, or have been granted section 4 support, but are not yet currently in receipt of support under section 4, regardless of whether they are a main applicant or a dependant upon submission of the section 4 application. There are two types of additional service or facility application forms: The Application for Additional Services or Facilities for Service Users application form should be used by supported persons already in receipt of section 4 support. Uncontrolled if printed 3

The Application for Provision of Services or Facilities for Section 4 Service Users section of the Application for Support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 for Failed Asylum Seekers application form should be used by applicants applying for an additional service or facility at the same time he/she is applying for support under section 4(2) or (3).

These application forms will be referred to for the remainder of this document as the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form. Case Owners in both the Regional Asylum Teams and the Case Resolution Directorate may be required to handle applications for additional services or facilities. In most cases additional services and facilities are delivered via the Azure pre-paid payment card (payment card). The only additional services or facilities that will not be delivered via the payment card, will be facilities for travel under regulation 3(1) and regulation 9(1)(a) of the 2007 Regulations, which will be delivered by the accommodation provider. The payment card is administered by Sodexo on behalf of the UK Border Agency.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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Different types of Additional Services and Facilities


This section lists the different types of additional services and facilities that can be provided by the Secretary of State to qualifying supported persons as prescribed by the Additional Services Regulations. Travel - regulation 3(1): The Secretary of State may supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities for travel for a qualifying journey to a supported person to (a) receive healthcare treatment, provided that the supported person has provided evidence that the qualifying journey is necessary; or (b) register a birth. If facilities for travel are provided to a supported person under regualtion 3(1), under regulation 3(2), if necessary, the Secretary of State may also supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities for travel for that qualifying journey to one or more dependants of that supported person if they are themselves supported persons. If facilities for travel are provided under regualtion 3(1) to a supported person who is a child, under regulation 3(2), if necessary, the Secretary of State may also supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities for travel for that qualifying journey to a parent or guardian of that supported person or a person who for the time being takes parental responsibility for that supported person, if they are themselves supported persons. If the parent, guardian or person who for the time being takes parental responsibility for that supported person himself has dependants then, if necessary, the Secretary of State may also supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities for travel for that qualifying journey, to one or more of his dependants, if they are themselves supported persons. Birth Certificates - regulation 4: The Secretary of State may arrange for the provision to a supported person of his childs full birth certificate. Telephone Calls - regulation 5(1): The Secretary of State may supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities to a supported person aged 18 or over, to make telephone calls (a) regarding medical treatment or care, (b) to a qualified person, (c) to a court or tribunal, (d) to a voluntary sector partner, (e) to a citizens advice bureau, (f) to a local authority, (g) to an immigration officer, (h) to the Secretary of State. Stationary - regulation 5(2): The Secretary of State may supply, or arrange for the supply of, stationery and postage for correspondence to a supported person aged 18 or over (a) regarding medical treatment or care, (b) to a qualified person, (c) to a court or tribunal, (d) to a voluntary sector partner, (e) to a citizens advice bureau, Uncontrolled if printed 5
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(f) to a local authority, (g) to an immigration officer, (h) to the Secretary of State.
One-off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers - regulation 6: During the ante-natal eligible period, on application, the Secretary of State may arrange for additional support to be credited to the pregnant womans section 4 payment card redeemable for goods to the value of 250 in respect of each expected child to the pregnant woman.

In a case where such support has not been provided during the ante-natal eligible period, during the post-natal eligible period, on application, the Secretary of State may arrange for additional support to be credited to the new mothers section 4 payment card redeemable for goods to the value of 250 in respect of each new born child to the mother. However, one-off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers shall not apply if a maternity payment has been made in respect of the child in question. Additional weekly support for pregnant women and children under threeregulation 7: o For the duration of a supported persons pregnancy, on application, the Secretary of State may arrange for additional support to be credited to the pregant womans section 4 payment card redeemable for goods or services to the value of 3 per week. o Until the first birthday of a child who is a supported person, on application, the Secretary of State may arrange for additional support to be credited to his/her section 4 payment card redeemable for goods or services to the value of 5 per week. o From the day after the first birthday of a child who is a supported person, until the third birthday, on application, the Secretary of State may arrange for additional support to be credited to his/her section 4 payment card redeemable for goods or services to the value of 3 per week. Additional weekly support for childrens clothing - regulation 8: Until the sixteenth birthday of a child who is a supported person, on application, the Secretary of State may arrange for additional support to be credited to his/her section 4 payment card redeemable for clothing to the value of 5 per week. Exceptional Specific Needs - regulation 9: If the Secretary of State is satisfied that a supported person has an exceptional need for: (a) facilities for travel, (b) facilities to make telephone calls, (c) stationery and postage, or (d) essential living needs, she may provide for that need, notwithstanding that the conditions for the supply of those services or facilities referred to respectively in regulations 3, 5, and 6 are not satisfied.

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Handling Additional Services or Facilities Applications


If a supported person/applicant considers that he/she requires additional services or facilities, he/she must submit his/her application on an Additional Services or Facilities Application Form. Refer to Applying for Additional Service or Facility for further information. On receipt of an application for additional services or facilities, Case Owners must undertake the following actions:

Stage 1 Case Owner records receipt of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form On receipt of an application for additional services or facilities, Case Owners should scan the application form onto ASYS using the label S4 Assess Provision of Services or Facilities application, and minute ASYS clearly to show the date of the application and the application type(s). If an applicant is applying for an additional service at the same time as he/she is applying for section 4 support, in addition to creating the application for section 4 support in ASYS, Case Owners must raise the additional services or facilities application on ASYS as a separate application for audit trail purposes. Proceed to stage 2

Stage 2 Is the application from a supported person currently in receipt of section 4 support, or is the application from an applicant applying for an additional service or facility at the same time as applying for section 4 support? If the individual is a supported person currently in receipt of section 4 support, Case Owners should proceed to stage 3 If the individual is an applicant applying for an additional service or facility at the same time as applying for section 4 support, the Case Owner should assess whether the applicant qualifies for section 4 support, referring to the Section 4 Support AI: If the applicant qualifies for section 4 support and has requested additional services or facilities, proceed to stage 3 If an applicant does not qualify for section 4 support, the application for additional services or facilities should be refused on the basis that the applicant does not satisfy the definition of a supported person as set out in the 2007 Regulations. Refer to Refusal of an Application for Additional Services. If the individual is not in receipt of section 4 support and does not have an application for section 4 support outstanding, the application for additional services or facilities should be refused on the basis that the applicant does not satisfy the definition of a supported person as set out in the 2007 Regulations. Refer to Refusal of an Application for Additional Services or Facilities.
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Stage 3 Analyse the application form and ascertain whether the supported person / applicant has completed the form correctly. Refer to Quality Checking Application Form for further information on analysing whether the form has been correctly completed Uncontrolled if printed 7

Has the form been correctly completed? If the application form has been correctly completed, proceed to stage 4 If the application form has not been correctly completed, the Case Owner should return the application using Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter, highlighting any incorrect or incomplete sections. ASYS should be minuted with the return outcome.

Stage 4 If the supported person is in receipt of support under section 4(1)(c), is he/she destitute? As set out under regulation 2 of the Additional Services Regulations to be eligible for additional services or facilities a supported person must be destitute. Supported persons in receipt of support under section 4(1)(c), may not necessarily be destitute. As a result, if an application for additional services or facilities is received from a supported person in receipt of support under 4(1)(c), the supported persons destitution must be assessed if this has not already been done. Refer to the Section 4 Support AI for further information on assessing destitution. If the supported person is destitute, proceed to stage 5 If the supported person is not destitute, the Case Owner should refuse the application for additional services or facilities. Refer to Refusal of an Application for Additional Services. If the supported person is in receipt of support under section 4(2) or 4(3), proceed to stage 5
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Stage 5 Does the application for additional services or facilities, or part of the application for additional services or facilities relate to a new dependant? If no, proceed to stage 6 If yes, Case Owners must also consider this to be an application to add a dependant on to the main supported persons section 4 support. Did the dependant qualify as a dependant on the principle applicants / supported persons section 4 support? o If yes, proceed to stage 6 o If no, and the application for additional services or facilities relates solely to that ineligible dependant, the Case Owner should refuse the application for the additional service. Refer to Refusal of an Application for Additional Services or Facilities. o If no, but only part of the additional service application relates to the ineligible dependant, Case Owners should consider eligibility for the remaining additional services or facilities applied for. The additional services or facilities for which the supported person is ineligible should be refused in the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter after completion of the consideration process. Proceed to stage 6 Uncontrolled if printed 8
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Stage 6 Assess whether the applicant/supported person satisfies the eligibility criteria for the additional services or facilities he/she has applied for: Applicants/supported persons are required to provide appropriate evidence to demonstrate that they are eligible for the additional service or facility for which he/she has applied. The eligibility criteria and supporting evidence required is dependant on the additional service/facility applied for: Travel Birth certificates Telephone calls Stationary One-off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers Additional weekly support for pregnant woman Additional weekly support for children under 3 Additional weekly support for childrens clothing Exceptional specific needs
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Proceed to stage 7

Stage 7 Did the applicant/supported person satisfy the eligibility criteria for the additional services or facilities he/she applied for? If the applicant/supported person qualifies for one or more of the additional services or facilities he/she has applied for, the Case Owner should arrange the for the provision of the additional services or facilities the applicant/supported person is eligible for. If he/she is an applicant and not yet in receipt of section 4 support, the grant of the additional services or facilities will be on the proviso that he/she is in receipt of section 4 support. Refer to Grant or Partial Grants of Additional Services or Facilities Application. Proceed to stage 8 If the applicant/supported person does not qualify for any of the additional services or facilities applied for, the Case Owner should refuse the additional services or facilities application. Refer to Refusal of an Application for Additional Services or Facilities.

Stage 8 Set review dates If the additional service or facility requires the ongoing provision of additional support, the Case Owner should set review dates within ASYS based on the additional service granted.

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Stage 9 If a provisional grant of an additional service was made to an applicant not yet in receipt of section 4 support, did the applicant travel to his/her allocated section 4 accommodation? In the event an additional service has been granted at the same time as granting section 4 support, if the applicant subsequently fails to take up the offer of section 4 support, the usual failed to travel process should be followed; however, Case Owners should also minute ASYS to state that the additional services or facilities are no longer applicable.

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10

Applying for an Additional Service or Facility


It is the responsibility of the applicant/supported person to fill in the appropriate box(es) on the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form and to provide any relevant additional evidence to support his/her application where this has been requested. If the applicant/supported person wishes to apply for more than one additional service or facility, he/she should submit all applications on the same form. Failure to do so may result in the applications being considered independently of one another, possibly at different times.

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Quality Checking Application Form


In assessing whether the application has been completed correctly, the Case Owner must undertake the following: Check that the applicants/supported persons personal details are correct by comparing details on the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form with those on CID and ASYS. Check that the applicant/supported person has ticked the box relating to his/her additional need(s), and establish his/her additional requirements. If the additional service applies to a dependant, check that the dependants have been included on the application form: o If the application is from a supported person currently in receipt of section 4 support who has submitted an Application for Provision of Services or Facilities for Section 4 Service Users application form, the supported person is required to enter the dependants name, date of birth and place of birth in the dependants section of the form. , and select either existing dependant if the individual is already supported as a dependant under section 4, or new dependant if he/she needs to be added as a dependant under section 4. o If the application is from an applicant applying for section 4 support, and has applied for additional services or facilities as part of his section 4 application, the applicant is required to have entered the dependants details in Part 4 of the application form. Check that the application form has been signed by applicant/supported person. Check that the supported person has supplied the required evidence relating to his/her additional services or facilities application.

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Assessment of Eligibility
The assessment of eligibility is dependant on the additional service applied for. Case Owners should always check the minutes on ASYS to ensure that the additional services or facilities application has not already been processed. To be eligible to receive support under the Additional Services Regulations a person must be a supported person who is being provided with accommodation under section 4 of the 1999 Act. However, an applicant applying for section 4 support may apply for support under the Additional Services Regulations at the same time he/she is applying for support under section 4(2) or (3). In this scenario, at the time of application, the applicant would not satisfy the eligibility criteria for the receipt of this additional support that he/she is a supported person who is being provided with accommodation under section 4. As a result, if the applicant is assessed as being eligible for section 4 support, and is subsequently assessed as being otherwise eligible for the additional service or facility he/she has applied for, the offer of additional support will be on the proviso that he/she is in receipt of section 4 support. Support under the Additional Services Regulations will not be provided until the applicant is in receipt of section 4 support If the applicant is refused section 4 support, his/her application for support under the Additional Services Regulations will be refused on the basis that he/she is not is a supported person who is being provided with accommodation under section 4, and as a result, consideration of eligibility as specified below will not be required. Please note that it is a legal requirement that for eligibility against an additional service/facility to be considered, the applicant/supported person must have applied for that additional service or facility. Case Owners cannot authorise additional services or facilities that have not been requested.

Travel There are only two prescribed reasons under the Additional Services Regulations why the Secretary of State may supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities for travel to a person on section 4 support. The two prescribed reasons are as follows: to receive healthcare treatment, provided that the supported person has provided evidence that the qualifying journey is necessary; or to register a birth.

Regulation 3(2) allows the Secretary of State to provide travel facilities for the aforementioned purposes to (a) dependants of the supported person and; (b) in the case of a supported person who is a child (i) a parent or guardian of that supported person or a person who for the time being takes parental responsibility for that supported person; and (ii) if the parent, guardian or person who for the time being takes parental responsibility for that supported person himself has dependants then one or more of his dependants. Regulation 3(3) allows the Secretary of State to only supply such facilities to supported persons. Uncontrolled if printed 13

Travel - Supported person requires healthcare treatment

If an applicant/supported person applies for travel in connection with healthcare treatment under the Additional Services Regulations, he/she is required to fill in the appropriate box of the Additional Services and Facilities Application Form. In addition, he/she must submit any evidence to support his/her application. Healthcare treatment includes GPs, hospitals, NHS walk-in centres, minor accident centres, baby clinics, dentists and similar facilities. For an applicant/supported person to be eligible for travel facilities to receive healthcare treatment, he/she must meet the criteria set out in Regulation 3 of the Additional Services Regulations and the definition of qualifying journey in Regulation 2. The journey should be either: not less than 3 miles less than 3 miles where the supported person has a child dependant under the age of 5 difficult since the supported person or a child dependant is unable or virtually unable to walk a distance of 3 miles.

There may be some circumstances in which travel by bus or other public transport is appropriate. In other cases, a taxi may be appropriate. The Additional Services and Facilities Application Form and guidance notes clearly outline to the applicant/supported person a requirement for him/her to produce relevant evidence and that the application will not be considered unless this has been produced. The applicant/supported person should, where possible, submit written evidence from the healthcare provider to demonstrate that he/she needs to travel to receive healthcare treatment. This evidence should, where possible, be submitted on official notepaper with details of the healthcare provider. An appointment card would suffice. Where evidence is provided of a series of medical appointments, authorisation can be given for the whole series. It will not be necessary to apply for travel to each appointment. There may be some occasions where a verbal statement of a pending medical appointment is acceptable. There may be a clear and obvious need for someone to visit their GP or an A&E department or similar at short notice. Case Owners should use their discretion as to whether verbal evidence should be accepted and should seek guidance from a senior caseworker before proceeding if they are unsure. This must be considered on a case-by-case basis. When considering whether travel should be provided, consideration should be given to the following: Nature of the condition/symptoms for which the appointment was sought. Is it the sort of condition which could have required short notice attention? Previous awareness of an existing medical problem. If the Case Owner is already aware of a medical condition for which a supported person/applicant receives regular treatment, it is less likely that verbal evidence will be considered insufficient.
Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 18 pt, Bulleted + Level: 1 + Aligned at: 36 pt + Tab after: 53 pt + Indent at: 55.85 pt, Tabs: Not at 53 pt

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Urgency of medical condition. It may not always be practicable to submit written evidence for unexpected medical conditions that require urgent treatment.

An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Cost of travel is not known There may be occasions where it is not possible to establish the cost of travel for the purpose of receiving healthcare treatment before requesting the accommodation provider to authorise a payment. In this scenario, the Case Owner should establish whether the required journeys are to be made either by bus or another form of public transport, or by taxi. The Case Owner should then act as follows: 1. Establish whether required journeys are to be made by bus or another form of public transport, or by taxi. 2. Once the method of transport is known, establish an approximate cost according to the supported persons current area of residence. This can be done by, for example, contacting colleagues in the appropriate regional asylum team, the Voluntary Sector or the relevant Accommodation Provider for advice. 3. Once the supported person has made the required journeys, the Case Owner should request that the accommodation provider provides details of all costs incurred. Any discrepancies between the estimated and actual costs should subsequently be settled with the accommodation provider.

Travel - Registering a birth Where an applicant/supported person has given birth in the United Kingdom, the parent must register the birth with the local registrar. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the birth must be registered within 42 days. In Scotland, this must be done within 21 days. For a person to be eligible for travel to register a birth, the journey must meet the definition of qualifying journey set out in regulation 2 of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form. As in most cases the supported person will be accompanied by a baby, they will almost certainly meet the definition. If the individual is currently in receipt of section 4 support and has previously been granted section 4 support due to a pregnancy, she should have already submitted a MATB1 which includes the expected date of delivery. This provides evidence that the supported person was due to give birth at the time of the application. If an applicant/supported person needs to register the birth of her child, she should fill the appropriate box of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form and include the childs name, date of birth and place of birth in the dependants section of the form. The same process should be followed for Birth certificates, One-Off additional support for new mothers and Additional weekly support for children under 3.

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Evidence that the birth has taken place may be documentary evidence from the hospital, such as the midwifes notes including the babys unique national health number and personal details, or in the event the mother is currently in receipt of asylum support, evidence from the accommodation provider that the supported person now has a baby in the household. If the birth has taken place, the accommodation provider should accompany the parent to the registrar to formally register the birth. The 42 day limit for registration should make it possible in most cases to authorise the accommodation provider in advance to provide travel (but note the shorter 21 day time scale for registration in Scotland). An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Cost of travel is not known There may be occasions where it is not possible to establish the cost of travel for the purpose of registering a birth before requesting the accommodation provider to authorise a payment. In this scenario, the Case Owner should establish whether the required journeys are to be made either by bus or by taxi. The Case Owner should then act as follows: 1. Establish whether required journeys are to be made by bus or another form of public transport, or by taxi. 2. Once the method of transport is known, establish an approximate cost according to the supported persons current area of residence. This can be done by, for example, contacting colleagues in the appropriate regional asylum team, the Voluntary Sector or the relevant Accommodation Provider for advice. 3. Once the supported person has made the required journeys, the Case Owner should request that the accommodation provider provides details of all costs incurred. Any discrepancies between the estimated and actual costs should subsequently be settled with the accommodation provider.

Birth certificates When an applicant/supported person gives birth, it will be often be necessary to acquire the full birth certificate. The full birth certificate means that the details of both parents have been included. Regulation 4 of the Additional Services Regulations states that: The Secretary of State may arrange for the provision to a supported person of his childs full birth certificate. The applicant/supported person should apply on the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form and attach any evidence of the birth to the form. Evidence that the birth has taken place may be documentary evidence from the hospital, such as the Uncontrolled if printed 16

midwifes notes including the babys unique national health number and personal details, or if he/she is a supported person, evidence from the accommodation provider that the supported person now has a baby in the household. The accommodation provider will always be required to accompany the supported person to register the birth so that they can make the payment for the birth certificate which will subsequently be reimbursed by the Home Office. The 42 day limit for registration should make it possible in most cases to authorise the accommodation provider in advance to provide travel (but note the shorter 21 day time scale for registration in Scotland). An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Telephone calls Regulation 5(1) of the Additional Services Regulations allow for certain telephone calls. The legislation states the following: The Secretary of State may supply, or arrange for the supply of, facilities to make telephone calls (i) regarding medical treatment or care, (j) to a qualified person, (k) to a court or tribunal, (l) to a voluntary sector partner, (m) to a citizens advice bureau, (n) to a local authority, (o) to an immigration officer, (p) to the Secretary of State, to a supported person aged 18 or over. If an applicant/supported person wishes to make telephone calls for a purpose other than those prescribed, he/she should instead apply under the Exceptional Specific Needs category. All eligible principle supported persons who apply may have 5 credited on to his/her section 4 payment card on a six-monthly basis. On the expiry of this six-month period, the supported person will again need to demonstrate that he/she has this additional need by completing a fresh Additional Services or Facilities Application Form. If a supported person requests to make additional calls for a reason covered by Regulation 5(1) within this six-month period, or a dependant has an exceptional need to make calls independently of the principle supported person, the Case Owner should consider whether this should be allowed on a discretionary basis. A further 5 should not usually be credited to the supported persons section 4 payment card within the six-month period, rather arrangements should be made for the supported person or their dependant to make further exceptional calls.
Formatted: Indent: Left: 36 pt, Hanging: 21 pt, Numbered + Level: 2 + Numbering Style: a, b, c, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 18 pt + Tab after: 38.25 pt + Indent at: 38.25 pt

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The principle supported person/main applicant is required to fill the Telephone card box on the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form and explain why he/she requires facilities to make telephone calls in the additional information section. An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support. Stationary Regulation 5(2) of the Additional Services Regulations allow for letters. The legislation states the following: The Secretary of State may supply, or arrange for the supply of, stationery and postage for correspondence (a) regarding medical treatment or care, (b) to a qualified person, (c) to a court or tribunal, (d) to a voluntary sector partner, (e) to a citizens advice bureau, (f) to a local authority, (g) to an immigration officer, (h) to the Secretary of State, to a supported person aged 18 or over. If an applicant/supported person wishes to write correspondence for a purpose other than those prescribed, he/she should instead apply under the Exceptional Specific Needs category. All eligible supported persons who apply may have 2.50 credited on to his/her section 4 payment card. The applicant/supported person will need to fill in the relevant box of the application form and then submit evidence on the additional information page as to why he/she requires stationery. Stationery may include, but is not limited to, the following: Pens Pencils Stamps Envelopes Paper An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Formatted: Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: a, b, c, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 9 pt + Tab after: 29.25 pt + Indent at: 29.25 pt, Tabs: Not at 29.25 pt

One-Off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers Pregnant women and new mothers who are supported under section 4 or have applied for support under section 4, may apply for a one-off supply of additional support to the value of 250. They are required to provide appropriate evidence to demonstrate that Uncontrolled if printed 18

they are in need of this additional support. For information on the legislation behind this additional service, see Regulation 6 of the Additional Services Regulations. Where a person supported under section 4 or an applicant for section 4 becomes pregnant, or has recently given birth, she may apply for additional support to the value of 250 on a one-off basis. The Secretary of State may only supply the additional support during the period from 8 weeks before the expected date of birth to 6 weeks after the birth. This additional support is applicable to each expected or new-born child. For example, if the applicant/supported person is expecting or has recently given birth to twins, she may apply for additional support to the value of 500. The application can be made only by the pregnant woman or new mother herself. A pregnant supported person/applicant in this position who requires additional support should fill in the appropriate box in the application form. She must also submit her original MATB1 form with the expected delivery date upon submission of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form. Applications for one-off additional support received more than 8 weeks before the expected date of delivery will be rejected (but see below for applications for Additional weekly support for pregnant women). Where evidence of the expected delivery date has been previously supplied in connection with an application for additional weekly support, the evidence does not have to be resupplied. Case Owners should not accept photocopies of the MATB1. The MATB1 should be scanned onto ASYS and where a file is available, photocopied and the copy placed on file. The original should be returned to the pregnant woman by recorded delivery at the earliest possible opportunity. If it is not possible to submit the MATB1 form, the pregnant woman may submit either a letter from a community midwife or a letter from a GP. If a new mother has given birth and is now in the post-natal eligible period, she should fill in the appropriate box of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form. This can be the same Additional Services or Facilities Application Form as that used to apply for assistance to register the birth under Regulation 4. For further information on registering a birth, see Birth Certificates. The original full birth certificate must be sent as soon as it is available. Case Owners should not accept photocopies. The birth certificate should be scanned onto ASYS and where a file is available, photocopied and the copy placed on file. The original birth certificate should, if appropriate, be returned to the new mother by recorded delivery. An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Additional weekly support for pregnant women Where a woman supported under section 4 or an applicant applying for section 4 support becomes pregnant she may apply for additional support to the value of 3 per week. The pregnant supported person/applicant is required to provide evidence that she is eligible for this additional support. For further information on the legislation behind this additional service, see regulation 7 of the Additional Services Regulations.

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The application must be from the pregnant woman regardless of whether she is the main supported person/applicant or a dependant. She must also submit the original MATB1 form with the expected delivery date upon submission of the application form. Case Owners should not accept photocopies of the MATB1. The MATB1 should be scanned onto ASYS and where a file is available, photocopied and the copy placed on file. The original should be returned to the pregnant woman by recorded delivery at the earliest possible opportunity. If the MAT B1 is endorsed by a midwife, their PIN number must be entered on the form along with their signature. If it is not possible to submit the original MATB1 form, the pregnant woman may submit either a letter from a community midwife or a letter from a GP. The Case Owner should insert the expected delivery date as the provisional end date for the additional payments via the payment card to a pregnant woman. The pregnant womans additional weekly support should either be reviewed one week after the expected delivery date or when the Case Owner has been notified about the birth, whichever is the sooner. An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Additional weekly support for children under 3 Children supported under section 4 are eligible to receive additional support to the value of 5 per week per child until his/her first birthday. From the date of a childs first birthday until his/her third birthday, he/she is eligible to receive additional support to the value of 3 per week per child. This additional support is intended to be used to purchase healthy food on behalf of the child. A supported child is eligible to receive this additional support until his/her third birthday. The supported person/applicant is required to provide evidence that he/she is eligible for this additional support. For further information on the legislation behind this additional service, see regulation 7 of the Additional Services Regulations. If a supported person/applicant has a child under the age of three and requires additional support to meet his/her additional needs, he/she should fill the appropriate box on the application form on the childs behalf. He/she should also submit the childs full original birth certificate. Photocopies should not be accepted. The original birth certificate should be scanned onto ASYS and where a file is available, the birth certificate should be photocopied and the copy placed on file. If appropriate, the original should be returned to the supported person/applicant at the earliest possible opportunity. If the birth certificate has already been provided for other reasons, for example, the reason mentioned in Birth Certificates, it is not necessary to request it again. If a supported person/applicant requires any assistance in obtaining the childs birth certificate, he/she should apply under Regulation 4 of the Additional Services Regulations. For further information on obtaining a new babys birth certificate, see Birth Certificates. Uncontrolled if printed 20

An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Additional weekly support for childrens clothing Supported persons with children may require additional assistance in the provision of clothing on behalf of their children. For these purposes, the definition of child includes anyone under the age of 16. For further information on the legislation behind this additional service, see Regulation 8 of the Additional Services Regulations. It is recognised that children under the age of 16 may require new clothes on a regular basis. As a result, a supported person/applicant may apply for additional support to the value of 5 per week for each child. This additional support can be used at a number of stores and cannot be used for any other purpose. Regulation 8 of the Additional Services Regulations applies until the childs 16th birthday. If a supported person/applicant has a child for whom clothing is required, he/she must fill the appropriate box of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form on behalf of the child. If the application is being made by a supported person currently in receipt of section 4 support, if the child has not already been included as a dependant under section 4, the supported person should apply to add the child by using Annex B, clearly marking the dependant as new. Where the child is new-born, this can be done at the same time as applying for assistance with the birth certificate. For further information, see Birth Certificates. Where the dependant has previously been supported under section 4, his/her details should still be included in Annex B. An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

Exceptional Specific Needs A supported person/applicant may have an exceptional specific need, despite failing to satisfy the conditions for the supply of those particular services or facilities. The criteria under which a supported person/applicant can be considered to have an exceptional need are prescribed in Regulation 9 of the Additional Services Regulations. The legislation states the following: (1) If the Secretary of State is satisfied that a supported person has an exceptional need for: (a) (b) (c) (d) facilities for travel, facilities to make telephone calls, stationery and postage, or essential living needs,

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she may provide for that need, notwithstanding that the conditions for the supply of those services or facilities referred to retrospectively in regulations 3, 5, and 6 are not satisfied. (2) In determining what are or are not to be treated as essential living needs, the Secretary of State shall have regard to regulations made under section 95(7) of the 1999 Act. For further information, see section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Whether a perceived need is to be judged as exceptional must be decided on a caseby-case basis. Advice should always be sought from a senior caseworker where a supported person/applicant applies for additional services or facilities under this category. The onus is on the supported person/applicant to demonstrate that his need is sufficiently exceptional to warrant a grant of additional services or facilities. He must include all relevant information on page 3 of the Additional Services or Facilities Application Form, outlining why a grant of additional support is appropriate. An offer of additional support to an applicant who is successful for section 4 support, but not yet in receipt of this support, will be on the proviso that he/she moves in to section 4 accommodation and is in receipt of section 4 support.

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Refusal of an Application for an Additional Service or Facility


If the supported person/applicant is assessed as being ineligible for a grant of an additional service or facility, the Case Owners must: 1. Prepare an Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter. If the applicant has been refused section 4 support, the refusal of the additional service will be on the basis that the applicant has been refused section 4 support, and as a result, does not satisfy the definition of a supported person as specified in the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007: supported person means a person who is being provided with accommodation under section 4 of the 1999 Act and who is destitute. 2. Send the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter by first class post to the supported person/applicant, and send copies of the letter to the representative and to the voluntary sector agency (If the supported person/applicant is receiving assistance from a voluntary sector agency). If the applicant is applying for an additional service or facility at the same time as he/she is applying for section 4 support, the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter must be sent to the applicant with the refusal/grant of section 4 support letter. 3. Complete minute on ASYS regarding the refusal decision made.
Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: 1, 2, 3, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt

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Grant or Partial Grants of Additional services or facilities Applications


Once a decision has been made to either: Grant under all additional services or facilities the applicant/supported person has applied for, or If the supported person has applied for more than one additional service, but one or more applications have been accepted and one or more applications have been refused,
Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Bulleted + Level: 1 + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt

the Case Owner must communicate the decision to all the applicable parties: 1. Establish the correct value of the additional support. 2. Prepare an Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter. If the grant of an additional service or facility is being made at the same time as a grant of section 4 support, the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter should state that the grant of the additional service is on the condition that the applicant will be in receipt of section 4 support. 3. Send the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter by first class post to the supported person/applicant, and send copies of the letter to the representative and to the voluntary sector agency (If the supported person/applicant is receiving assistance from a voluntary sector agency). If the applicant applied for an additional service or facility at the same time as he/she applied for section 4 support, the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter must be sent to the applicant with the grant of section 4 support letter. 4. Complete minute on ASYS and CID regarding the grant decision. Case Owners should use the standard wording in the ASYS Minute Templates Following a Grant of an Additional Service/Facility section. The minute should specify what additional service or facility has been approved along with the value of the additional support. 5. The process for arranging the provision of the additional service or facility to a supported person is determined by the additional services or facilities he/she has been successful for. Facilities for travel under regulation 3(1) and regulation 9(1)(a) of the 2007 Regulations, will be delivered via the accommodation provider, while all the other additional services or facilities will be delivered via the payment card. If the supported person has been granted both facilities for travel and other additional services or facilities which do not involve travel, arrangements will need to be arranged for the provision of facilities for travel via the accommodation provider, and the provision of the additional services or facilities which does not involve travel, via the payment card. If the additional services or facilities granted do not relate to travel, Case Owners should refer to the process specified in Additional services or facilities delivered via payment card
Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: 1, 2, 3, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt, Don't adjust space between Latin and Asian text Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: 1, 2, 3, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt, Don't adjust space between Latin and Asian text Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: 1, 2, 3, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt

Formatted: Indent: Left: -0.15 pt, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: 1, 2, 3, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt

Formatted: Indent: Left: 17.85 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Bulleted + Level: 1 + Aligned at: 18 pt + Tab after: 36 pt + Indent at: 36 pt, Don't adjust space between Latin and Asian text

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If the additional services or facilities granted relate to travel, Case Owners should refer to the process specified in Additional services or facilities delivered via the accommodation provider If the additional services or facilities are both travel related additional facilities and non-travel related additional services or facilities, Case Owners should refer to both Additional services or facilities delivered via payment card and Additional services or facilities delivered via the accommodation provider.

Additional services or facilities delivered via payment card (Additional services or facilities that do not involve travel) 1. Use the Business Process Management tool (BPM) to refer the case to the Cash Payments Team (CBP). It is crucial that this is done correctly, if not completed correctly the CPT will reject the request: Destination team: select Cash Payments Team Category: take care to select the correct additional service or facility, e.g. stationery further information can be entered in the description field but this is not mandatory Reserved Field 2: enter the amount required in digits with no decimal point or reference to currency.
Formatted: Indent: Left: 0 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: 1, 2, 3, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0 pt + Tab after: 18 pt + Indent at: 18 pt Formatted: Indent: Hanging: 17.85 pt, Bulleted + Level: 1 + Aligned at: 18 pt + Tab after: 36 pt + Indent at: 36 pt

Annex A contains a screen shot of the BPM. 2. Once processed by the CPT, the additional payment will be loaded onto the payment card on a Monday, to allow the supported person the full week to make use of the additional payment (there is a 5 carry over limit for those without minor dependants).

Formatted: Indent: Left: 17.85 pt, Hanging: 17.85 pt, Bulleted + Level: 1 + Aligned at: 18 pt + Tab after: 36 pt + Indent at: 36 pt

Additional services or facilities delivered via the accommodation provider (Facilities for travel) The process for arranging the provision of facilities for travel via the accommodation provider is determined by whether he/she is currently in receipt of section 4 support, or has applied for additional services or facilities at the same time he/she has applied for section 4 support: If the applicant is not yet in receipt of section 4 support, the details of the facilities for travel should be entered by the Case Owner in to the additional payments section of the S4 Accommodation and Travel Booking Form, which will be sent to the Section 4 Accommodation Booking Team (ABT) requesting the arrangement of section 4 accommodation. Case Owners should use the standard wording specified in ASYS Minute Templates Following a Grant of an Additional Service/Facility. On receipt of the booking form from the Case Owner, the ABT will submit the booking form via the Collaborative Business Portal to an appropriate accommodation provider, informing them that accommodation needs to be arranged for the successful applicant. The ABT should then minute ASYS to state which accommodation provider the payment for facilities to travel are to be made to. Uncontrolled if printed 25

If the supported person is currently in receipt of section 4 support, the decision to grant the facilities for travel should be communicated to the accommodation provider by uploading a copy of the Application under Additional Services Regulations Decision Letter and an Accommodation Provider Covering Letter on to the Collaborative Business Portal. If the portal is not accessible the letters should be sent to the accommodation provider by recorded delivery. If the need of the supported person to receive the additional service/facility is urgent (Refer to table below) and if the portal is not accessible, the Case Owner should forward the letter as an email attachment or fax. If sending the letter to the accommodation provider via email, the supported person must only be identified by their unique reference number, for reasons of data protection.

Additional Service / Facility Travel - Service User requires healthcare treatment Travel - Registering a Birth Birth Certificates Telephone Calls Stationary One-Off additional support for pregnant women and new mothers Additional weekly support for pregnant women Additional weekly support for children under 3 Additional weekly support for childrens clothing Exceptional Specific Needs

Definition of Urgent Within two working days of the date on which the service/facility is required.

Within two working days of the date by which proof can be given the additional service/facility is required.

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ASYS Minute Templates Following a Grant of an Additional Service/Facility


When additional services or facilities have been granted, the Case Owner must enter a minute on ASYS regarding the decision made and the payment provided. The ASYS minute is determined by the additional service/facility applied for. Failure to minute ASYS correctly and, if applicable, the accommodation booking form, could lead to problems issuing the additional payment or, if applicable, reimbursing the accommodation provider.

Travel - Service User requires healthcare treatment Cost of travel is known: Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of [value] for the purpose of travelling for healthcare treatment. Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known].

Cost of travel is not known: Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of approximately [approximate value] for the purpose of travelling for healthcare treatment. Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known]. NB this is an approximate cost, as cost of travel is unknown in advance of travel.

Travel - Registering a Birth Cost of travel is known: Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of [value] for registering a birth. Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known] Cost of travel is not known: Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of approximately [approximate value] for the purpose of registering a birth. Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known] NB this is an approximate cost, as cost of travel is unknown in advance of travel.

Birth Certificates England/Wales Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 7 for obtaining a birth certificate in England/Wales (delete as appropriate). Uncontrolled if printed 27

Scotland Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 13.50 for obtaining a birth certificate in Scotland. Northern Ireland Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 11 for obtaining a birth certificate in Northern Ireland.

Telephone Calls Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 5 for making telephone calls.

Stationary Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 2.50 for stationery.

One-Off Supply of additional support for pregnant women and new mothers Pregnant woman Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 250 for a pregnant woman. New mother Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of 250 for a new mother. (If pregnant woman has given birth to multiple children, ensure that appropriate amount of support is inserted).

Additional weekly support for pregnant women Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of 3 for a pregnant woman from [date] to [date]. The Case Owner should insert the expected delivery date as the provisional end date for the additional payments via the payment card to a pregnant woman. Additional weekly support for children under 3 Child under the age of one Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of 5 for a child under the age of one (insert appropriate amount if multiple children under the age of one) from [date] to [date]. In this scenario, the Case Owner should ensure that ASYS is minuted so that support is reviewed four weeks before the childs first birthday. The Case Owner will need to ensure that this support is discontinued by the childs first birthday. An application may be lodged to support a child/children under the age of three at this stage.

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Child under the age of three Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of 3 for a child under the age of three (insert appropriate amount if multiple children under the age of three) from [date] to [date]. In this scenario, the Case Owner should ensure that ASYS is minuted so that support is reviewed four weeks before the childs third birthday. The Case Owner will need to ensure that this support has been discontinued by the childs third birthday.

Additional weekly support for childrens clothing Supported child is 15 years of age Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of 5 for childrens clothing (insert appropriate amount if clothing is required for multiple children) from [date] until [date]. In this scenario the supported child will be 15, meaning that the childs 16th birthday should be inserted as the end date for payment of the weekly additional support. The Case Owner should ensure that ASYS is minuted so that support is reviewed four weeks before the childs 16th birthday. The Case Owner will need to ensure that this support has been discontinued by the childs 16th birthday. Supported child is under 15 years of age Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of 5 for childrens clothing (insert appropriate amount if clothing is required for multiple children) ongoing from [date]. In this scenario, the supported child will be under the age of 15 at the point at which the application under Regulation 8 has been granted. No end date should be recorded on ASYS and support should be minuted as ongoing as above.

Exceptional Specific Needs One-off payment Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. One-off payment of [value] for [reason]. If the supported person has been granted facilities to travel, Case Owners should insert the following sentence at the end of the minute: Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known]. End-dated payment: Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of [value] for [reason] from [date] to [date]. If the supported person has been granted facilities to travel, Case Owners should insert the following sentence at the end of the minute: Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known].

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Ongoing payment: Payment agreed under Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007. Weekly payment of [value] for [reason] ongoing from [date]. If the supported person has been granted facilities to travel, Case Owners should insert the following sentence at the end of the minute: Payable to [insert name of accommodation provider if known, or just accommodation provider if the name of the accommodation is not known].

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 1.1 1.2 2.0 Authors CC / JC SK SK SM Date 13/03/08 21/05/08 04/07/08 19/08/08 Change Reference First approved version Reps to be copied in to letters sent to SU. Voluntary Sector to be copied in to letters to SU. AP communications via portal, or if unavailable, by recorded delivery.

3.0

SM

28/10/09

4.0

DT

07/04/10

New format, payment card introduced & conditional approval before SPs are in receipt of s4 support. Childrens Duty paragraph added. References to voucher deleted and payment card added.. Payment card deleted from title.

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31

BACK PAYMENTS OF ASYLUM SUPPORT


Table of Contents

Introduction Situations Where an Asylum Seeker May Claim a Back-Payment of Asylum Support Evidence Required Before a Back-Dated Payment can be Issued UK Border Agency is at fault The applicant is at fault Appeal cases Calculating the Required Amount of Back-dated Support Overpayments Back-Payments at a Glance (Flow Chart) Glossary

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Introduction
This instruction provides guidance on how to establish whether an asylum seeker is entitled to a back payment of asylum support. It also sets out guidance for how to action back payments of support.

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Situations Where an Asylum Seeker May Claim a Back-Payment of Asylum Support


Applications for backdated support usually fall into one of two categories: where the supported person was not responsible for the non-payment of support, or where the applicant was responsible but had a valid reason for being unable to collect support; where the supported persons actions or inactions may have contributed to the nonpayment of support.

Case Owners must action all applications for back payments of asylum support within five working days. Case Owners should bear in mind that the overriding principle when dealing with back payments is one of fairness, both in terms of operating the system and in terms of how the system is seen to operate. For further information can be found in the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 80: Back payment of Asylum Support.

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Evidence Required before a Back-Payment can be Issued


Back payments to asylum seekers should only be issued when the Case Owner is satisfied that the missing payments are the fault of the UK Border Agency, or where the applicant has a valid reason for failing to collect support. In the event of doubt, the Case Owner should forward the case to a Senior Caseworker. In all cases, CID records should be checked to ensure that the applicant has an outstanding asylum claim. The Case Owner should include details of this check in any minutes that are written about the case. If the applicant does not have an outstanding asylum claim, the case should be discontinued. For further information about status discontinuations, see the Asylum Instruction Ceasing Asylum Support. Case Owners should refer to the Back-Payments at a Glance (Flow Chart) for an overview of the back payments process. UK Border Agency is at fault If it is clear that the fault is with the UK Border Agency, the Case Owner must calculate the value of the payment and ensure that this reaches the applicant via his Application Registration Card (ARC). Case Owners will need to reassess the applicants support and the payment as a payment element as shown in Processing Back Payments. Exceptions to this would be where the person now has status in this country, or has left the country. Case Owners should refer to Calculating the Required Amount of Back-dated Support and the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 80: Back payment of Asylum Support for guidance on updating ASYS and the letter that should be produced. The applicant is at fault The Case Owner should decide whether an applicant has a genuine reason for requesting a back payment of asylum support. Examples of genuine reasons why an applicant may not have collected his support include, but are not limited to, the following: reporting event/asylum interview illness hospitalisation travel difficulties difficulties with Application Registration Card (ARC)

If the Case Owner decides that an applicant has a valid reason for failing to collect his support, he should follow the procedure outlined in the section UK Border Agency is at fault. If it is clear that the applicant is at fault, the request for a back payment of support should normally be refused. For further information on establishing who is at fault in such circumstances, see the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 80: Back payment of Asylum Support. Exceptional cases for a back payment of support may be entertained. Case Owners should refer to the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 80: Back payment of Asylum Support. Appeal cases A requirement to make back payments may arise from an appeal or Judicial Review. If an Asylum Support Adjudicator or Judge substitutes his decision for the Home Secretarys, he may also require back payments to be made. Uncontrolled if printed

Calculating the Required Amount of Back-dated Support


When it is decided that a back payment of support should be made, the missing payment should be calculated. Case Owners should assess the level of support to which the applicant was originally entitled from the beginning of the relevant period to the current date. This amount includes any change of circumstances that should have been taken into account, such as the birth of a baby. The Case Owner should then assess what the applicants entitlement should have been before calculating the amount that has been paid, if anything, and what the applicant should have received. Back Payments should be made using ASYS. For guidance on how to process back payments and further guidance on when a back payment should be made, Case Owners should refer to Processing Back Payments. Case Owners must ensure that all back payments are made in weekly instalments by way of the Application Registration Card (ARC). To protect the applicant from undue risk arising from carrying large sums, the amount paid should not as a rule exceed 200 in a single week, but exceptions can be made where he can prove that he has a pressing need for a large sum, such as to avoid a utility being cut off for non payment. Case Owners can issue a back payment on an Emergency Support Token (EST) only with the authorisation of a Senior Caseworker. The Case Owner must also consult a Senior Caseworker if they consider it necessary to issue a weekly back payment of over 200. For further information of the method of payment, see the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 80: Back payment of Asylum Support.

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Overpayments
Case Owners should be alert to cases where an applicant has been provided with a larger amount of support than he is entitled to. In this situation, the Case Owner should ensure that the applicant is provided with a reduced amount of support. For further information on overpayments, see the Asylum Support Policy Bulletins 80: Back Payment of Asylum Support and 67: Overpayments.

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Back-Payments at a Glance (Flow Chart)

Caseworker is allocated back payment request from ASYS BPM system

Applicant is requesting back payment of Asylum Support

N Is the applicants case Live

check the ASYS critical comments, take the appropriate action (if applicable)

Does the applicant have a open asylum application? Check CID

Does the applicant have dependant minors

Is UK Border Agency the fault of the underpayment?

Calculate value of back payment

N Refuse Back payment Send letter BDP3

N Amend weekly subsistence support to include back payment (in installments 200 per week and a final installment if back payment is greater than 200)

Update ASYS minutes, ASYS BPM system, Casework MI

Send letter BDP3 Y

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Glossary
Term
BDP1 BDP3

Meaning
Back payment acceptance Back payment refusal

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 Authors MM MM MSM Date 15/02/07 29/03/07 30/10/08 Change Reference Incorporating support processes and implementing website format IND name change amendments Re-Branding

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WITHDRAWAL OF ASYLUM SUPPORT WHERE A BREACH OF CONDITIONS HAS OCCURRED.


Table of Contents Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Existing Asylum Support Guidance Background Conditions of Support Asylum Support Agreement Right of Appeal Change of Circumstances Recognised Changes of Circumstances No Longer Destitute Ceases to Reside Reasonable Excuse Investigating a Breach of Conditions Rep ARC Discontinuation of support Discontinuation of support to families with children Reinstatement of Support

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Introduction
This section gives guidance to Case Owners in the decision making process on how to determine whether a breach of the conditions of asylum support has occurred and it is appropriate to discontinue asylum support.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Every Child Matters; Change for Children sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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Existing Asylum Support Guidance


Supplementary guidance on using ASYS can be found in the ASYS User Manuals. Guidance on asylum support policies can be found in Asylum Support Policy Bulletins.

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Background
Asylum support is provided on the basis a supported person and/or his dependant(s) adheres to the terms and conditions attached to it. The conditions are outlined to the supported person in the Asylum Support agreement. A breach of the conditions of support may lead to an early suspension or discontinuation of support. A supported person has the right of appeal against a decision to discontinue asylum support.

Conditions of Support Under regulation 20 of The Asylum Support Regulations 2000 as amended in 2005 asylum support for a supported person or a dependant of his may be suspended or discontinued if: there are reasonable grounds to believe that the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has committed a serious breach of the rules of his accommodation (provided he is housed in collective accommodation); there are reasonable grounds to believe that the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has committed an act of seriously violent behaviour, either in asylum support accommodation, at the authorised address or elsewhere; the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has committed an offence under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; there are reasonable grounds to believe that the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has abandoned the authorised address without permission; the supported person has not complied with a request for information relating to: his asylum support (within 5 days of receipt); or his asylum claim (within 10 days of receipt); fails without reasonable excuse to attend an interview relating to his asylum support; there are reasonable grounds to believe that the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has concealed financial resources such that the supported person or a dependant of his has unduly benefited from asylum support; the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has not complied with a reporting requirement; there are reasonable grounds to believe that the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has made a claim for asylum and before it has been determined makes or seeks to make a further and separate claim in the same or different name; or the supported person or any dependant of his for whom support is being provided has failed without reasonable excuse to comply with a reporting restriction.

Case Owners should be aware that in the event of a judicial challenge a court is unlikely to be satisfied that a person has committed an offence under Part VI of the Immigration and Nationality Act 1999, unless he has been convicted of that offence. Uncontrolled if printed

Further information can be obtained from Regulations 19 and 20 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 as amended, and the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 83: Duty to offer support, Family unity, Vulnerable persons, Withdrawing support.

Asylum Support Agreement The Asylum Support agreement outlines the terms and conditions that are applied in the provision of asylum support. The agreement states that reporting a change of circumstances is a condition of support. For further information on the Asylum Support Agreement, see the Asylum Instruction Eligibility and Assessment of Asylum Support.

Right of Appeal A supported person has the right of appeal under section 103 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 against a decision to discontinue asylum support before that support would otherwise have come to an end. The supported person will appeal to the Tribunals Service Asylum Support and is informed of this right when his support claim for accommodation, subsistence or both has been set to In Termination. For further information on asylum support appeals refer to the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 23: Appeals Process and for further guidance on Appeals refer to Section 103 of The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

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Change of Circumstances
A supported person must inform the UK Border Agency of any significant change in his circumstances as stated in regulation 15 (1) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. Failure to do so without reasonable excuse is an offence under section 105(1) (c) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. There is no clear definition of reasonable excuse and staff should seek policy and legal advice if considering a prosecution. A supported person should notify the UK Border Agency of a change of circumstances in a signed written declaration. The Case Owner must attach a copy of the declaration to the supported persons file. The level and type of support provided must be reassessed following a change of circumstances. Case Owners should consider any change of circumstances on its own merits and decide upon the best course of action so as not to leave the supported person destitute for any period of time unless the change of circumstance indicates the supported person no longer requires asylum support. Where a Case Owner learns of an apparent change of circumstances which has not been notified to the UK Border Agency, he should in the first instance inform the supported person that he should make a declaration without delay or run the risk of support being discontinued. Recognised Changes of Circumstances Regulation 15(2) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 states that a relevant change of circumstances occurs where a supported person or a dependant of his(a) is joined in the United Kingdom by a dependant, or as the case may be, another dependant, of the supported person; (b) receives or gains access to any money, or other asset mentioned in regulation 6(5), that has not previously been declared to the Secretary of State; (c) becomes employed; (d) becomes unemployed; (e) changes his name; (f) gets married; (ff) forms a civil partnership; (g) starts living with a person as if married to that person; (gg) starts living with a person as if a civil partner of that person (h) gets divorced; (hh) becomes a former civil partner on the dissolution of his civil partnership; (i) separates from a spouse, or from a person with whom he has been living as if married to that person; (ii) separates from his civil partner or from the person with whom he has been living as if a civil partner of that person; (j) becomes pregnant; (k) has a child; (l) leaves school; (m) starts to share his accommodation with another person; (n) moves to a different address, or otherwise leaves his accommodation; (o) goes into hospital; (p) goes to prison or is otherwise held in custody; (q) leaves the United Kingdom; or (r) dies. Uncontrolled if printed

For further guidance refer to Regulation 15 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. No Longer Destitute Information may indicate a supported person is no longer in need of asylum support, or that the supported person is no longer destitute and therefore no longer entitled to asylum support. Section 95(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 states that a person is destitute if: he does not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not his other essential living needs are met); or he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his other essential living needs.

For further guidance on destitution and the destitution test, see the Asylum Instruction on Eligibility and Assessment of Asylum Support. A supported person may inform a Case Owner that he will not be destitute for a specific period of time. In such cases, support may be suspended. Case Owners should reassess the support for the period specified, the ASYS status should be changed to Allocation Review reflecting there has been a change of circumstances or allocation on hold. In cases where a supported person indicates that they are no longer destitute or no longer require asylum support the Case Owner should inform a designated Investigating Officer in their asylum team. Ceases to Reside Where a supported person has ceased to reside at his authorised address his support may be discontinued under section 20(1)(d) of the Asylum Support regulations 2000. However, under regulation 20(1)(a), a reasonableness test is used and where the reason for leaving the authorised address involves a matter which the UK Border Agency is investigating, regulation 20(1)(a) may be used. Reasonable Excuse A supported person may contact the Case Owner to give an explanation for a breach of conditions. Should the explanation lead a Case Owner to believe that the breach of condition was unavoidable the explanation may be deemed a Reasonable Excuse. If this explanation is provided before support is fully discontinued the Case Owner should take action to ensure that support continues without interruption. The Case Owner should also consider whether the Reasonable Excuse indicates that there has been a change of circumstances and if appropriate reassess the persons entitlement to support. For example, if a supported person explains she has given birth, the Case Owner should consider whether the person qualifies for a maternity benefit, and should reassess the level of support to include the new dependant. If the supported person leaves asylum support accommodation and requests subsistence only support, the Case Owner should consider whether the person is entitled to that support.

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Investigating a Breach of Conditions


Where there is a suspicion of fraud or a failure to report changes in the circumstances relating to asylum support, Case Owners should report this to the teams designated Investigation Officer. Suspicion of the following should be investigated: paid employment ownership of a motor vehicle undisclosed assets voucher fraud/fraudulent asylum support claim/multiple asylum support claims claiming of benefits overpayments cohabiting or sub letting of beds in asylum support accommodation unexplained absence from an asylum support address vandalised/damaged asylum support accommodation possession of forged documents stealing or selling of stolen goods abusing or dealing in illicit drugs possession of an offensive weapon the applicant being verbally/physically threatening or assaulting others anti-social behaviour public harassment domestic violence child protection issues.

The Case Owner should arrange for an investigation to take place so that evidence can be gathered. An investigation may include home visits, interviews with the supported person, consultation with other government departments and other methods of examination. Investigations into anti-social behaviour, public harassment, domestic violence, child protection and minor fraud should be conducted only by a trained Investigations Officer in the Asylum Team. However cases involving serious fraud fall outside the remit of Asylum Teams and should be referred by completing the Investigations Referral form. Guidance on the finances involved in minor fraud and serious fraud can be found in the Asylum Support Deterrent Policy. In the event a Case Owner is unsure they should contact an Investigations Officer. Further guidance on what should be investigated can be found in Chapters 8 12 in Part 1 and chapters 16 18 in Part 2 of Asylum Support Investigation Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)Version 2. Rep ARC In the event that a supported person reports a denial of support payments as a result of a failure to report, the Case Owners should instruct him to return to his designated reporting centre and inform him that further failure to comply with reporting requirements will result in discontinuation of support. In the event that a supported person fails to comply with 2 consecutive reporting requirement events the Case Owner and Asylum Support Team should follow the guidance in the Discontinuing Asylum Support after Failure to Report with ARC Process Instruction.

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Discontinuation of support
Any decision to discontinue support in any of the circumstances outlined above must be taken individually, objectively and impartially, taking account of the degree of the breach or noncompliance. The decision should be based on the particular situation of the supported person concerned and particular attention should be given to whether the supported person is a vulnerable person as described by regulation 4 of the Asylum Seekers (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2005. The regulation states that a vulnerable person is a minor a disabled person an elderly person a pregnant woman a lone parent with a minor child; or a person who has been subjected to torture, rape, or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence who has had an individual evaluation of his situation that confirms he has special needs. Reasons should be given for any discontinuation of asylum support. Where asylum support is being withdrawn following a breach of conditions the ASYS support application record will be set to In Termination. Where asylum support has been fully discontinued the Case Owner should ensure that the ASYS support application record is set to Terminated. For additional guidance on the discontinuation of support see the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 83: Duty to offer support, Family unity, Vulnerable persons, Withdrawing support.

Discontinuation of support to families with children When considering whether to discontinue the provision of support under section 95 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 to families with minors, the course of action taken must be consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to ensure that the decision has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. If a decision is being made as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support to a family with children under regulation 20 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, if the family are assessed as being destitute if it were not for the provision of the aforesaid support, the UK Border Agency must take in to account the impact of any decision on the family before proceeding. Any decision as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support must be proportionate to the situation. If the breach was minor, such as failing to report, it may not be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support. If however, the breach was extremely serious, such as extreme violence or vandalism, it may be appropriate to discontinue support. When making decisions as to whether it would be appropriate to discontinue support, Case Owners should consult their Senior Caseworker before proceeding. If the discontinuation of support is appropriate, the Case Owners should take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children. Before any action is taken to begin the process to discontinue support, the Case Owner should liaise with the local authority, notifying them that the UK Border Agency plans to discontinue support from the family, and request that the local authority provides alternative support. If the local authority makes an offer of support, Uncontrolled if printed

the provision of support under section 95 should be discontinued as soon as the family transfers in to local authority care. If the UK Border Agency considers that the supported family are eligible for support provided by the local authority, but the local authority refuses to provide support, the provision of asylum support must be maintained until the local authority provides support. If a decision is taken that it would be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support to a family with children, the discontinuation letter should explain why the decision is consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

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Reinstatement of Support
When an asylum support application has been discontinued and the status of the supported persons application is recorded on ASYS as Terminated reflecting applicant is in breach of conditions of Asylum Support an asylum applicant wishing to receive support again must submit a new application for asylum support. Where an asylum applicant submits a new application for Asylum Support and the asylum support for him or his dependant has previously been discontinued due to a breach of support conditions, the Case Owner should consider whether it is appropriate to reinstate support. Where support has been suspended or discontinued under either regulation: regulation 20(1)(d) (abandoning an address without permission) or regulation 20(1)(i) (failing to comply with a reporting requirement) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 as amended regulation 20(5) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 applies. This regulation provides that if the supported person is traced or reports voluntarily and either he has not appealed against the previous suspension or discontinuation, or has appealed and that appeal is outstanding, a decision must be taken, based on the reasons for the disappearance, as to whether some or all of the supported persons (and/or his dependants) support should be reinstated. In practice, the Case owner should take this decision. In all other cases where support has been suspended or discontinued under regulation 20, regulation 21 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 applies. This regulation provides that the new application need not be entertained unless the Secretary of State considers that there are exceptional circumstances which justify its being entertained. A material change of circumstances is one which, if the applicant were a supported person, would have to be notified to the UK Border Agency under regulation 15 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 as amended. Further guidance on regulation 20 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, including a flow chart of the decision making process for discontinuations of support, can be found in Asylum Support Policy Bulletins 83: Duty to offer support, Family unity, Vulnerable persons, Withdrawing support and 84: Entertaining a further application for support.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 Authors MM BF BF BF JL Date 01/12/2006 22/02/07 03/11/08 14/10/09 29/11/10 Change Reference Approved draft Incorporating asylum support process instruction and implementing web format Update branding only Childrens Duty Paragraph Change to failure to report policy

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Table of Contents Introduction Subsistence Support HC2 Certificate Support Accommodation to alternative Support Accommodation Private Accommodation to Support Accommodation Support Accommodation to Private Accommodation Review of the section 55(1) decision following a change of circumstances Accommodation Maintenance Check Private Accommodation to alternative Private Accommodation Letters Glossary

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Introduction
This instruction covers the circumstances in which a change of address may occur and the action to be taken. Asylum applicants in private accommodation who receive subsistence only support, can apply to be housed in support accommodation, or be moved to another private property. Applicants in support accommodation can request to be moved to different support accommodation or move into privately owned accommodation. A change of address or relocation request must be made in writing and signed by the applicant. Where applicants have not informed the UK Border Agency of a change of address, their asylum support may be withdrawn for failing to report a significant change in their circumstances as stated in regulation 15 (1) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. Further information can be found in the Asylum Instruction, Withdrawal of Asylum Support where a breach of conditions has occurred. Case Owners should be aware that where applicants are relocated, their asylum application may fall out of the Case Owners control and may have to be passed to another Asylum Team for consideration. Subsistence Support When applicants are relocated, their allocated regular support payments must be stopped and re-allocated to their new address. Support will always end on the Sunday, however, if support is stopped less than 5 days before Sunday, it will end the following Sunday (for example if support is stopped Monday 12th Feb, it will end Sunday 18th; if support is stopped Thursday 15th Feb it will end Sunday 25th). Therefore Case Owners will need to consider whether the applicant will be able to physically get to the post office to collect support allocated to the old address. There will be a gap in the restart of regular payments, as it will take two weeks for regular support to be available for collection. This will be covered by an Emergency Support Token (EST), generated by ASYS. However Case Owners should check the ASYS Payment History to establish if the applicant has already collected their regular support so that the EST generated covers the correct period. Case Owners should also note that applicants may have been issued Interim Support Tokens (ISTs) by accommodation providers, allowing for subsistence to be allocated to the applicants new address. This payment will need to be taken into consideration when support is reassessed. If necessary, the Case Owner should adjust the amount of the EST to take monies paid into account, so that future payments could be reduced in the event of an overlap. HC2 Certificate Case Owners should note that a change of address does not require a replacement HC2 to be issued. Where ASYS reflects the applicants current address the HC2 is valid. If the applicant requests a new HC2 or returns his existing certificate, he should be informed the HC2 is valid. If the HC2 has expired or there is a change in the applicants circumstances, such as the addition of a dependant, a replacement should be sent via ASYS, upon receipt of the old one. Case Owners should refer to the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 43: HC2 Certificates and the Asylum Instruction HC2.

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Support Accommodation to alternative Support Accommodation


Asylum seekers accommodated in Asylum Support accommodation may ask to be moved to alternative accommodation. To qualify applicants must be residing in initial, dispersal or spot booked accommodation. The request must be made in writing and signed by the applicant. Relocation is not normally permitted except in exceptional circumstances. The following are examples of when a change of address may be permitted. This is not exhaustive and Case Owners should exercise discretion in deciding whether compelling or exceptional circumstances exist for relocation. In reaching their decisions, Case Owners must have regard to the desirability of providing accommodation in areas where there is a ready supply. 1. Applicant has close family ties in another area. These ties should have been mentioned in the applicants support claim and may have been entered on CID. The applicant should provide supporting documentation. The Case Owner should assess the evidence that has been submitted on a case-by-case basis and should refer to guidance on the Human Rights Act 1998 and Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 31: Dispersal Guidelines. 2. Applicant is receiving medical treatment in a specific area/medical institution. Occasionally relocation may be reasonable. The applicant may not be able to obtain the treatment he receives in another part of the country. The Case Owner should consider the evidence provided before reaching a decision. It may be necessary to forward evidence to the medical adviser for an assessment to be made as to the need for relocation. There may be occasions where applicants or their dependants have committed or been subject to domestic violence, racial harassment, and public harassment or anti social behaviour. In these cases, the Case Owner will need to decide whether the case should be investigated by an Investigations Officer before reaching a decision on whether the applicant should be relocated. 3. The applicant or his/her dependant is subject to domestic violence The Case Owner may be notified by the police that an incident of domestic violence has occurred. Where notification is received from the accommodation provider, the Case Owner should request a report. The Case Owner must contact the Asylum Teams Investigations Officer who will investigate the case and make recommendations based on their investigation. The Case Owner should carefully consider the recommendations of the police and the Investigations Officer which may be to relocate the main applicant or the dependant. Where relocation is granted the case owner must ensure that the new address is kept confidential from the spouse. If the family is being split up, the Case Owner will need to make it clear to the dependants that they will not be eligible for asylum support unless they make an application for asylum in their own right. If the dependant does want to claim asylum, the Case Owner should consider whether Emergency Support Tokens (ESTs) should be paid to the dependant for one week while the application for asylum and asylum Uncontrolled if printed

support is being made. The Case Owner should consult his Senior Caseworker before reaching a decision on this. If the dependants decide to make an asylum application in their own right but they are unable to get to an Asylum Screening Unit (ASU), the Case Owner should contact a Local Enforcement Office (LEO) to ask that an Immigration Officer goes to the applicant so they can claim asylum. This would depend on whether the LEO was willing to accept such an application. If the LEO is not willing to do so, the dependant would need to approach his nearest Voluntary Sector Provider. The asylum support application of the main applicant must be reassessed to take account of the current family situation. Any overpayment that has been made must be recovered. The Case Owner should refer to the Asylum Instruction Overpayments for further information. Case Owners must then contact the Accommodation Booking Team (ABT) if it is clear that the accommodation does not meet the needs of the main applicant. 4. The applicant or his/her family is subject to racial harassment. The Case Owner must contact the Asylum Teams Investigations Officer who will investigate the case and make recommendations based on their investigation. The Case Owner must take careful account of the recommendations made by the Investigations Officer in reaching a decision about what action to take, which may be to move the applicant to another area. 5. The applicant or his/her family is harassing members of the public The Case Owner must consider whether to refer the case to the Asylum Teams Investigations Officer who will investigate the case. The Case Owner must take careful account of any recommendations made by the Investigations Officer. 6. The applicant is being anti-social towards other asylum seekers in the same property The Case Owner must decide whether to refer the case to the Asylum Teams Investigations Officer who will investigate the case and recommend the action that should be taken. The Case Owner must take careful account of the recommendations made by the Investigations Officer in reaching a decision about what action to take. If the applicant has to be moved urgently, the Case Owner must contact the Accommodation Booking Team (ABT) by phone and email. If the case is not urgent, a Request to Travel (RTT) should be entered onto ASYS. Case Owners should be aware that as soon as a RTT is entered onto ASYS, this will interfere with the allocated regular payments the applicant collects with the Application Registration Card (ARC). As a result, the Case Owner should ensure that he issues an Emergency Support Token (EST) until the move has been agreed. Any Interim Support Tokens (ISTs) issued by accommodation providers, allowing for subsistence to be allocated to the applicants new address will need to be taken into consideration when support is reassessed. For information and guidance on updating the applicants ASYS address see the ASYS User Manual: Change of Circumstances (Accommodation). Uncontrolled if printed

Once the request has been approved, the asylum support application must be reassessed following the applicants move to another property. Case Owners should also check Payment history to establish when the applicant last collected his support, ensuring any EST generated covers the correct period. The applicant does not need to submit a new Asylum Support Application Form. Case owners should follow the instructions in ASYS User Manuals Using Automated Assessment Tool and Using the Subsistence Allocation Calculator Tool to reassess and allocate support to the new address. The applicant should be sent the Variation in Support letter confirming the change with details of any change in support payments including any emergency support generated. Where the applicant has relocated to a new Primary Care Trust (PCT) area Case Owners should inform the new Local Health Authority and where there are dependants the Local Education Authority, sending the Notification of support to LHA/LEA. Both letters are located in ASYS. Case Owners should note in the Minute Sheet of ASYS of any action they have taken on the case, details of any support issued must be included.

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Private Accommodation to Support Accommodation


Asylum applicants who receive subsistence only support can apply to be housed in asylum support accommodation. Applications must be made in writing and signed by the applicant. To switch to support accommodation the applicant must at present be in private accommodation to be eligible. If the application is urgent and accommodation cannot be found, the applicant should be advised to go to the Refugee Council. The applicant may then be put into initial accommodation. For further information on accessing initial accommodation, see the Asylum Instruction Eligibility and Assessment of Asylum Support. If the applicant is provided with initial accommodation, he may then be dispersed to another part of the UK. If the applicant is requesting a specific location, he will need to provide an exceptional reason for the requested area. Accommodation is offered on a no choice basis except in the following circumstances (not exhaustive): 1. Applicant has close family ties in a particular area Details of these ties should have been mentioned in the applicants support application and may have been entered on A-CID. Supporting documentation from the applicant is also required for the other family member, e.g. name, DOB, address, relationship to the applicant, status in the UK and whether he is in employment. The Case Owner should refer to guidance on the Human Rights Act 1998 and Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 31: Dispersal Guidelines. 2. Applicant is receiving medical treatment from a specialised medical institution in his current area The applicant will need to provide medical evidence of this. The evidence will then have to be referred to the Medical Advisor. Where the applicant is claiming that he is a client of Freedom from Torture the Case Owner should refer to the Asylum Instruction Medical Foundation. 3. Applicant has a dependant child in their household who has started the last two school or college years leading up to his GCSE, AS or A-Level exams (or their equivalents). Providing the child has been enrolled at the school for at least a term of the previous academic year, dispersal to another area should be temporarily deferred. A letter from the school or college will be required confirming the necessary details. However, families should not normally benefit from this concession if they have been uncooperative. The Case Owner should refer to Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 31: Dispersal Guidelines. 4. Applicants family has expanded If the new arrival has not been added, the applicant will need to have the dependant added before the change of circumstances can be actioned. For further information, see the Asylum Instruction Dependants on an Asylum Support Application. For information and guidance on updating the applicants ASYS address see ASYS User Manual Change of Circumstances (Accommodation). Uncontrolled if printed

Once the request has been approved and the applicants have arrived at their new accommodation the asylum support application must be reassessed and allocated to the new address. Any ISTs issued by accommodation providers must be taken into account, Case Owners should also check Payment history to establish when the applicant last collected his support, ensuring that any EST generated covers the correct period. The applicant does not need to submit a new Asylum Support Application Form. Case owners should follow the instructions in ASYS User Manuals Using Automated Assessment Tool and Using the Subsistence Allocation Calculator Tool to reassess and allocate support to the new address. The applicant should be sent the Variation in Support letter confirming the change with details of any change in support payments including any emergency support generated. Where the applicant has relocated to a new Primary Care Trust (PCT) area Case Owners should inform the new Local Health Authority and where there are dependants the Local Education Authority, sending the Notification of support to LHA/LEA. Case Owners should also issue a new Accommodation and Subsistence Asylum Support Agreement. Both letters and the agreement are located in ASYS. Case Owners should note in the Minute Sheet of ASYS of any action they have taken on the case, details of any support issued must be included.

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Support Accommodation to Private Accommodation


Applicants who are living in asylum support accommodation may request to change their address and move into private accommodation. The request should be made in writing. As a matter of policy, subsistence only support should not be provided to people with accommodation costs that the asylum seeker would be unable to meet. The Case Owner must be satisfied that there are no such costs associated with the accommodation (e.g. rent, utility bills etc). The asylum seeker should be aware that the UK Border Agency will not meet any private accommodation costs (to which the asylum seeker must commit). If there is any indication that the new accommodation is rented or that there are other costs associated with it, the Case Owner should write to the applicant (sending letter SB2) to explain that only those applicants who are destitute will be supported. If the applicant is able to meet the cost of renting private accommodation, his destitution is questionable. If the Case Owner is satisfied that no asylum support costs will be incurred, the address can be authorised and ASYS can be updated. Review of the section 55(1) decision following a change of circumstances Cases where the applicant was initially granted accommodation and subsistence support to avoid a breach of his Convention rights under section 55(5)(a) and subsequently applies for subsistence only, should be reviewed to establish whether the applicant would receive a positive section 55(1) decision. The Case Owner should invite the applicant to a section 55 interview to explore whether support is still necessary in order to prevent a breach of Convention rights. The applicant should be provided with subsistence only support pending the section 55 decision. If the applicant fails to attend his interview with no reasonable explanation, he will not have demonstrated that support is necessary to prevent a breach of his convention rights and in addition, the UK Border Agency will not be satisfied that he claimed asylum as soon as is reasonably practicable. If the Case Owner determines that section 55(1) decision is positive support should continue. Where the decision is negative the applicant is no longer eligible for support and support should not be continued. There is no right of appeal against a negative section 55 decision. Accommodation Maintenance Check Where an applicant requests or informs of a move to private accommodation an Accommodation Maintenance Check must be carried out. This will help to identify whether the accommodation is in actual fact private and not asylum support accommodation or a commercial property. However, Case Owners must remember that they have a duty to ensure that any person who is eligible for support is not left destitute. Case Owners should carry out a maintenance check. Discrepancies in the new address provided by the asylum seeker There will be occasions when the new address cannot be updated on ASYS. Some reasons for this are: 1. The address may be asylum support accommodation, but the applicant has not been properly dispersed (so should not have moved there); in such cases Case Owners should send letter SB3 which informs applicants they do not have permission to be moved to or be in that specific support accommodation.

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2. The address is listed as a commercial property; in which case the Case Owner should send letter SB1 to request a utility bill as proof of the address. 3. ASYS shows that the new address is a block of flats, but the applicant has not advised the flat number; Case Owners should send letter SB1 to establish the correct address. 4. The house number does not show on the address database in ASYS. Case Owner should send letter SB1 to request a utility bill as proof of the address. 5. Where a Case Owner believes there are possible costs associated with the property he should send letter SB2 to be completed and returned by the applicant. Case Owners will need to generate a Generic ASYS letter and paste the body of the letter onto the template, see ASYS User Manual Producing a Generic ASYS Letter. Copies of all correspondence received from and sent to the applicant must be kept on file. Some addresses will show up on ASYS as asylum support accommodation when they are actually private. In these cases the data loading team will need to be contacted to confirm that the address is not an asylum support address. The Dispersal Facilitation Group (DFG) should then be contacted to change the address. In order to change an applicants application from support accommodation to a private address i.e. both subsistence and accommodation to subsistence only, case Owners should follow the instructions in the ASYS User manual: Convert Both to Subsistence Application Tool Once the address has been changed, the asylum support application must be reassessed and allocated to the new address. Any ISTs issued by accommodation providers must be taken into account, Case Owners should also check Payment history to establish when applicants last collected their support, ensuring any EST generated covers the correct period. Applicants do not need to submit a new Asylum Support Application Form. Case owners should follow the instructions in ASYS User Manuals Using Automated Assessment Tool and Using the Subsistence Allocation Calculator Tool to reassess and allocate support to the new address. The applicant should be sent the Variation in Support letter confirming the change with details of any change in support payments including any emergency support generated. Where the applicant has relocated to a new Primary Care Trust (PCT) area Case Owners should inform the new Local Health Authority and where there are dependants the Local Education Authority, sending the Notification of support to LHA/LEA. Case Owners should also issue a new Subs Only Asylum Support Agreement. Both letters and the agreement are located in ASYS. Case Owners should note in the Minute Sheet of ASYS of any action they have taken on the case, details of any support issued must be included.

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Private Accommodation to alternative Private Accommodation


This section provides guidance on updating ASYS when applicants receiving subsistence support change their address by moving to another private address. Notification of the change of address should be sent to the Case Owner in writing. As a matter of policy, asylum support should not be provided to help people meet accommodation costs that they would be unable to meet. The applicant must be made aware of this. The Case Owner must be satisfied that there are no such costs associated with the accommodation. Where a Case Owner believes there are possible costs associated with the property he should send letter SB2 to be completed by the applicant and returned. Case Owners should carry out an accommodation maintenance check on the applicants intended address. There will be occasions when the address cannot be updated on ASYS. Some reasons for this are: 1. The address may be asylum support accommodation but the applicant has not been properly dispersed and so should not have moved there; in such cases Case Owners should send letter SB3 to inform the applicant he does not have permission to be in support accommodation. 2. It is a commercial property; in which case the Case Owner should send letter SB1 to request a utility bill as proof of the address. 3. ASYS shows that the new address is a block of flats but the applicant has not advised the flat number; Case Owners should send letter SB1 to establish the correct address. 4. The house number does not show on the address database in ASYS. Case Owner should send letter SB1 to request a utility bill as proof of the address. Case Owners will need to generate a Generic ASYS letter and paste the body of the letter onto the template, see ASYS User Manual Producing a Generic ASYS Letter. Copies of all correspondence received from and sent to the applicant must be kept on file. Some addresses will show up on ASYS as the UK Border Agency accommodation when they are actually private. In these cases, the Dispersal Facilitation Group (DFG) will need to be contacted to confirm the address is not an asylum support address and they can alter the address. In the event a Case Owner decides that the circumstances or events of a case need to be investigated, Case Owners should consult the Asylum Teams Investigations Officer. In order to change an applicants private address to another private address, Case Owners should follow the instructions in the ASYS User manual: Entering an Address Using PAF. Once the address has been changed, the asylum support application must be reassessed and allocated to the new address. Case Owners should check Payment history to establish when the applicant last collected his support, ensuring any EST generated covers the correct period. The applicant does not need to submit a new Asylum Support Application Form. Case owners should follow the instructions in ASYS User Manuals Using Automated Assessment Tool and Using the Subsistence Allocation Calculator Tool to reassess and allocate support to the new address. Uncontrolled if printed

The applicant should be sent the Variation in Support letter confirming the change with details of any change in support payments including any emergency support generated. Where the applicant has relocated to a new Primary Care Trust (PCT) area Case Owners should inform the new Local Health Authority and where there are dependants the Local Education Authority, sending the Notification of support to LHA/LEA. Both letters are located in ASYS. Case Owners should note in the Minute Sheet of ASYS of any action they have taken on the case, details of any support issued must be included.

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Letters

SB1 - This letter should be used to establish the correct address. (See Asylum Related Documents Asylum Support Change of Address SB1 Letter) SB2 - This letter and pro forma should be used when there are reasons to believe there may be a rent liability. (See Asylum Related Documents Asylum Support Change of Address SB2 Letter) SB3 - This letter should be used when the new address shows as UK Border Agency accommodation. (See Asylum Related Documents Asylum Support Change of Address SB3 Letter)

In order to produce a Generic ASYS letter, see ASYS User Manual Producing a Generic ASYS Letter.

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Glossary
Term SB1 SB2 SB3 Meaning This letter should be used to establish the correct address. This letter and pro forma should be used when there are reasons to believe there may be a rent liability. This letter should be used when the new address shows as Asylum Support accommodation

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 Authors MM BF JL Date 22/02/07 30/10/08 14/10/11 Change Reference New web style implemented and support processes incorporated Update branding only Change references to Medical Foundation to Freedom from Torture.

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DEPENDANTS ON AN ASYLUM SUPPORT APPLICATION


Table of Contents

Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Definition of Dependant Dependants Included on the Initial Support Application Persons who are already a dependant on the asylum claim Persons who are not a dependant on the asylum claim Applications to add Dependants after Support has been Allocated Removing a Dependant after Support has been Allocated Non-Dependants who Request to be Accommodated Together Child Dependants Turning 18 Extract from the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 (regulation 2) Letters Glossary

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Introduction
This is an instruction on determining whether a person is a dependant for asylum support purposes. It also includes guidance on adding dependants to, and removing dependants from, an asylum support application. The principles set out in this instruction apply irrespective of whether the application for support is under section 4, 95 or 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Case Owners should note that the definition of a dependant for asylum support is different to that for asylum purposes.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.
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Definition of Dependant
For support purposes, the term "dependant", in relation to an asylum-seeker, a supported person or an applicant for asylum support is defined in regulation 2 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, (see Extract).

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Dependants Included on the Initial Support Application


When an application for a dependant to be included in a support application is received, Case Owners should ensure that they search ASYS and CID for any existing asylum or asylum support applications for the person. Persons who are already a dependant on the asylum claim In line with regulation 2(4)(i) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, a person should always be regarded as a dependant for support purposes if they are being treated as a dependant on an asylum claim. In this scenario, the dependant is not expected to provide any additional evidence of their relationship to the principal applicant. Persons who are not a dependant on the asylum claim If an application for support includes a person who is not an asylum seeker or not a dependant of an asylum seeker then the person should only be accepted as a dependant for support purposes if they meet one of the criteria set out in regulation 2 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 (see Extract) (e.g. if they are the spouse of an asylum-seeker, a supported person or an applicant for asylum support). The prospective dependant will be expected to provide evidence to show that their relationship with the main applicant is credible. The level of evidence that is acceptable to demonstrate such a relationship will vary according to the circumstances of the particular case. For example, it may not always be reasonable to expect a couple who have fled persecution to be able to provide a marriage certificate unless the marriage has taken place since they arrived in the UK. Factors such as whether the alleged dependant was mentioned during the initial Immigration Service screening interview may be important when it comes to assessing credibility. Forgery checks should be conducted on any documentary evidence wherever possible. If, after considering the evidence provided, the Case Owner is not satisfied that the purported dependant should be included in the support application, the main applicant and dependant should be advised of this in writing including the full reasons for the decision. Case Owners should refer to ASYS User Manual: Producing a Generic ASYS Letter and use the template provided. This decision will attract a right of appeal under Section 103(1) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to an Asylum Support Adjudicator. The letter should enclose the Tribunals Service Asylum Support Notice of Appeal Form and envelope. (See Asylum Related Documents Asylum Support Dependents on a Support App Asylum Appeal Support Form.doc)

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Applications to add Dependants after Support has been Allocated


A request for a prospective dependant to be added to a support application should be made in writing. Evidence must be provided to show that the person meets the requirements of a dependant as set out in regulation 2 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 (see Extract). It is not necessary for dependants to submit a new asylum support application form when applying to be added as a dependant to an Asylum Support claim. If a failed asylum seeker is still being treated as an asylum seeker for support purposes because they had a dependent child under the age of 18 at the point appeal rights have been exhausted, additional dependants may be added to the section 95 application (providing they meet the definition of a dependant (see Extract)). The level of evidence that is acceptable to show that a relationship between the main applicant and the dependant is credible will vary according to the circumstances of the particular case. For example, it may not always be reasonable to expect a couple who have fled persecution to be able to provide a marriage certificate unless that marriage has taken place since they arrived in the UK. Factors such as whether the alleged dependant was mentioned during the initial Immigration Service screening interview may be important when it comes to assessing credibility. Forgery checks should be conducted on any documentary evidence wherever possible. Where appropriate evidence has not been supplied Case Owners should write to the applicant requesting further information using the template at Letters. Where the appropriate evidence has been received Case Owners should proceed with the request. If, after considering the evidence provided, the Case Owner is not satisfied that the purported dependant should be included in the support application, the main applicant and dependant should be advised of this in writing including the full reasons for the decision. Case Owners should refer to ASYS User Manual: Producing a Generic ASYS Letter and use the template provided. This decision will attract a right of appeal to an Asylum Support Adjudicator. The letter should enclose the Tribunals Service Asylum Support Notice of Appeal Form and envelope. If it is decided that the applicant should be added to the support application, Case Owners should follow the instructions in the ASYS User Manual: Adding/Removing a Dependant. The applicant should be advised of the decision in writing. Case Owners will need to produce a generic ASYS letter - see ASYS User Manual: Producing a Generic ASYS Letter and enter the text provided at Letters. Whenever a dependant is added to the support application then the level of support provided to the family will need to be adjusted to reflect the additional dependant. In cases where the applicant is residing in support accommodation Case Owners need to assess whether the current accommodation remains suitable. This is essential in cases where a dependant has been added. Case Owners should check whether the current accommodation remains suitable.

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If the current accommodation is unsuitable, the details of the case should be referred to the Accommodation Booking Team (ABT). If the current accommodation is suitable, Case Owners should assess the level of support and allocate support, see the ASYS User Manuals: Using the Automated Assessment Tool and Using the Subsistence Allocation Calculator. If the applicant is living in asylum support accommodation which, following the addition of another dependant is not adequate, new accommodation may need to be found. Case Owners should refer to the Asylum Instruction Change of Address for guidance. Where a dependant has been added, Case Owners must place a minute in the ASYS Minute Sheet. The minute must include the name of applicant who has been added or removed, any changes in the level of support the applicant will receive, the date the new level of support will commence and details of any emergency support generated.

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Removing a Dependant after Support has been Allocated


A request for a dependant to be removed from a support application should be made in writing. If Case Owners are concerned about the welfare of a child dependant they should, in the first instance, contact Social Services. If Social Services are unable to help, Case Owners should contact the Child Protection Officer in the Asylum Screening Unit Where a dependant wishes to be removed from a main applicants asylum support application, the main applicant should be informed that the person no longer wants to be supported as his dependant. Case Owners should be aware that it may not be reasonable to expect confirmation from the main applicant in some circumstances and should pay particular attention to the circumstances of the case. For example, if the dependant is subject to domestic violence, it would not be reasonable to expect signed confirmation. Whenever a dependant is removed from a support application then the level of support provided will need to be adjusted to reflect the reduction in people on the application. If the applicant is living in asylum support accommodation which, following the removal of a dependant is not suitable, new accommodation may need to be found. Case Owners should refer to the Asylum Instruction Change of Address for guidance. Case Owners should also be aware that removing a dependant from a support application may have implications for the support arrangements for the main applicant. For example, if the main applicant is a failed asylum seeker who was only receiving section 95 support because he has a child under 18, the Case Owner will need to review the position if the child is no longer regarded as a dependant. Case Owners may be notified by the police, the accommodation provider, the main applicant or dependant that they wish to be removed from the asylum support application because of incident(s) of domestic violence. Case Owners should refer to Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 70: Domestic Violence and the Asylum Instruction titled Change of Address. If it is decided that the applicant should be removed from the support application, Case Owners should follow the instructions in the ASYS User Manual: Adding/Removing a Dependant. The applicant should be advised of the decision in writing. Case Owners will need to produce a generic ASYS letter- see ASYS User Manual Producing a Generic ASYS Letter and enter the text provided at Letters. In cases where the applicant is residing in support accommodation Case Owners need to assess whether the current accommodation remains suitable. Case Owners should check whether the current accommodation remains suitable. If the current accommodation is unsuitable, the details of the case should be referred to the Accommodation Booking Team (ABT). If the current accommodation is suitable, Case Owners should assess the level of support and allocate support, see the ASYS User Manuals: Using the Automated Assessment Tool and Using the Subsistence Allocation Calculator. Where a dependant has been removed, Case Owners must place a minute in the ASYS Minute Sheet. The minute must include the name of the dependant who has been removed, any changes in the level of support the applicant will receive, the date the new level of support will commence and details of any emergency support generated if appropriate. Uncontrolled if printed

Non-Dependants who Request to be Accommodated Together


Applicants who are eligible for asylum support but are not dependants of each other (e.g. adult siblings) may request to be accommodated together. When considering requests for separate support applications to be linked together in this way, case owners should take into account the wishes of all parties, the availability of suitable accommodation, Article 8 ECHR considerations (right to respect for private and family life), and any restrictions on who may be accommodated together. The criteria on who may be accommodated together are set out in Annex C of the National Asylum Support Service Accommodation 2005 Project Schedule 3 to the Target Contract. The Case Owner should advise the applicants of the decision in writing. Case Owners should refer to ASYS User Manual: Producing a Generic ASYS Letter and use the template provided. There is not a right of appeal against this decision.

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Child Dependants Turning 18


Children who have been accepted as a dependant on an asylum support application should not be expected to apply for support in their own right on turning 18 unless the main applicant is a failed asylum seeker who has exhausted appeal rights and has no other child dependants. Their support will continue until such time as the main applicant becomes ineligible for support.

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Extract from the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 (regulation 2)


2. (1) In these Regulations "the Act" means the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; "asylum support" means support provided under section 95 of the Act; "dependant" has the meaning given by paragraphs (4) and (5); "the interim Regulations" means the Asylum Support (Interim Provisions) Regulations 1999[2]; "married couple" means a man and woman who are married to each other and are members of the same household; and "unmarried couple" means a man and woman who, though not married to each other, are living together as if married. (2) The period of 14 days is prescribed for the purposes of section 94(3) of which a claim for asylum is determined). the Act (day on

(3)

Paragraph (2) does not apply in relation to a case to which the interim Regulations apply (for which case, provision corresponding to paragraph (2) is made by regulation 2(6) of those Regulations). In these Regulations "dependant", in relation to an asylum-seeker, a supported person or an applicant for asylum support, means, subject to paragraph (5), a person in the United Kingdom ("the relevant person") who (a) is his spouse; (b) is a child of his or of his spouse, is dependant on him and is, or was at the relevant time, under 18; (c) is a member of his or his spouse's close family and is, or was at the relevant time, under 18; (d) had been living as part of his household (i) for at least six of the twelve months before the relevant time, or (ii) since birth, and is, or was at the relevant time, under 18; (e) is in need of care and attention from him or a member of his household by reason of a disability and would fall within sub-paragraph (c) or (d) but for the fact that he is not, and was not at the relevant time, under 18; (f) had been living with him as a member of an unmarried couple for at least two of the three years before the relevant time; (g) is living as part of his household and was, immediately before 6th December 1999 (the date when the interim Regulations came into force), receiving assistance from a local authority under section 17 of the Children Act 1989[3]; Uncontrolled if printed

(4)

(h) is living as part of his household and was, immediately before the coming into force of these Regulations, receiving assistance from a local authority under (i) section 22 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995[4]; or (ii) Article 18 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995[5]; or (i) has made a claim for leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or for variation of any such leave, which is being considered on the basis that he is dependant on the asylum-seeker; and in relation to a supported person, or an applicant for asylum support, who is himself a dependant of an asylum-seeker, also includes the asylum-seeker if in the United Kingdom. (5) Where a supported person or applicant for asylum support is himself a dependant of an asylum-seeker, a person who would otherwise be a dependant of the supported person, or of the applicant, for the purposes of these Regulations is not such a dependant unless he is also a dependant of the asylum-seeker or is the asylum-seeker. In paragraph (4), "the relevant time", in relation to the relevant person, means (a) the time when an application for asylum support for him was made in accordance with regulation 3(3); or (b) if he has joined a person who is already a supported person in the United Kingdom and sub-paragraph (a) does not apply, the time when he joined that person in the United Kingdom. (7) Where a person, by falling within a particular category in relation to an asylum-seeker or supported person, is by virtue of this regulation a dependant of the asylum-seeker or supported person for the purposes of these Regulations, that category is also a prescribed category for the purposes of paragraph (c) of the definition of "dependant" in section 94(1) of the Act and, accordingly, the person is a dependant of the asylum-seeker or supported person for the purposes of Part VI of the Act. Paragraph (7) does not apply to a person who is already a dependant of the asylumseeker or supported person for the purposes of Part VI of the Act because he falls within either of the categories mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of "dependant" in section 94(1) of the Act. Paragraph (7) does not apply for the purposes of any reference to a "dependant" in Schedule 9 to the Act.

(6)

(8)

(9)

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Letters
Request for Further Evidence Letter See Asylum Related Documents Asylum Support Dependents on a Support App Further Information Letter.doc

Variation of Support Letter See Asylum Related Documents Asylum Support Dependents on a Support App Variation of Support Letter.doc

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Glossary
Term Further Evidence Letter Variation of Support Letter Meaning Letter to Request further information or evidence Letter informing applicant of changes in their regular support payments

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 Authors BF Date 01/02/07 29/03/07 17/04/07 03/10/08 11/09/09 05/10/09 Change Reference Formatting to website format and incorporating asylum support processes IND name change amendment Amendments for external website Re branding only Issuing of TSAS envelopes if right of appeal exists Childrens Duty paragraph added.

3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0

MM CS SM SM

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DISCONTINUING ASYLUM SUPPORT AFTER FAILURE TO REPORT WITH ARC

Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Background Conditions of Support First RepARC event ARC and Reporting: The Automated Process for Suspension of Cash Support ARC and Reporting: The Paper-Based Process for Suspension of Cash Support Reasonable Excuses for not Reporting Attempts to Contact Supported Person Process for Discontinuation Discontinuation of Support Vulnerable Supported People Discontinuation of support to families with children Appeals

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Introduction
This instruction contains guidance on the procedure for discontinuing support to asylum applicants who are in receipt of support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act) and who have failed to attend a scheduled Reporting with Application Registration Card (RepARC) event at a reporting centre (RC) or Police station. N.B. The RepARC process is not to be applied to applicants in receipt of section 4 support. For instructions on how to discontinue support under section 4 in these circumstances please refer to the Section 4 support instruction.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Every Child Matters; Change for Children sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.
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Background
Section 95(9A) of the 1999 Act permits the Secretary of State to make the provision of support subject to the condition that the asylum-seeker complies with a restriction imposed in connection with Temporary Admission (TA) under paragraph 21 of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971; "Section 95(9A) - A condition imposed under subsection (9) may, in particular, relate to (a) any matter relating to the use of the support provided, (b) compliance with a restriction imposed under paragraph 21 of Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act (temporary admission or release from detention) or paragraph 2 or 5 of Schedule 3 to that Act (restriction pending deportation).

Further to this, subsections 95(10) and 95(11) provide that these conditions must be set out in writing and that a copy of the conditions must be given to the supported person. Asylum support is provided on the basis a supported person and/or his dependant(s) adheres to the terms and conditions attached to it. The conditions are outlined to the supported person in the Asylum Support agreement (formally known as NASS agreement). A breach of the conditions of support may lead to an early suspension or discontinuation of support. Under regulation 20(1)(i) of The Asylum Support Regulations 2000 asylum support for a supported person or a dependant of his may be suspended or discontinued if: the supported person or a dependent of his for whom support is being provided has not complied with a reporting requirement.

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Conditions of Support
The Asylum Support Agreement (the Agreement) is issued to all applicants supported under section 95 of the 1999 Act. The Agreement includes a provision that makes compliance with reporting conditions a condition of support. Each supported person is provided with a copy of the Agreement in their primary language, or English if a suitable translation is not available. This should be signed and dated by the supported person and returned to the Asylum Support Team to be kept on the supported persons records (note: it should be scanned onto ASYS) and will form an essential part of any subsequent First Tier Tribunal Asylum Support appeal bundle if support is discontinued. If the signed agreement is not returned within one month of issue this should be recorded on the supported persons records and the RepARC process, outlined in this instruction, continues. It should be noted that, even in the event that the agreement is not signed and returned, the supported person has been served with form IS.96 (in illegal entry cases) or form IS.248 (in time, in country application cases), by the UK Border Agency. These forms explicitly outline the supported persons residence and reporting restrictions.

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First RepARC event


A letter should be sent by the Asylum Case Owner to each applicant that is required to report instructing them to attend their first reporting event (FRE). The letter will explain the implications of a failure to report, i.e. that they are liable to be detained and that the continuation of section 95 support is dependent upon compliance with this condition (as per Section 95(9A) of the 1999 Act). N.B. Although the Asylum Support Team will carry out most, if not all, of the support functions on behalf of the Asylum Case Owner, it is the Asylum Case Owner who retains overall responsibility for ensuring these functions are carried out. Applicants who fail to attend their first reporting event and have already had their ARC activated, will not yet have had their ARC updated with a Next Reporting Date (NRD). In these cases subsistence support via their ARC card will not be automatically suspended by the automated RepARC system because the NRD will have been initially set for a date far in the future. Such cases will therefore have to be treated as non-automated / Paperbased RepARC cases and the Asylum Support Team will manually suspend ARC payments on ASYS (with a one week tolerance date) until either compliance occurs or discontinuation proceedings are instigated. N.B. The supported person will be invited to one further reporting event before discontinuation proceedings begin.

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ARC and Reporting: The Automated Process for Suspension of Cash Support
Cash support is accessed by the supported person presenting their ARC at a designated Post Office. The Post Office Counter Staff place the ARC into a Point of Sale (POS) terminal and the ARC microchip is read unlocking the applicants due amount within the payment system. This chip contains a Next Reporting Date (NRD) field. Payment will only be authorised by the POS reader if the NRD indicates a future date. If not, payment will be denied. This provides the automated link between RepARC and the cash payments process. If an invalid NRD causes payment to be denied by a POS terminal, payment data upon ASYS will not be automatically suspended or end-dated. Collection is therefore dictated by the ARC and not the Asylum Support Team. The ARC NRD will be updated at each reporting event, usually for one week past the next scheduled reporting date. This provides a tolerance of one week, so should the reporting cycle be interrupted for reasons such as the need to attend an interview, ill health, or transport problems, etc., then support will still be available on the ARC for another week. Only the main supported persons ARC will be updated, i.e. the card used to collect regular payments. An expired NRD will generate a transaction Code 4 (Invalid reporting date). The supported person will only be able to access their regular payments if they resume reporting, whereby their ARC receives a new, valid, NRD.

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ARC and Reporting: The Paper-Based Process for Suspension of Cash Support
The equipment necessary to update the ARC NRD is not available at all locations (e.g. some reporting events may take place in UK Border Agency staffed Police Stations). Due to the lack of automation, this aspect of RepARC is termed the paper-based process and requires manual intervention by Asylum Support Teams. In this instance, the UK Border Agency reporting centre staff, identify and collate nonreporting applicants (by the Asylum Support reference number and schedule of reporting) on a daily basis. This information is relayed by spreadsheet to the Asylum Support Teams. ARC-based payments are then suspended on ASYS by the Asylum Support Team (with the same 1-week tolerance as at ARC and Reporting: the Automated Process and a Warning Letter (ISE 343) is sent to the applicant by the reporting centre staff. The Asylum Support Team should also send out their own, separate warning letter to the supported person notifying them of a date upon which cash support will be suspended. If the supported person subsequently reports, support is re-allocated from that date, i.e. via ARC payments, with emergency support to cover until it begins. Support is not backdated to the preceding (suspended) payments unless acceptance of a reasonable excuse is advised by the UK Border Agency. Paper-based cases are tracked for two successive scheduled reporting events and, if the Asylum Support Team is not advised that the applicant has reported, discontinuation proceedings may be initiated.

Warning Letters The Reporting Centre staff will send the applicant a Warning Letter - ISE 343 upon each failure to report, and this includes text relating to cash payments. The supported person is therefore warned on one occasion, that support may be discontinued before the discontinuation decision itself is sent.

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Reasonable Excuses for not Reporting


A supported person must report to enable continued access to cash payments. However, the supported person may comply with this condition but still not be paid, e.g. a lost or stolen ARC, faulty updating equipment, human error in updating etc. In these instances, emergency support will be provided. To verify the supported persons attendance and ensure that (particularly in the case of paper-based RepARC) continuity is maintained on these cases, the necessary remedial action is to be taken by the Asylum Support Team. A supported person may not have been able to report due to circumstances beyond their control, e.g. illness, family emergency, family death, an asylum interview, transport strike, adverse weather conditions, etc. The validity of such reasons should be assessed by the Asylum Case Owner. Reasonable excuses for not reporting should be forwarded to the Asylum Case Owner or Support Team if received by staff in the reporting centre. If the reasonable excuse occurs upon the first sequential automated reporting event, the 1week event tolerance will enable cash payment to be collected the following week. If the reasonable excuse occurs upon a second / third event, access to payment will be denied by the ARCs NRD. At this point (with the agreement of the Case Owner) the Asylum Support Team issues emergency support to maintain continuous payment from the date that ARC payments will stop. The reporting centre then informs the Asylum Support Team or Case Owner of: a) each further reasonable excuse, triggering emergency support as above. b) a non-reasonable excuse, whereby the case is tracked towards potential discontinuation. c) the date of compliance so that, as ARC payments will again be available, the Asylum Support Team can check if duplicate emergency support has been collected and amend payments as necessary, e.g. the covering period for an Emergency Support Token (EST) overlaps with a collected ARC payment. If a paper-based reasonable excuse is received after support has been manually suspended by the Asylum Support Team, ARC payments are re-allocated and emergency support sent (covering from the date of compliance) until that begins. Emergency support to destitute supported persons is provided at the standard 24 hour turnaround.
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Attempts to Contact Supported Person


The UK Border Agency officer responsible for actioning the failure to report discontinuation process, must make every reasonable attempt to contact the supported person as soon as possible (within 2 working days) by telephoning them if a telephone number (whether landline or mobile) has been provided. (N.B. It is recommended that staff regularly ask for or confirm a contact number, in the event that the supported persons telephone number has changed). The telephone number(s) should be recorded and available to view on the maintain address screen on CID. It is suggested that the most recent number(s), landline, mobile or both are kept here and that historical numbers linked to the supported person and addresses are recorded on CID Notes. If a telephone number is not held or contact is not possible, the UK Border Agency officer should contact the supported persons representative (if applicable) to: confirm whether or not the representative still represents the supported person and/or is still in contact with them if still the supported persons representative, confirm whether the representative is aware that the supported person failed to attend their reporting event establish whether there is a reasonable explanation for the supported persons failure to report determine whether there are any ongoing issues or concerns that may affect the supported persons ability to physically report in the future. If the representative no longer represents the supported person, the UK Border Agency officer should ask if a new representative is known and, if so, they should repeat the above with the new representative. If the supported person does not have a representative, the UK Border Agency officer should contact the Accommodation Provider (if applicable) to: confirm the supported persons address confirm whether or not the supported person is still present at the address ask for confirmation in writing, indicating last contact etc, if the supported person is not at the address and appears to have absconded. The UK Border Agency officer may contact, if necessary, any family, friends or known associates of the supported person in order to ascertain the supported persons whereabouts. The UK Border Agency officer must then update CID Notes with full details of actions taken and record any new information supplied either by the representative, the accommodation provider or family/friends. Complete the FTR Minute Check Sheet, as appropriate

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Process for Discontinuation


If a supported person cannot be located or has not provided a reasonable excuse for missing a reporting event, discontinuation action must not be initiated immediately. Instead, the following procedure is to be completed jointly by Reporting Centre staff and the Asylum Support Team/Case Owner: Update CID Calendar Event to show that the supported person was a no show Enter the breaches screen highlight the relevant restriction and add the breach type No Show (Reporting) and date of breach. A ISE 343 Failure to Report Warning letter on CID Document Generator must be completed and a copy of the ICD 3574 RepARC Information Letter printed off. Contact Asylum Support Team/Case Owner to advise of actions taken so far and to be completed. The Asylum Support Team should then send their own asylum support warning letter to the supported person. If appropriate, amend the supported persons reporting regime, if they are not subject to weekly reporting, by updating to a one-off reporting event for 7 working days from the date that this action is being completed. Issue a new IS96 for the event from CID Document Generator. Send the ISE343, ICD3574 and the new IS96 to the supported persons last known address by recorded delivery, plus a copy to the representative by 2nd class post, if applicable. This ensures a clear evidential trail that the warning was given and can be added to any future First-Tier Tribunal - Asylum Support appeal bundle should the supported person contest a decision to terminate support. If the supported person fails to attend the next reporting event and can still not be located, immediately initiate absconder action and refer to the Asylum Support Team/Case Owner for discontinuation of support. In cases where the supported person has been located but has failed to provide a reasonable excuse for a second consecutive time, refer to Asylum Support Team/Case Owner for discontinuation of support without initiating absconder action. Update FTR minute check sheet. If the supported person fails to attend two consecutive reporting events, they are considered in breach of clause 20(1)(i) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. At this point the Asylum Support Team places the case In Termination and a Discontinuation Letter should be sent.

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10

Discontinuation of Support
If the supported person fails to attend two consecutive events, they are considered in breach of clause 20(1)(i) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, i.e. failure to comply with a reporting condition. At this point, discontinuation proceedings commence; the Asylum Support Team places the case In Termination and issues a Discontinuation Letter. The Asylum Case Owner should be consulted throughout this process and made aware of any proposed and completed actions. If the supported person does not comply within the 14 calendar day period following the InTermination date, support will be formally discontinued. In line with the ARC Noncompliance procedure, and its use of 20(1)(i), the full support package (i.e. cash payments and accommodation) will be discontinued for single applicants. Single asylum seekers who fail to report for two consecutive events without a reasonable excuse will have their support under section 95 placed into discontinuation. This is the point at which the discontinuance action commences. The support package should be discontinued in line with the processes set out in the Breach of Conditions asylum support instruction. Under the discontinuation of support process, the asylum seeker will have the right to appeal. Families with dependants under 18 will have access to their cash support denied after 2 consecutive missed reporting events. These families will not have their support discontinued; cash support will be inaccessible until the family complies with their reporting requirement. Although there is no formal discontinuation, cash support is still being withdrawn so there will be a right of appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal Service Asylum Support in this instance.

The 14 calendar day Discontinuation period includes the 9 calendar day allowance for a Tribunal Service Asylum Support appeal against discontinuation. If the supported person complies within the 14 calendar day Discontinuation period, support will be reinstated by the Asylum Support Team. This will apply to both the paper based and automated Rep ARC cases. The discontinuation proceeding will therefore be cancelled. If the supported person contacts the Asylum Case Owner during the Discontinuation period, they must be advised to report to their designated reporting centre. A CID check is performed by the Asylum Support Team upon the initiation of discontinuation proceedings to confirm non-compliance. Where the supported person voluntarily reports shortly after support has been discontinued for failure to report, a duly motivated decision based on the reasons for the disappearance must be taken as to the reinstatement of some or all of the support.

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Vulnerable Supported People


Any decision to discontinue support in any of the circumstances outlined above must be taken individually, objectively and impartially, taking account of the degree of the breach or non-compliance. The decision should be based on the particular situation of the supported person concerned and particular attention should be given to whether the supported person is a vulnerable person as described by regulation 4 of the Asylum Seekers (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2005. The regulation states that a vulnerable person is a minor a disabled person an elderly person a pregnant woman a lone parent with a minor child; or a person who has been subjected to torture, rape, or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence who has had an individual evaluation of his situation that confirms he has special needs.

Reasons should be given for any discontinuation of section 95 support. Where section 95 support is being withdrawn following a breach of conditions the ASYS support application record will be set to In Termination. Where asylum support has been fully discontinued the Asylum Support Team or Case Owner should ensure that the ASYS support application record is set to Terminated. For additional guidance on the discontinuation of support see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 83: Duty to offer support, Family Unity, Vulnerable Persons, Withdrawing Support

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Discontinuation of support to families with children When considering whether to discontinue the provision of support under section 95 of the 1999 Act to families with minors, the course of action taken must be consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to ensure that the decision has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. If a decision is being made as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support to a family with children under regulation 20 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, if the family are assessed as being destitute if it were not for the provision of the aforesaid support, the UK Border Agency must take in to account the impact of any decision on the family before proceeding. Any decision as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support must be proportionate to the situation. If the breach was minor, it may not be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support. When making decisions as to whether it would be appropriate to discontinue support, Case Owners should consult their Senior Caseworker before proceeding.

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If the discontinuation of support is appropriate, the Case Owners should take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children. Before any action is taken to begin the process to discontinue support, the Case Owner should liaise with the local authority, notifying them that the UK Border Agency plans to discontinue support from the family, and request that the local authority provides alternative support. If the local authority makes an offer of support, the provision of support under section 95 should be discontinued as soon as the family transfers in to local authority care. If the Case Owner believes that the supported family might be eligible for support provided by the local authority, but the local authority refuses to provide support, the provision of asylum support must be maintained until the local authority provides support. If a decision is taken that it would be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support to a family with children, the discontinuation letter should explain why the decision is consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

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Appeals
If an appeal against discontinuation is made (within the termination warning period), an appeal bundle is prepared by the Case Owning Team and should be submitted to the Tribunal Service Asylum Support Judge. The appeal bundle must include. a) all letters sent to the supported person by the UKBA (i.e. initial reporting schedule and subsequent non-compliance letters, stating the link between reporting and cash support) b) all letters sent by the Asylum Case Owner Support (i.e. Suspension / Discontinuation warning letters). c) a signed copy of the Asylum Support Agreement (or record of its non-receipt). If a Tribunal Service Asylum Support appeal is allowed, support will be re-instated immediately. The conditions of RepARC will continue to apply to the re-instated support case.

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Glossary Term ISE 343 Meaning Warning letter sent to asylum applicants when they fail to report formally reminding them that TA has been granted as an alternative to detention. UKBA information letter, informing applicant that payment of cash is linked to reporting Enforcement notification sent to people on Temporary Admission (TA) who are liable to be detained outlining the conditions of their admission. Letter sent to supported person after two consecutively missed reporting events, informing them that their support has been suspended and will be fully discontinued in 14 days unless they report within that time. This letter also informs the supported person of their right of appeal against this decision. Letter formally warning supported person that support will be discontinued if they miss their next reporting event without providing a reasonable excuse.

ICD 3574 IS96

Discontinuation Letter

Discontinuation of Support Warning Letter

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 Authors JL Date 22/10/2010 Change Reference First version of instruction

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Family Reunion
1. Introduction 1.1 Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children 2. Family Reunion Policy 2.1 Eligibility 2.1.1 Eligible applicants 2.1.2 Ineligible applicants 2.1.3 Eligible sponsors 2.1.4 Ineligible sponsors 2.2 Family reunion entitlements (leave not status) 2.3 Family reunion costs and charges 2.4 Refugees sur place 2.5 Other routes of entry 3. Family Reunion Process 3.1 Applications for family reunion originating abroad 3.1.1 On arrival in the UK 3.1.2 Entry clearance visas not issued in line with the sponsor 3.2 In country applications for family reunion 3.3 Ownership of applications for family reunion made in country 3.4 Consideration of in country applications 3.4.1 Knowledge of language and life in the UK 3.5 Granting family reunion 3.5.1 Case Owner action raising application 3.5.2 Case Owner action granting application 3.6 Refusing family reunion 3.6.1 Rights of appeal 3.6.2 Case Owner action refusing application 4. Other Considerations 4.1 Cases where a dependants age is disputed 4.2 Children/Young People arriving in the UK unaccompanied or accompanied 4.3 Children conceived before the refugee fled to seek asylum in the UK 4.4 UK Born children 4.5 Adopted children 4.6 Polygamous marriages 4.7 Sponsors granted humanitarian protection (HP) before 30th August 2005 and discretionary leave (DL) Document Control

1. Introduction
The purpose of this instruction is to provide guidance to Case Owners in asylum teams in the regions in determining applications for family reunion made within the UK. Applications for family reunion should ordinarily be made from abroad, and indeed most are. However, the Immigration Rules do allow for applications for family reunion to be made from within the UK. For information on the handling of applications for family reunion made from outside the United Kingdom, please see the Entry Clearance Guidance chapters. The United Kingdom Border Agency recognises that families become fragmented because of the speed and manner in which a person seeking asylum has fled to the United Kingdom (UK), and because of the nature of conflict, war and persecution. Family reunion is intended to allow family members (that is, those who formed part of the family unit prior to the time that the sponsor 1 fled to seek protection) to reunite with their sponsors who are recognised refugees or are benefiting from a grant of humanitarian protection (post 30th August 2005) and rebuild their lives in the UK. The framework against which family reunion applications are made and considered is contained in Part 11 of the Immigration Rules 352A 352FJ, and as policy in this Asylum Instruction (AI). Under Part 11 of the Immigration Rules only pre-existing families are eligible for family reunion i.e. spouse, civil partner, unmarried/same sex partner and minor children who formed part of the family unit at the time the sponsor fled to seek asylum. Under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules, other family members of refugees and those granted humanitarian protection may be able to come to the UK. See Other routes of entry.

1.1 Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Case Owners must comply with the section 55 duty in carrying out the actions set out in this instruction, in respect of children and those with children. The UK Border Agency statutory guidance under section 55 Every Child Matters Change for Children sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities.
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The sponsor is the individual who has been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK, and accordingly sponsors the applicant to join them.

Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs best interests are a primary, although not the only consideration, in any decision affecting the child; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

2. Family Reunion Policy


Family reunion applications are considered under Part 11 of the Immigration Rules, paragraphs 352A-FJ, alongside the written policy contained within this instruction.

2.1 Eligibility Only pre-existing families qualify for family reunion. Paragraphs 352A-FJ of the Immigration Rules lay out the detailed eligibility for the different family reunion applications which may be made. The particular rule applicable to a family reunion application will depend upon the relationship of the applicant to the sponsor, and on the sponsors status. The exact criteria set out in the Immigration Rules must be applied when considering an application for family reunion. 2.1.1 Eligible applicants For the purposes of family reunion, paragraphs 352A-FJ define a qualifying family member of a person granted refugee status or humanitarian protection as; A spouse A civil partner An unmarried/same sex partner providing that the parties have lived together in a relationship akin to either marriage or civil partnership for two years or more and the sponsor was granted asylum or humanitarian protection on or after 9 October 2006. A child under the age of 18, who is not leading an independent life, is unmarried and is not in a civil partnership and has not formed an independent family unit. 2.1.2 Ineligible applicants The Immigration Rules and the UK Border Agencys policy do not allow the following persons to be applicants for family reunion purposes: Persons who fall within the terms of one of the exclusion clauses listed under 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention Post-flight family members, including persons who formed the relationship with the sponsor in a third country, after the sponsor fled their country of origin and arrived in the UK to seek asylum Fiances, unless satisfying another rule, e.g., as a civil partner or unmarried/same sex partner (Immigration Rules 352A or 352AA) A dependent child over the age of 18 and other dependent relatives (e.g., elderly parents, siblings, etc.). Family members party to a polygamous 2 marriage Family members in a consanguineous 3 relationship
2 3

A polygamous marriage is one that includes more than two partners. A consanguineous relationship is one that is made up of two partners from the same kinship; the legal definition of consanguinity is directly relevant in determining whether a couple can marry.

Family members of children who have been recognised as a refugee or have been given humanitarian protection De facto adoption cases UK born children born after the grant of asylum (unless conceived preflight, see 4.3 Children conceived before the refugee fled to seek asylum in the UK and 4.4 UK Born children).

Some individuals within some of these categories may, however, qualify under another Immigration Rule (see Other routes of entry). 2.1.3 Eligible sponsors For the purposes of family reunion, paragraphs 352A-FJ define a sponsor as; A person who has been recognised in the UK as a refugee, who has not yet obtained British citizenship. A person who has been granted 5 years humanitarian protection but has not yet obtained British citizenship. A person who acquired their refugee status as a result of being the dependant of a sponsor who was recognised as a refugee but has not yet obtained British citizenship. A person who was granted 5 years humanitarian protection as a result of being the dependant of a sponsor who was granted 5 years humanitarian protection but has not yet obtained British citizenship. 2.1.4 Ineligible sponsors The Immigration Rules and the UK Border Agencys policy do not allow the following persons to be sponsors for family reunion purposes: An asylum seeker whose claim in the UK has not been determined A British Citizen (even though they were previously granted refugee status or humanitarian protection) A minor with leave otherwise qualifying him/her as a sponsor (even to sponsor parents). A family member of a refugee (or person granted 5 years humanitarian protection) who has obtained entry clearance from abroad to join them in the UK and who has not qualified as a refugee (or person eligible for humanitarian protection) in their own right. A family member of a refugee (or person granted 5 years humanitarian protection) who has been granted leave in line with the sponsor following an in country application for family reunion, and who has not qualified as a refugee (or person eligible for humanitarian protection) in their own right. See Other routes of entry for further information.

2.2 Family reunion entitlements (leave not status) Successful family reunion applicants will be granted leave in line with the sponsor but they will not be granted status in line as they themselves are not necessarily recognised as refugees. This leave will be granted to expire at

the same time as the sponsors leave expires. If the sponsor has indefinite leave to remain (ILR), the successful applicant will be granted ILR in line. As the dependant of a refugee, they are eligible for certain things that the refugee is entitled to, for example access to public funds, and a Convention Travel Document (subject to application form criteria). They are not automatically a refugee in their own right, however, and are not eligible to sponsor family reunion applications of their own under Part 11 of the Immigration Rules. All Convention Travel Documents issued to successful family reunion applicants since 21 February 2011 should contain an endorsement making it clear that the holder cannot sponsor under the family reunion rules in their own right.

2.3 Family reunion costs and charges Family reunion sponsors who are refugees or those with humanitarian protection are not required to meet the normal maintenance and accommodation requirements. There are no visa/settlement application charges for applications made for family reunion within Part 11 of the Immigration Rules.

2.4 Refugees sur place A "refugee sur place" is someone who falls within the Convention definition of a refugee some time after they left their home country or place of habitual residence. For instance, a person already outside their country of origin when a change of circumstances occurs in their home country which gives rise to a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason. Individuals who are granted refugee status or humanitarian protection on sur place grounds are eligible for family reunion. For such individuals, as long as the family unit was formed before the claim of asylum, it will be treated as pre-flight.

2.5 Other routes of entry Those ineligible to apply for family reunion may be able to enter the UK through alternative routes, for example: Post-flight family members 4 of refugees and those with humanitarian protection may be eligible to join their sponsor under Immigration Rules 319L-U (Part 8) Other Dependant Relatives of refugees and those with humanitarian protection may be eligible to join their sponsor under Immigration Rules
4

The definition of post-flight family member is given in Rules 319L-U, and includes the spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner, or child under 18, of the refugee or person with humanitarian protection.

319V-YB (Part 8) (see Eligible applicants for further information on who qualifies as a dependant) These applications are not family reunion applications, rather they are alternative routes of entry to the UK for extended family members of refugees and those with humanitarian protection. Both of these routes are charged, and the sponsor is required to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements. For further information on these routes of entry, please see the Entry Clearance Guidance.

3. Family Reunion Process


3.1 Applications for family reunion originating abroad Family members living outside the UK wishing to join a family member in this country under family reunion rules should seek the appropriate entry clearance from Posts in their country of residence. See Entry Clearance Guidance. 3.1.1 On arrival in the UK On arrival, an Immigration Officer (IO) will examine the individuals entry clearance visa, and if satisfied as to the identity of the family reunion family member, the IO will grant leave to enter to the individual as per their entry clearance visa. The entry clearance visa does not confer status in line, only leave in line. 3.1.2 Entry clearance visas not issued in line with the sponsor The visa affixed to the applicants passport/Uniform Format Form (UFF) 5 should be endorsed with leave in line with the applicants UK sponsor. If for some reason the visa has been endorsed in error with leave that is different to that held by the sponsor, the applicant should write to the Referred Casework Unit (RCU) at: UK Border Agency Referred Casework Unit (IG) EC Errors 15th Floor Apollo House 36 Wellesley Road Croydon CR9 3 RR The applicant should state what they believe the error to be and enclose the original document they used to travel to the UK on, with two passport sized photographs for each applicant, with their names and dates of birth on the back of each photo.

3.2 In country applications for family reunion The Immigration Rules paragraphs 352A-FJ allow for in country applications. Applications made under the rules are non-charged and should be made in one of two ways: by letter to the Case Owner who processed the sponsors asylum application and granted leave; or using from FLR (O), sent to the Case Owner who processed the sponsors asylum application and granted leave, NOT to the address
5

Uniform Format Form (UFF) - a one way travel document issued by Entry Clearance Officers (ECO) at Posts abroad to applicants who do not own or hold suitable travel documentation. It should be noted that an individual is not required to hold a passport in order to make an application for family reunion.

given on form FLR(O). If form FLR(O) is sent to the address given on the form, it may be rejected in error as this is a fee-processing centre, and family reunion applications should not be accompanied by a fee.

3.3 Ownership of applications for family reunion made in country In country applications should be allocated to the unit who were responsible for resolving the asylum claim of the sponsor of the family reunion application. If the family have moved to an address covered by a different region then the region that covers the current address should take responsibility for dealing with the family reunion application. Case Owners should be aware that they may need to transfer out, or accept transfer in of, a family reunion application on this basis.

3.4 Consideration of in country applications On receipt of an application Case Owners must be satisfied of the following: That the applicant satisfies the requirements of the Immigration Rules 352AFJ. The applicant is who they claim to be (if individuals have not been through the screening process Case Owners will need to make the appropriate arrangements to have the applicant fingerprinted to confirm their identity, or tie them into an identity). The applicants are related as claimed to the sponsor. That the applicants formed part of the family unit prior to the sponsor having fled their country of origin to claim asylum in the UK. That evidence has been produced to establish that the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant is genuine i.e. that they lived together as a family unit prior to the sponsor having fled the country of origin to seek asylum in the UK and that since the applicants arrival in the UK they have lived together, subsisting as a family unit and intend to continue to do so. However, failure to produce evidence of cohabitation in their country of origin, correspondence or contact during the period they were apart would not alone provide reason to refuse the application. Requests for documents should be sensible and realistic. Providing the Case Owner is satisfied that the evidence submitted shows that the dependant is who they claim to be and the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant is genuine and subsisting, the Case Owner may grant leave in line with the sponsor. If further evidence is required to substantiate the relationship, enquiries in the first instance should be made by post. If the Case Owner is still not satisfied

with the evidence they may, if they think necessary, arrange an interview with the sponsor and/or the dependant(s). 3.4.1 Knowledge of language and life in the UK Applicants for Family Reunion who make their application from within the UK are exempt from the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement.

3.5 Granting family reunion If Case Owners are satisfied that the relationship is as claimed then leave only should be granted in line with the sponsor. 3.6 Refusing family reunion If the Case Owner is not satisfied that that the dependant is eligible for family reunion under the Immigration Rules/policy, or they fail, without reasonable explanation, to respond to requests for further information, then the application should be refused, unless refusal would be contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) or paragraph 395C of the Immigration Rules (where applicable). 3.6.1 Rights of appeal Where a decision has been made to refuse an in country application, any right of appeal will depend on the circumstances of each case, for example whether the applicant had leave at the time of the application, and whether the refusal is accompanied by an immigration decision.

4. Other Considerations
4.1 Cases where a dependants age is disputed Family Reunion as a child is only open to a minor child under the age of 18 who is not leading an independent life. In cases where the UK Border Agency sees the child (in country only), and they have little or no evidence to support their claimed age and their claim to be a child is doubted, an initial assessment of their age will be made. The applicant will be considered an adult if their physical appearance and/or general demeanour very strongly suggests that they are significantly over 18 years of age. In all other cases, we will give the applicant the benefit of the doubt and treat them as a child pending further investigation. Guidance on UKBA policy and processes for dealing with age disputed asylum claims can be found in the AI on Assessing Age. 4.2 Children/Young People arriving in the UK unaccompanied or accompanied Should a child or young person arrive in the UK unaccompanied or accompanied (by a person other than their parent/guardian) claiming that they are here to join their parent/guardian, then the following guidance relating to children arriving (unaccompanied and accompanied) in the UK should be referred to before taking any further action.

4.3 Children conceived before the refugee fled to seek asylum in the UK Children of the sponsor who were conceived before the sponsor fled to seek asylum in the UK, but born post-flight are considered part of the sponsors pre-existing family. Proof of relationship will be required, for example in the form of a birth certificate or other documentation. If the Case Owner is satisfied that the sponsor is the childs parent, then leave in line may be granted.

4.4 UK Born children For further guidance on dealing with children born in the UK who do not fit the criteria above in Children conceived before the refugee fled to seek asylum in the UK, see the AI on dependants.

4.5 Adopted children Where a sponsor has requested family reunion for a child adopted pre-flight, the sponsor must be able to demonstrate that they hold an adoption order, and that it was granted either by the administrative authority, or by a court which has the legal power to decide such applications. The adoption order should have been issued in the childs country of origin, or where he was living. Case Owners should ensure that the adoption order issued overseas is recognised as valid for the purposes of UK law. Family Reunion applications involving de facto adoptions are considered outside the

Immigration Rules. Where such a situation is brought to the attention of a Case Owner a referral must be made to social services. For further information see the section headed adopted children in Chapter 8 - Family members of the Immigration Directorate Instructions (IDIs).

4.6 Polygamous marriages Paragraph 296 of the Immigration Rules states Nothing in these Rules shall be construed as permitting a child to be granted entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, or variation of leave where his parent is party to a polygamous marriage or civil partnership and any application by that parent for admission or leave to remain for settlement or with a view to settlement would be refused pursuant to paragraphs 278 or 278A. The Immigration Rules on polygamous marriages also apply to Family Reunion. For further information see the section headed polygamous marriages in Chapter 8 - Family members of the IDIs. 4.7 Sponsors granted humanitarian protection (HP) before 30th August 2005 and discretionary leave (DL) The family members of sponsors who were granted HP before 30 August 2005 or DL are eligible to apply to join their sponsor once the latter has been granted ILR in the UK, normally after completion of three years HP or six years DL. This is not an application for family reunion, rather an application for settlement under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules. For further information see the relevant section depending on the relationship of the applicant to the sponsor in Chapter 8 - Family members of the IDIs.

Document Control
Change Record
Version 2.0 Authors CC Date 05/07/11 Change Reference First published as AI

ELIGIBILITY AND ASSESSMENT OF ASYLUM SUPPORT


Table of Contents

Introduction Legislative Framework Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Existing Asylum Support Guidance Access to Initial Accommodation Pending Consideration of an Asylum Support Application Services provided under section 98 The Voluntary Sector Providers Accessing Initial Accommodation through the Asylum Screening Unit Applicants on bail The Asylum Support Application Form Receiving Applications and Pre-Registration Checks Registering Applications CID ASYS Critical Comments Validation and Section 55 and 57 Considerations Validating applications Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Applicants who are no longer asylum seekers Assessment - The Test of Destitution Destitution Consideration of Special Requirements and Other Issues Maternity payments Age Disputes Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children EEA Nationals Assessment of Cash Support and Accommodation Accommodation Cash Support Decisions to Grant Support Partial grants Uncontrolled if printed

Outright grants The Asylum Support Agreement The Not Working Declaration HC2 Certificates Decisions to Refuse Support Appeals Asylum Support Letters General Access to initial accommodation pending consideration of an asylum support application Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Assessment and test of destitution Outright grants Subsistence only Outright grants Subsistence and accommodation Covering letters

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Introduction
This instruction provides guidance on how to assess eligibility for asylum support and the processes for granting that support. It provides guidance on, amongst other things, pre-registration checks following receipt of the asylum support application form, the provision of initial accommodation, s55, s57, s95, the relevant paperwork and appeals. For the purposes of simplicity and unless otherwise stated, the use of he, his, and him will apply to both genders.

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Legislative Framework
The key provisions relating to support for asylum seekers are set out in Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. In particular: section 94 sets out various definitions for support purposes, including who is classified as an asylum seeker and what is meant by a claim for asylum (NB claim for asylum, for asylum support purposes, includes any claim made under Article 3 of the ECHR); section 95 provides for whom support may be provided. Notably, section 95(1) provides that the Secretary of State may provide or arrange for the provision of support for asylum seekers or dependants of asylum seekers who appear to the Secretary of State to be destitute or to be likely to become destitute within such period as may be prescribed (this is prescribed in regulation 7 of The Asylum Support Regulations (2000)). Section 95(3) sets out what is meant by destitute; section 98 provides that the Secretary of State may provide or arrange for the provision of support for asylum seekers or dependants of asylum seekers who appear to the Secretary of State to be destitute or likely to become destitute pending the consideration of their support application under section 95; and section 103 provides for appeals to an Asylum Support Adjudicator against asylum support decisions.

The Asylum Support Regulations (2000) make provision supplementing the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. In particular, the Regulations define who is a dependant of an asylum seeker for asylum support purposes (regulation 2(4)) and set out the matters to be taken into account in deciding whether a person, or family group, is destitute. They also set out what support can be expected to be provided to a successful applicant. These regulations were amended in 2005 to comply with the European Council Directive 2003/9/EC. Officers must ensure that they use the Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2005 in conjunction with the 2000 Regulations. European Council Directive 2003/9/EC laid down the minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers. Amongst other things, these included the duty to offer support in some circumstances, and the requirement to have regard to family unity when providing accommodation. For further information on the Asylum Receptions Conditions Directive, see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 83: Duty to offer support, family unity, vulnerable persons, withdrawing support. In addition, all decisions must be consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, within the meaning of the Human Rights Act (1998). The summaries given above are for ease of reference and guidance only Officers should always refer to the original legislation where necessary.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions.

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Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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Existing Asylum Support Guidance


Supplementary guidance on using ASYS can be found in ASYS User Manuals. Guidance on Asylum Support policies can be found in Asylum Support Policy Bulletins. Officers should be aware that some of the above documents make references to specialist positions within NASS (National Asylum Support Service), the organisation which was formerly responsible for administering support. All such references should be ignored and Officers will be responsible for all support functions relating to their cases.

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YES Did the person apply for asylum at port on arrival? NO

Applicant can gain access to IA using IS96 (including an Immigration Officers date stamp and an applied on arrival endorsement) and an ARC (or SAL), pending completion of the asylum support application form.

Applicant can gain access to Initial Accommodation using NEAT01 (which will have been issued during screening), pending completion of the asylum support application form.

Asylum support application form received. Based on information already provided, did the applicant apply for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable, is support needed to prevent an ECHR breach or is the person otherwise exempt from s55(1)?

NO

Applicant should be invited to attend a section 55 interview using N78 or N106

Applicant fails to attend interview with no valid reason.

Application should be refused using N75 (NASS75).

Applicant attends interview. Interview should be conducted using standard section 55 interview record.

YES

Does the applicant qualify for support under s55(1) or s55(5)(a)?

NO

Applicant should be denied access to support under section 55 using N75.

YES Is the applicant still an asylum seeker? YES Has the applicant completed his asylum support application form fully and accurately and no further information is needed for his application to be considered? Application should not be considered under s95 on the basis that the applicant is not an asylum seeker (N107). Right of appeal. [Note: this letter should not be used for families with children who were born before the determination of the asylum claim. These families remain entitled to s95.]

NO

NO

Caseworker should communicate positive s55 decision & request further/accurate information using

Applicant fails to provide the requested information within the prescribed time period.

Caseworker should not entertain the s95 application using N77. Applicant should be issued with: N111 letter granting s95 support HC2 Asylum support Agreement Dispersal arrangements should be made.

Applicant provides the full and correct information.

YES Is the applicant eligible for section 95 support? NO Applicant should be issued with N114 explaining that he is not eligible for s95 support.

YES NO Is the applicant applying for subsistence only?

Is applicant currently living in Initial Accommodation?

NO

YES Applicant should be issued with either Standard Dispersal letter (N50), or Temporary Dispersal letter (N112).

YES Applicant should be issued with N108 or N109, cash support package, subs only agreement and HC2 depending on whether s/he has an ARC. Applicant should be issued with:

N110 letter granting


s95 support HC2 Asylum support Agreement

Single applicants or couples without children who fail to travel should be issued with N63FFT failure to travel letter. Where a family fails to travel they should be issued with N65G01c2 failure to travel letter, and Social Services should be issued with notification letter N66FTT.

Dispersal arrangements

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Access to Initial Accommodation Pending Consideration of an Asylum Support Application


Where an asylum seeker would otherwise be destitute, he may be provided with section 98 support, pending a decision on whether he may be provided with asylum support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Services provided under section 98


Section 98 support is provided by Voluntary Sector Providers and includes the following:

Provision of Initial Accommodation and essential living needs of asylum applicants. Providing information briefings on applicants rights and responsibilities whilst in the United Kingdom. Providing briefings on the asylum process and dispersal locations. Carrying out (where facilities are available) health assessments for new claimants. Assistance with completing the asylum support application form. Supporting the applicants move to longer-term section 95 accommodation where they may stay whilst they remain eligible for asylum support.

The Voluntary Sector Providers A voluntary sector agency or local authority may admit an asylum seeker (and any dependants) to Initial Accommodation if they wish to apply for asylum support and present: a valid IS96 temporary admission form date-stamped by an Immigration Officer and bearing an applied for asylum on arrival endorsement; or a letter authorising access to Initial Accommodation to a person who did not apply for asylum at a port of entry immediately on arrival into the UK (NEAT01).

Applicants who make an asylum claim at port may be referred to Initial Accommodation by an Immigration Officer. Applicants wishing to gain access to Initial Accommodation should be directed to the nearest One-Stop Service. For details of current Providers see the One Stop Service Provider list. For further information on authorising access to Initial Accommodation, see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 73: Provision of Initial Accommodation. Officers should note that Emergency Accommodation is now known as Initial Accommodation.

Accessing Initial Accommodation through the Asylum Screening Unit Prospective asylum seekers who have not had their asylum claim recorded but are considered vulnerable will be able to access Initial Accommodation out of normal hours, when the Asylum Screening Units (ASUs) are closed. Applicants who apply for asylum on arrival at their port of entry will always be able to access Initial Accommodation regardless of whether they are considered to be vulnerable. However, the policy for ad hoc closures of ASU during normal working days has been changed since the publication of Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 73: Provision of Initial Accommodation. Access to Initial Accommodation should now be authorised to all those who attempt to claim asylum during ad hoc ASU closures in normal ASU working hours, including times when ASU Uncontrolled if printed

closes earlier than usual. During these closures, a skeleton staff in the ASU will hand an ASU2 letter to any prospective applicant showing that they have attempted to claim asylum. Access to Initial Accommodation should be authorised to all those who can produce such a letter provided that they are destitute. When an applicant is granted access to Initial Accommodation under section 98, the regional dispersal teams will update the Initial Accommodation Database

Applicants on bail Some individuals who have applied for bail may have also applied for asylum support. Those released on bail will seek permission to use Initial Accommodation as a bail address. Officers should contact the Asylum Support Policy Team on a case by case basis when dealing with these cases. For further information see the Asylum Instruction Bail Addresses (when available).

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The Asylum Support Application Form


Applicants wishing to obtain asylum support must do so by completing the asylum support application form (formerly known as NASS1). Applicants may use the help of a voluntary sector agency or local authority to complete the form, and must adhere to the guidance in the Notes for Guidance. The applicant must return the application form to an Officer at a reporting event on the date as instructed. If the applicant fails to comply with this, the application for support can be nonentertained under section 57. For further information, see Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

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Receiving Applications and Pre-Registration Checks


Once an application for support has been received, it is essential for some initial checks to be carried out and basic information recorded on CID (Case Information Database) and ASYS (Asylum Seekers Support System). These checks serve as a reminder of the information needed in order to register the application. Discrepancies and incorrect information can be amended. Officers should:1. Check that relevant documents are attached to the back of the asylum support application form. The documents required for ASU and Local Enforcement Office (LEO) cases are a NEAT 01, Initial Accommodation Letter or letter inviting the applicant to a further ASU visit (ASU1) letter. A stamped IS96 is required for Port cases. If the documents are missing they may need chasing with Refugee Council, the relevant Induction Centre, the Port, LEO or ASU. 2. Enter the reference number into CID. If the applicant has a CID record, ensure that the details given on the application form correspond with those on CID. Officers should check the Nationality, Date of Birth and Language. Any discrepancies should be clarified with the applicant to establish the correct information. 3. Enter the Home Office Reference, Port Reference, Date of Asylum Application and any other required information on the ACID check sheet. Sign and add any discrepancies to the bottom of the sheet. 4. Determine the type of asylum support claim; applicants may apply for one of three types of support: accommodation only, accommodation and subsistence or subsistence only. 5. Complete the SIFT sheet by adding the number of dependants and the Induction Centre the applicant is in, where applicable. Write the applicants name as it is on CID at the bottom of the page and the current date. Once the pre-registration checks are complete Officers should register the application. See Registering Applications.

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Registering Applications
Following pre-registration, the asylum support application form should be scanned onto ASYS. The form should be checked to ensure the details and any supporting documents correspond with the asylum claim on CID. Details on the form should also be checked on ASYS so that appropriate action can be taken if the person has links to other applications. An Asylum Support Reference number will be generated for the applicant when registration has been completed. Once a thorough check has been completed checks should be carried out for each dependant if any. Any discrepancies must be clarified with the applicant.

CID Where an Immigration Fingerprint Bureau (IFB) number is provided by the applicant, Officers should use it to find the applicants claim. Additional searches should also be used to avoid missing vital information, such as using: Home Office File Reference Port Reference Asylum Support Reference Full name and Date of birth Aliases

When the record is located and checks have been completed, Officers should update CID to indicate the claim type, i.e. accommodation only, accommodation and subsistence or subsistence only etc.

ASYS Officers should check ASYS to ensure that the applicant is not connected with any other support applications. Officers are encouraged to use the Search for sounds like names option as ASYS will search variations in the spelling of names which may identify any existing record. Where the IFB number is known Officers should use it search for the applicant, Officers should also use: Home Office or Port Reference number Name Nationality Date of birth Aliases

ARC Details Officers should follow the instructions in the ASYS User Manual: Registering an Application to search for applicants. Where no record is found Officers should register the applicants support application on ASYS as outlined in the ASYS User Manual: Registering an Application. Once the Officer has registered the application on ASYS it should now be validated. See Validation and Section 55 and 57 Considerations. Uncontrolled if printed

Where an existing ASYS record is located Officers must record the receipt in the Correspondence Tab (9) of the new application. Officers should also make a note on CID and the Minute Sheet (5) of ASYS. Officers should determine the current status of the previous application. In cases where an asylum support application was previously suspended or discontinued under regulation 20 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, a further application for support need not be entertained. For further details on whether to entertain a further application for support see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 84: Entertaining a further application for support. Where a previous application was refused, the new application should be treated in the same way as a new application. Where the applicant is already in receipt of support the new application should be checked against the previous application for any changes in the applicants circumstances. These may include a dependant turning 18, a couple who want to be supported separately or a main applicant who is no longer entitled to support but whose dependants are. Officers should refer to the Change age of applicant or dependant guidance and Asylum Instruction Dependants on a Support Application. Any correspondence provided to support the applicants application should be copied and placed on file. The originals should be given back to the applicant.

Critical Comments Officers must also add a Critical Comment and make a note in the Minute Sheet of ASYS highlighting it as an Asylum case. The comment should contain a name and contact number.

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Validation and Section 55 and 57 Considerations


Validation is the process by which consideration is given to an applicants eligibility for section 95 support.

Validating applications The validation process within ASYS consists of ensuring all required sections of the application form have been properly completed and the details have been entered onto ASYS. Officers must also ensure that the form has been signed.

Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Under section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 applicants may not be provided with support if they fail to claim asylum as soon as reasonably practicable after arriving in the UK, unless providing support is necessary to avoid a breach of a persons rights under the European Convention of Human Rights. A section 55 decision is always required where an asylum applicant or a failed asylum applicant applies for support under sections 98, 95 or 4 of the 1999 Act, except when: The asylum claim was made on or before 7 January 2003 The applicant is an unaccompanied asylum seeking child who is seeking support from a Local Authority. The asylum applicant, or any of his dependants has been assessed by a Local Authority as having a care need. The asylum applicant is under 18 or has a dependant who is aged under 18 and living in his household.

A section 55 decision should, wherever possible, be made on the basis of the information contained in the asylum support application form and other available written information, including the screening interview and CID records. If it is not possible to make a positive decision under section 55(1) or 55(5)(a) it is necessary to invite the applicant to attend a section 55 interview. Before booking the interview the case must have been registered and validated using ASYS This enables the Officer to generate a section 55 interview letter. If completing the validation stage Officers are satisfied that the claim was made as soon as reasonably practicable, the level of support the applicant will receive should be assessed. See Assessment - The Test of Destitution. If the applicant is not currently receiving support he should be asked to attend an interview using the Letter inviting applicant to attend a section 55 interview (NASS78). If the applicant has previously been informed of entitlement to accommodation and subsistence support he should be given temporary subsistence-only support in form of Emergency Support Tokens (ESTs) pending a section 55 interview. ESTs are generated by ASYS for any amount between 0.01 and 999.99; see ASYS User Manual Allocation of Support. An EST is delivered to the applicant at his current address by the UK Border Agency contracted courier, Sodexho Pass. The courier will specify to the applicant Uncontrolled if printed

which Post Office to cash the EST. However, if the applicant is already receiving regular support, issuing ESTs will depend on whether the applicant has moved within his local area and able to continue collecting support at his current Post Office or has moved out of the area and it is therefore believed that they are unable of collecting this, or next weeks support. If it is the latter, ESTs should be issued pending a section 55 interview. The applicant should be invited to attend an interview using the Grant of temporary subsistence only support and invitation to a section 55 interview following a request to switch to subsistence only support (NASS106). If the applicant fails to attend the interview but provides a reasonable explanation for doing so Officers should rebook the interview for as soon as possible. If the applicant fails to attend the interview with no reasonable explanation, the Agency will not be satisfied that the applicant claimed asylum as soon as was reasonably practicable or that he has demonstrated that support is necessary to avoid a breach of Convention rights. In such case, Officers should refuse support using the section 55 refusal letter (NASS75). There is no right of appeal against a negative section 55(1) decision. If the applicant has been receiving support following a request to switch from accommodation and subsistence to subsistence only, Officers should ensure that support is stopped with immediate effect and this should also be mentioned in the refusal letter. If, following a section 55 interview, an Officer decides that an applicant is not or is no longer an asylum seeker, they should send the Person not eligible for support because not or no longer an asylum seeker letter (NASS107) For more information on applicants who are no longer asylum seekers, see Applicants who are no longer asylum seekers. It is open to any applicant who has been refused support under section 55 to request a reconsideration of that decision if they have additional information that they wish to be taken into account, or if they claim that the original decision was unlawful. If representations are received they should be considered promptly. Access to Initial Accommodation should be granted under section 98 in cases that cannot be decided on the same day if the person appears to be destitute. Decisions to provide support under section 55(5)(a) to avoid a breach of a persons Convention rights should be reviewed following any significant change in the persons circumstances, including if the applicant requests a change from accommodation and subsistence to subsistence only support. For guidance on section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, Officers should refer to Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 75: Section 55 (Late claims) 2002 Act Guidance.

Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 provides that regulations may make provision as to the circumstances in which an application for support may not be entertained. Regulation 3(4) of the 2000 Asylum Support Regulations provides that an application for support under section 95 may not be entertained where the Secretary of State is not satisfied that the information provided is complete or accurate, or that the applicant does not co-operate with enquiries. There is no right of appeal against a decision to refuse to entertain an application under section 57 of the 2002 Act. In order to carry out a section 57 check Officers should: Uncontrolled if printed

Check that the application has been submitted on the correct form; Check that the application has been fully completed. For example, signed photographs of the applicant must have been provided. The applicant must have also signed the application form; Check that the application has been completed accurately. For example, the name on the photographs must correspond with the name on the application form. Details, such as names and dates of birth of applicants and any dependants, must also correspond to those previously provided.

Where an application is incomplete or information is inaccurate, Officers should request further or accurate information by sending the Letter requesting further/accurate information to enable consideration of application for section 95 support (NASS20a). The status on ASYS should remain at In Validation until the further/accurate information has been received. If on request the applicant fails to provide the required information within the prescribed timescale of 5 working days, Officers should send the Letter refusing to entertain an application for section 95 support on the basis that the applicant has failed to provide further information on request (NASS77). Officers can, in exceptional cases, allow an extension on this time limit; however a full explanation and evidence to support this should be received. Where there is failure to supply the additional information within the specified period, or if Officers conclude that the application details are inaccurate after further queries, the application for section 95 support should not be entertained as the applicant has not co-operated with enquiries as set out in section 57 of the Act. If the applicant is in initial (emergency) accommodation this must be vacated, and the ASYS case should be set to Invalid. If Officers receive the further information requested after the 5 working days specified; or after any extension of time granted in exceptional circumstances, further consideration may be given as long as the requested information has been provided alongside a clear and coherent account of why delays have occurred in submitting the relevant information. If after consideration of this late receipt Officers decide to process the application for eligibility, a 002 file should be created on the invalid case and assessment should continue as normal. Applicants who are no longer asylum seekers If the asylum support applicant is not, or is no longer an asylum seeker and the grace period following notification of the determination of the asylum claim has expired, Officers should send the Person not eligible for support because not/no longer an asylum seeker letter (NASS107). The grace period is 21 days following the notification that an asylum claim has been refused and fully determined, or 28 days following the notification that asylum and leave to remain have been granted. However, former asylum seekers that have a dependant in the UK who was under 18 years of age when their asylum claim became fully determined (or was under 18 within 21 days of that date) remain eligible for support until the dependant reaches 18. An applicant has the right to appeal against a decision to refuse support on the basis of no longer being an asylum seeker. There is a right of appeal to the Tribunals Service Asylum Support (Tribunal) against this decision. Officers should seek advice from their Senior Caseworker before refusing support to a person who is not an asylum seeker.

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Assessment - The Test of Destitution


At this stage of the process, consideration should be given to whether the applicant is destitute and thereby entitled to section 95 support. The information the applicant has provided in their application regarding his (or any of his dependants) assets, income or any other support that could reasonably be expected to become available within the relevant period should be compared with the prescribed threshold that relates to the level of resources expected to meet an asylum seekers essential living needs. Officers should also consider any special requirements the applicant may claim to have.

Destitution Under the terms of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the Agency may provide or arrange for the provision of support for asylum seekers or dependants of asylum seekers, who appear to be destitute or are likely to become destitute within a 14 day period. Applicants are deemed to appear destitute if: they and their dependants do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (irrespective of whether other essential living needs are met); or they and their dependants have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet essential living needs.

Support should be allocated to applicants whose assets, income and other available support fall below the prescribed threshold required for their essential needs. The amount required to meet the applicant and their households essential living needs should be calculated by adding the total amount the household would receive if it was receiving subsistence only asylum support to the households reasonable accommodation and utility costs. Where the assets, income and other support are above the threshold for the applicants circumstances, support should be refused. If the applicant is not destitute, section 95 support should be refused using the Letter to be used where applicant is not eligible for section 95 support (for a reason other than s55 or s57) (NASS113). For full details on the assessment process, including what the applicant must declare, determining assets and calculating their value, determining income, calculating the appropriate level of support, the prescribed thresholds and testing destitution see Asylum Support Process Instruction: Assessment and the Test of Destitution. Once the applicant is considered to be destitute and there are no special requirements to take into account Officers should assess the applicants application on ASYS. See Assessment of Cash Support and Accommodation. Where the applicant has raised any Special Needs or medical issues which need to be considered, see Consideration of Special Requirements and other issues.

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Consideration of Special Requirements and Other Issues


Where an applicant is found to be destitute and eligible for section 95 support and has stated that he has special requirements which should be taken into account, Officers should consider whether there are special needs or a medical condition which require specialist assessment. The applicant has an opportunity to mention on the application form any considerations which he wishes to have taken into account in arranging his accommodation. In some cases, these may be medical issues or the issues raised may suggest that the applicant has a need for care and attention over and above destitution, a care need. If an adult asylum seeker is assessed as having a care need, his local authority has a duty to support under section 21, National Assistance Act 1948 and the Home Office has no power to support. Some care need cases will have been identified at port or screening and those which are clear and urgent should have been referred to a Local Authority for the area in which they present, or for in country applicants, the area where they are currently living. These cases will be rare. In such cases, the local authority has the power to provide support whilst completing a community care assessment. In cases where there may be a care need but there has been no social services assessment and the case is not clear and urgent, the applicant should be dispersed as normal. The applicant may apply for a care needs assessment in the dispersal area. Officers should request copies of any care needs assessment and, if a care need has been assessed, liaise with the local authority to arrange the transfer of support. In cases where the applicant is being supported by a Local Authority under section 21 asylum support should be refused using the Letter to be used when the applicant is not eligible for section 95 support (for a reason other than a section 55 or section 57)(NASS113). For more information, see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 82: Asylum Seekers with Care Needs. Officers should consult the Policy Bulletin if an asylum seeker with care needs has children or if a child has care needs; the support arrangements are different in these cases. Different considerations may apply if the applicant has a medical condition for which he is receiving treatment. Officers should refer to Policy Bulletin 85: Dispersing asylum seekers with health care needs.

Maternity payments Pregnant women may be entitled to a one-off 300 maternity payment. Instructions on additional payments to pregnant women and young children aged between 1 and 3 can be found in the Asylum Instructions Maternity Payment and Additional Support and Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 78 Additional Payments to Pregnant Women & Children.

Age Disputes Applicants whose claim to be aged 17 or younger is disputed by the Agency should, for asylum support purposes, be treated as adults in relation to their asylum claim. For further information see the Change age of applicant or dependant guidance and the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 33 Age Disputes.

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Unaccompanied asylum seeking children should be supported by the relevant Local Authority and are not eligible for asylum support. Information on applications for support from unaccompanied asylum seeking children turning 18 can be found in Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 29: Transition at Age 18 and the Change age of applicant or dependant guidance. Once the applicant is considered to be destitute and Special Needs have been taken into account Officers should assess the applicants application on ASYS. See Assessment of Cash Support and Accommodation.

EEA Nationals Paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 prevents asylum support being provided to citizens of another EEA state (and their dependants), except in so far as it is necessary to avoid a breach of a persons rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) or under the Community Treaties. Officers should refer to Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 76 (Asylum support applications from nationals of a European Economic Area State or from persons who have refugee status abroad), when considering requests for asylum support from EEA state nationals.

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Assessment of Cash Support and Accommodation


Where it has been decided the applicant is eligible for section 95 support, the next step is to assess the level of support to be provided. Officers will need to consider appropriate accommodation for the applicant and dependants if any, and calculate the level of cash support to be allocated. Applicants can apply for accommodation only, subsistence only or accommodation and subsistence. Accommodation Applicants who have requested accommodation must give full details about their current accommodation and give reasons as to why they will be unable to continue to reside at that accommodation. Officers must consider whether the applicants current accommodation is adequate and if there is a genuine need for support accommodation. Officers will need to take into account whether the accommodation is affordable, if the applicant can continue to live there, if the accommodation is overcrowded and the condition of the accommodation. Where the applicant is residing in Local Authority accommodation and it is determined that the accommodation is no longer adequate, and alternative accommodation can not be found, the Agency may provide accommodation. For further guidance, see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 11: Mixed Households.

Cash Support The amount of cash support which is to be paid depends upon the ages and number of dependants the applicant has, usually the larger the family group the more money is paid. The information entered onto ASYS during Registration will be incorporated into the assessment. Any assets, income or other support the applicant declared will also be taken into account and where necessary support can be withheld or delayed. Officers can claw back any payments the applicant may have received in initial accommodation or add additional payments such as a maternity payment. Officers will not be able to make changes to the number of family members included in the assessment, but will be able to change how the individual is assessed, for example a couple can be changed to person aged 25 or over. Officers may be prompted to give reasons for any changes they make. In order to assess the cash support the applicant is entitled to, Officers should follow the instructions in ASYS User Manual: Using the Automated Assessment Tool. Officers will be able to view a breakdown of support the applicant will receive for the next five years. Following assessment of support Officers have the option to save the assessment only or to save the assessment and allocate regular support payments. Where Officers chose to save the assessment only the applicant should be informed by letter. See Asylum Support Letters. Where Officers save and allocate support, sending the assessment letter and a support details letter should be produced and sent 1st class. Refer to the Asylum Instruction Allocation of Support. Uncontrolled if printed

Guidance on how to deal with an application when part of the household is in receipt of Local Authority support is available in Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 11: Mixed Households.

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Decisions to Grant Support


After it has been determined that the person is eligible for support and the level of support has been decided, Officers should notify the applicant of the positive section 95 and section 55 decisions. When producing the letters that must be sent to an applicant with a grant of support, Officers must ensure that the addresses within the letter, in particular in the sections on HC2 certificates and the Asylum Support Agreement, are edited so they are their own.

Partial grants Asylum applicants may apply for section 95 support in the form of accommodation, cash subsistence, or both. Most applications will result in an outright grant or outright refusal of support. If an applicant qualifies for the accommodation element but not subsistence, the accommodation element should be granted and subsistence refused (or vice versa). This is referred to as a partial grant. Officers should inform the applicant by letter and set out the reasons for refusing to grant the subsistence or accommodation. A partial grant does not attract a right of appeal.

Outright grants The applicant and the representative, usually a One Stop Service Provider should be informed by letter of the decision to grant support under section 95. If the applicant is being granted subsistence-only support and does not have an ARC, Officers should send the Subs only section 95 grant letter for applicants without an Application Registration Card (ARC) (NASS108), accompanied by the Asylum Support Agreement (subsistence only) and a Not Working Declaration. This letter should also include the section 55 decision. If the applicant is being granted subsistence-only support and has an ARC, Officers should send the Subs only section 95 grant letter for applicants with an ARC (NASS109), accompanied by the Asylum Support Agreement (subsistence-only), a Not Working Declaration and level of cash support table. This letter should also include the section 55 decision. If the applicant is being granted accommodation and subsistence and is currently living in Initial Accommodation, Officers should send the Accommodation and subs section 95 grant letter (NASS110), accompanied by the Asylum Support Agreement (accommodation and subsistence) and a Not Working Declaration. This letter should also include the section 55 decision. Officers must also update the Initial Accommodation Database. If the applicant is being granted accommodation and subsistence and is currently living in private accommodation, Officers should send the Accommodation and subs section 95 grant letter for those applying from private accommodation (NASS111), accompanied by the Asylum Support Agreement (accommodation and subsistence) and a Not Working Declaration. This letter should also include the section 55 decision. The Asylum Support Agreement Asylum support is provided subject to terms and conditions. Amongst other things, these include that the applicant must reside at the authorised address and comply with requests from the Agency for information. Officers should ensure that the applicants name and reference Uncontrolled if printed

number is written on the last page of the Asylum Support Agreement before sending it to the applicant, and should make every effort to ensure that applicants sign and return it. Both the accommodation and subsistence and subsistence-only Asylum Support Agreements are available in a number of common languages. The English versions are attached below. The non-English versions of the Agreement can be generated via the letters page on ASYS. The Not Working Declaration Asylum Seekers and their dependants are not allowed to work unless a decision on their claim has been delayed for over a year from the date of their application, provided that the delay is not attributable to the applicants actions. Permission to work may be requested before this period but it will normally be denied unless there are truly exceptional circumstances. For further information see the Asylum Instruction Handling Applications from Asylum Applicants and Active Review Applicants for Permission to take Employment. HC2 Certificates HC2 Certificates are issued by the Agency on behalf of the Department of Health. They give entitlement to free NHS prescriptions, NHS dental treatment, NHS wigs and fabric supports, NHS eye sight tests, vouchers towards the cost of spectacles, and refunds of necessary travel costs to and from hospital for NHS treatment. They are issued only to principal support applicants, but details of any dependants are included on the certificate. For further information about HC2s and how they should be issued, see the Asylum Instruction HC2 certificates.

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Decisions to Refuse Support


Where it is decided to refuse support for a reason other than section 55 or section 57, Officers should inform the applicant by letter, sending the Letter to be used where applicant is not eligible for section 95 support (for a reason other than s55 or s57) (NASS113). Applicants have the right to appeal against an outright refusal to provide section 95 support for a reason other than section 55 or section 57.

Appeals Only an outright refusal of support attracts a right of appeal under section 103 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The applicant should appeal to the Asylum Support Tribunal within the prescribed timescales. In cases where the applicant has appealed Officers will be expected to prepare an appeal bundle. The bundle should include copies of documentation provided by the applicant in support of his application and the letter which set out the reasons for refusing support. For further information on the Support appeals process see Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 23: Appeals Process.

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Asylum Support Letters


The letters relating to eligibility and assessment processes and procedures can be grouped in the categories outlined below:

General When Officers issue one of the letters listed below to an asylum applicant, a copy should also be issued to any person acting on the applicants behalf. In addition, the Officer should send covering letter NASS114 to the voluntary sector and accommodation provider, enclosing a copy of the letter sent to an applicant. If section 95 support is being refused and there is a right of appeal against the refusal, the refusal letter should enclose a Tribunals Service Asylum Support Notice of Appeal Form and envelope. Access to initial accommodation pending consideration of an asylum support application NEAT01 Letter authorising access to initial accommodation to a person who did not apply for asylum at a port of entry immediately on arrival into the UK (issued at screening unit). Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 NASS78 Letter inviting applicant to attend a section 55 interview. NASS106 Section 95 refusal letter for applicants who fail to attend their section 55 interview. NASS75 Section 55 refusal letter. NASS107 Person not eligible for support because not/no longer an asylum seeker. Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 NASS20a Letter requesting further information/accurate information to enable consideration of application for s95 support. NASS77 Letter refusing to entertain an application for s95 support on the basis that applicant has failed to provide further information on request (i.e. section 57 refusal letter). Assessment and test of destitution NASS113 Letter to be used where applicant is not eligible for section 95 support (for a reason other than s55 or s57). Outright grants Subsistence only NASS108 Subs only s95 grant letter for applicants without an Application Registration Card (ARC). Letter to be sent out with cash support package, subs only agreement and HC2. NASS109 Subs only section 95 grant letter for applicants with an ARC. Letter to be sent out with cash support package, subs only agreement and HC2. Outright grants Subsistence and accommodation NASS110 Accommodation and subs section 95 grant letter. Letter to be sent out with HC2 and Asylum Support Agreement. Uncontrolled if printed

NASS111 Accommodation and subs section 95 grant letter for those applying from private accommodation. Letter to be sent out with HC2 and Asylum Support Agreement. Covering letters NASS114 Covering letter for voluntary sector/reps/accommodation provider to be used when enclosing a copy of a letter sent to an applicant (this could be issued at any stage of the process).

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 Authors JC MM MM BF MSM Date 26/09/2006 20/02/2007 22/03/2007 19/03/2007 08/08/2007 Change Reference Approved Draft Incorporating support processes and implementing website format Addition of Critical Comment section. Amendment to validation section, various amendments to document. Amalgamation of policy bulletin 79 (section 57 considerations) and addition of EEA Nationals section Amendment to Voluntary Sector Providers section Re-branded TSAS envelopes to be enclosed with refusals that carry an appeal right. Childrens Duty paragraph inserted Asylum instruction Change of age replaced by modernised guidance Change age of applicant or dependant

6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0

BF MSM SM SM RB

11/02/2008 04/11/2008 11/09/2009 7/09/2009 17/05/2011

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SUPPORT FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS


Table of Contents Introduction Implemented Recommendations Anti-fraud Strategy Deterrent Policy Strategy and Policy Referral Form Investigation Standard Operating Procedures Summary

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Introduction
A review of the asylum support investigation function in 2005 set out a number of recommendations to help the UK Border Agency meet the aim of ensuring asylum support is only given to those claiming asylum support for as long as they remain eligible. The recommendations recognised: the need to deliver a more strategically focused investigation function the important role that effective administration plays in preventing and detecting fraud.

The 2005/06 operational year saw the majority of these recommendations being implemented and a number are highlighted below.

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Implemented Recommendations
Anti-fraud Strategy The anti-fraud strategy sets out our approach in preventing and detecting asylum support fraud wherever it may occur. It includes information on the: policies and procedures that must be adopted by staff standards of behaviour expected from staff organisations commitment to prevent, detect and investigate fraud and corruption.

Deterrent Policy The deterrent policy sets out the sanctions that will be applied against those who commit asylum support fraud, or who fail to report a notifiable change of circumstances. It includes: how investigations will be conducted the factors that will be taken into account when deciding what further action is appropriate the sanctions that will be used when wrongdoing has been identified.

One of the sanctions outlined in the Deterrent Policy refers to the recovery of asylum support that has been overpaid. Comprehensive guidance on the recovery of overpayments was released in September 2006 and can be found in the Asylum Instruction Overpayments. Firm and fair action in administering overpayment recovery will have the effect of encouraging support applicants or their representatives to give correct and timely information regarding their asylum support claim, will help to reduce the loss to public funds and deter asylum support fraud. Strategy and Policy Both the Anti-fraud Strategy and Deterrent Policy provide senior managers and staff with a clear understanding of what the organisation expects its investigation function to deliver. They provide the focus for continuing work to deliver a targeted and outcome based asylum support investigation function. The introduction of the above strategy and deterrent policy has seen a number of cases being pursued to prosecution. Referral Form A new fraud referral form was introduced in September 2005, supported by guidance for staff, and is underpinned by risk scoring methodology to prioritise investigation resource in respect of fraud work. Investigation Standard Operating Procedures Investigation Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were also reviewed in the latter part of 2005 and were re-launched in February 2006. They must be used by all staff and managers who have responsibility for undertaking and controlling investigation work. They contain the relevant instructions and guidance for all types of investigations. The Standard Operating Procedures aim to ensure staff: carry out investigation work within the legal framework interpret correctly asylum policy in the procedures undertaken conform to professional standards.

These Standard Operating Procedures are split into 3 parts. The first 2 set out the investigation procedures and guidance that staff must follow, while the third refers to supporting documents and forms. Uncontrolled if printed

Summary The Anti-Fraud Strategy, Deterrent Policy, Investigation Standard Operating Procedures and Referral Form apply to all staff working in the Asylum Resources Directorate and the New Asylum Model. Together, they help the organisation demonstrate: it is managing risk effectively that the administration of asylum support is secure, fair, provides help where it is needed and is vigilant in tackling fraud to ensure value for taxpayers money it is meeting one of the key aims in the Home Office Strategic Plan 2004 2008, namely to ensure those not entitled to receive support are denied it as soon as possible.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 Authors MM BF Date 26/07/2007 03/11/2008 Change Reference Incorporating support processes and implementing website format Update branding only

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MATERNITY PAYMENT AND ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS DURING PREGNANCY
Table of Contents

Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Additional payments for pregnancy and children under the age of 3 Applications made during pregnancy Additional support for children aged under 3 Maternity Payment Glossary

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Introduction
This instruction covers the provision of maternity payments and additional payments to pregnant women and children under 3 years old.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Every Child Matters; Change for Children sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.
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Additional payments for pregnancy and children under the age of 3


The Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2003 allows for additional payments to be made to supported women who are pregnant and to children under the age of 3. These payments may be made to those already supported under section 95 and to those who have made an application for support where they have been assessed as eligible for support under section 95. Expectant women and young children between 1 and 3 years old are eligible to receive an additional 3 per week. Children under the age of 1 will receive an additional 5 per week. These payments are intended to allow supported asylum seekers to purchase healthy food. Applications for additional payments can be made by either the childs mother or father in writing before or after the baby is born. Applicants are not eligible for back payments of this specific type of support. Requests for a back payment should be refused using the letter ADDPC3 available on ASYS. If the applicant is not receiving Asylum Support, they should be sent the letter ADDPC2 informing them that they are not eligible for additional payments. This letter is available through ASYS.
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Applications made during pregnancy Applications must be signed by the mother or father and include original, credible written confirmation of pregnancy such as form MAT B1, a letter from a Community Midwife or a letter from a GP. If the MAT B1 is endorsed by a midwife, their PIN number must be entered on the form along with their signature. If a MAT B1 form is submitted, a copy should be taken of the original and the copy should be placed on file. The original should be returned to the mother or father by recorded delivery. A note should be entered onto CID stating that the original MAT B1 has been seen and a copy placed on file. If appropriate evidence is not submitted, the applicant should be advised of this in writing. Case Owners should refer to section 6.1 of the training manual Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78) for guidance on updating ASYS and the letter that should be produced. When the required evidence has been received, the Case Owner should establish the type of accommodation occupied by the applicant, as the method of payment will depend on the accommodation type. Payments made to pregnant women in Emergency Accommodation are made in 10 weekly batches (e.g. 10 x 3.00 = 30.00) and then reviewed when the next payment will be due. If the applicant has been dispersed then the payments will be paid via regular support. If there are no changes to the applicants circumstances then payment will continue in 10 weekly batches.

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Payments should be made through ASYS. Case Owners should refer to ASYS user manual and the training manual Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78). In the event that the mother suffers a miscarriage, the Case Owner should send the applicant letter ADDP5, which is available through ASYS.
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Additional support for children aged under 3 The childs original full birth certificate should be forwarded to the Case Owner. Photocopies will not be accepted. The birth certificate should be photocopied and the copy placed on file. The original birth certificate should be returned to the applicant via recorded delivery. CID notes should be updated to state that the birth certificate was received, has been photocopied and the original returned to the applicant via recorded delivery. If appropriate evidence is not submitted, the applicant should be advised of this in writing. Case Owners should refer to section 6.1 of the training manual Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78) for guidance on updating ASYS and the letter that should be produced. Once eligibility is confirmed, the child should be added to the support application. Case Owners should refer to the Asylum Instructions Dependants on an Asylum Support Application for guidance on adding dependents and Document Retention for guidance on when valuable documents can be retained. Caseworkers should then look at the type of accommodation that the applicant resides in. Payments made for children under 3 in Emergency Accommodation are made in 6 weekly batches (i.e 6 x 5.00 = 30.00) and then reviewed when the next payment will be due. If the applicant has been dispersed then the payments will be paid via regular support. If there are no changes to the applicants circumstances then payment will continue in 6 weekly batches. Where the applicant is resident in hotel type Emergency Accommodation, support is to be paid via Interim Support Tokens (ISTs). Where the applicant is resident in non-hotel type Emergency Accommodation, support is to be paid via Emergency Support Tokens (ESTs). Case Owners should refer to the appendix of the Training Manual Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78) for guidance. Case Owners should be aware that emergency accommodation providers may be obliged under the terms of their contract to supply additional payments to enable mothers to purchase milk for babies and children. When setting up additional payments via ISTs for pregnant women and children in emergency accommodation, Case Owners should not make these payments to those applicants who would be receiving the payments via their accommodation providers. If the applicant was receiving additional support before the birth of their child, payments will continue but at a higher rate. Case Owners should refer to ASYS user manual and the training manual Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78) to alter the payments on ASYS. Uncontrolled if printed

Applicants should be advised of the decision in writing. Case Owners should refer to the Training Manual Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78) which sets out the letters that should be issued. Further guidance on additional payments can be found in Asylum Support Policy Bulletin Additional support for pregnant women and children under the age of 3 (PB78).

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Maternity Payment
A maternity payment is a single one off payment provided to eligible asylum seekers under Section 94 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. To help with the costs arising from the birth of a child, asylum seekers may be eligible for a payment of 300 per child. This is available to applicants supported under section 95 and those who have been assessed under section 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The payment will be made if the applicant meets certain criteria (set out below) or if the case is exceptional. Applications must be made in writing, signed by the applicant and include the appropriate documentary evidence. This may be an original full birth certificate, an original MAT B1 form or original formal evidence. A maternity payment can only be paid in the following circumstances: The application for the maternity payment has been lodged in writing and signed by the father or mother of the child; and the application was received between 8 weeks before the estimated date of delivery and 6 weeks after the birth; and the birth is expected in 8 weeks (or less) or the child is less than 6 weeks old (or was 6 weeks old or less on the day the maternity application was received); and, the child was born to a supported person (or if not yet born, the expectant mother is a supported person); and, an original full birth certificate has been submitted (or original formal medical evidence of estimated date of delivery (EDD) such as an original MAT B1 if child not yet born). OR the application has been lodged in writing by the father or mother of the child; and the child was born outside the UK to a person who on application, qualifies for Asylum Support; and the child is 3 months of age or less; and, formal credible evidence of the age of the child has been submitted. OR The child was born to a supported person and the case is an exceptional one.

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If the child is born outside the UK, credible evidence of the age of the child should be submitted. Evidence that may be accepted are:

an original full birth certificate (photocopies not acceptable); or, original passport (the original passport will normally be held by the Immigration Service (port cases) or by the ACD (in-country cases) so in such circumstances Case Owners will need to contact the relevant department to obtain a copy of the original passport); or, original medical evidence from a UK registered GP.

A maternity payment must not be awarded in the following circumstances: The childs mother (or expectant mother) or father is eligible for social security benefits. A social security maternity payment has been made from the Social Fund in respect of the relevant child or children. An asylum support maternity payment has already been made in respect of the relevant child or children. This is particularly applicable to those who receive a maternity payment, leave the UK and subsequently return.

Case Owners should use the maternity payment checklist at Annex A of Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 37: Maternity Payments when considering whether a maternity payment can be awarded. Case Owners should check that the request has been received within the appropriate time limits. If the request is deemed late, Case Owners should consider the case and take account of any exceptional circumstances. If the criteria for a maternity payment are not met, consideration should be given as to whether an exceptional payment should be made. The decision to grant an exceptional maternity payment must be made by an HEO or more senior grade. Case Owners should note that if the application is made before the child is born, it must be made on the MAT B1 form and a full birth certificate must be provided within 42 days of the birth. If the birth certificate is not received within this time then Case Owners should look to reclaim the payment. Case Owners should treat the payment as an overpayment and are responsible for reclaiming it. Case Owners should refer to Policy Bulletin 67: Overpayments . The applicant should be advised of the decision in writing using the templates at Annex B of the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 37: Maternity Payments. Where the decision to grant a Maternity Payment falls after the birth of the baby, Case Owners must have received the full birth certificate before the dependant is added to ASYS. Guidance on adding dependants to a support application can be found in the ASYS user manual.
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Once the Maternity Payment has been approved, the applicants accommodation type should be checked for its suitability and a Maternity Payment should be issued. If support is ongoing and the applicant is residing in Asylum Support or private accommodation, it should be included via the ARC. If the applicant is residing in emergency accommodation, the Maternity Payment should be paid via IST. Case Owners should refer to ASYS user manual for guidance on allocating the payment through ASYS. Case Owners should note that if a maternity payment has been made but the child is stillborn or dies shortly after birth, the payment should not be reclaimed and Case Owners should not seek to obtain a death certificate.

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Glossary
Term MAT1 Meaning This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has enquired about maternity benefits or needs to provide Case Owners with specific information. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has applied for a maternity payment but has provided insufficient evidence. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose partner is eligible to alternative benefits. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has failed to send in the birth certificate. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose payment is made on the birth certificate via EST. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose payment is made on the birth certificate via IST. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose payment is made on the birth certificate via Regular Support. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose payment is made on the EDD via EST. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose payment is made on the EDD via IST. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker whose MAT payment is made on EDD via Regular Support. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has applied for a maternity payment too early. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has applied for a maternity payment too late. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has applied for a maternity payment but has provided insufficient evidence with their MAT B1 This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has requested reimbursement of the cost of an original full birth certificate. This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who is not receiving Asylum Support This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who is not eligible for a back payment This letter is issued to an asylum seeker who has suffered a miscarriage

MAT2 MAT3 MAT4 MAT5 MAT6 MAT7 MAT8 MAT9 MAT10 MAT11 MAT12 MAT13

MAT 14 ADDPC2 ADDPC3 ADDPC4

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 Authors BF M.Miller M.Miller S Messenger K Nelson Date 21/02/07 20/03/07 11/11/08 17/09/09 27/01/11 Change Reference New web style implemented and incorporation of asylum support processes Re-Branded Childrens Duty paragraph added Childrens Duty paragraph updated & Amendment to the timescale for which s95 support users can apply for the maternity payment to reflect the same and longer timescale given to the s4 support users.

Review
Reviewed By Name BF Date 21/03/07 Position HEO

Issue Control
Approved for Publication by Name Emma Churchill Date Role

24/02/11

Director of Asylum

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Moving Service Users off Section 4 Support who are supported under Regulation 3(2)(c) (no viable route of return)
Table of Contents

Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Confirming that the Service User is supported under 3(2)(c) Issuing the letter to warn of discontinuing support under 3(2)(c) Service User actions Reply received from Service User Satisfactory evidence Unsatisfactory evidence No reply received from Service User Changing the regulation under which the Service User is eligible for section 4 support Discontinuing support Discontinuation of support to families with children

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Introduction
The regulations made under section 4(5) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act) at regulation 3(2) of the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005 state that the Secretary of State may provide support under section 4 of the 1999 Act to a failed asylum seeker who appears to be destitute (regulation 3(1)(a)) and who satisfies one or more of certain conditions (see Section 4 Support for the full list of conditions). One of these conditions, regulation 3(2)(c), is that: The person is unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the Secretary of State there is currently no viable route of return available. There are no countries to which the Secretary of State considers there is currently no viable route of return available. There are, however, some Service Users who remain incorrectly supported (ultra vires) under regulation 3(2)(c). Support under regulation 3(2)(c) which is being provided ultra vires must be discontinued. This Asylum Instruction instructs staff in how they should discontinue section 4 support under this condition. Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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Confirming that the Service User is supported under 3(2)(c)


Before any action is taken, ASYS should be checked to confirm that the Service User (SU) is supported under 3(2)(c). Particular attention should be paid to the Minute tab 5 and Correspondence tab 9 where information on pre-ASYS section 4 cases is logged. If the SU is not supported under 3(2)(c), no further action will be necessary in relation to this Instruction. If the SU is supported under 3(2)(c), go to Issuing the letter to warn of discontinuing support under 3(2)(c).

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Issuing the letter to warn of discontinuing support under 3(2)(c)


Once it has been confirmed that the Service User (SU) is supported under 3(2)(c) ultra vires, the letter to warn of discontinuing support under 3(2)(c) should be prepared and issued. The letter states that support under section 4 will be discontinued in 21 calendar days plus 2 calendar days to allow for posting, unless the SU can demonstrate that he remains destitute, and is eligible for support under one or more of the other conditions. These conditions are: The person is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or is placing himself in a position in which he is able to leave the UK. This could include complying with attempts to obtain a travel document to facilitate departure. The person is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason. The person has made an application in Scotland for judicial review of a decision in relation to his asylum claim or, in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, has applied for such a judicial review and been granted permission or leave to proceed. The provision of accommodation is necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of a persons Convention rights, within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The reply must be received within 21 calendar days plus 2 calendar days to allow for posting, or support under section 4 will be discontinued. Upon forwarding the letter to the SU, the officer must ensure that all internal records relating to the applicants section 4 support are correct and up-to-date. In particular, the officer must ensure consistency between the applicants records on CID and ASYS and make every effort to rectify any discrepancies.

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Service User actions


Reply received from Service User The reply from the Service User (SU) must be received by the date shown on the letter, which is 21 calendar days plus 2 calendar days to allow for posting from the date the letter was sent. The reply must contain evidence that: The SU has made an application to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the Voluntary Assisted Returns and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) to facilitate return to their country of origin; or The SU is taking all reasonable steps to leave the United Kingdom or is placing himself (and any dependant) in a position in which he is able to do so by some other means; or The SU is otherwise eligible for continued accommodation under section 4. For further guidance on what constitutes satisfactory evidence, see Section 4 Support. Satisfactory evidence If a reply is received containing satisfactory evidence that the SU remains eligible for section 4 support under a different condition, see Changing the regulation under which the Service User is eligible for section 4 support. Unsatisfactory evidence If a reply is received which does not contain satisfactory evidence that the SU remains eligible for section 4 support under a different condition, they should be given a final chance to provide that evidence and should be issued with a Section 4 Application Form. Upon return, this form must include any information that demonstrates the SUs eligibility. If the information received still fails to provide satisfactory evidence of eligibility for support, go to Discontinuing support. No reply received from Service User If no reply is received from the SU, go to Discontinuing support.

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Changing the regulation under which the Service User is eligible for section 4 support
If the Service User (SU) provides satisfactory evidence that he is eligible for section 4 support under another one of the conditions, then support must not be discontinued. Instead, the SUs section 4 support must be updated to reflect the appropriate condition. The appropriate review timescale must be set in accordance with Section 4 Support. In practical terms, this means that support under 3(2)(c) will be discontinued, and support will then be reinstated under the correct condition. There should be no break in support for the SU, and there will be no need for him (and any dependant) to change accommodation. ASYS must be updated to reflect that support under 3(2)(c) has been discontinued, and an application for section 4 support under the new condition has been granted. It may be helpful to add a case minute to the new application explaining that it is as a consequence of moving the SU off support provided under 3(2)(c) ultra vires. The SU must be sent an acceptance letter under the new condition. See Section 4 Support for further instructions and grant letters.

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Discontinuing support
If the Service User (SU) fails to provide evidence that he is eligible for continued section 4 support under another one of the conditions, then support must be discontinued. See the section Discontinue Support within Section 4 Support. Where support is discontinued, the applicant has a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act to the Asylum Support Tribunal (AST). See the AI on Section 4 Support and the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin on Asylum Support Appeals for further information on section 4 appeal rights. Discontinuation of support to families with children When considering whether to discontinue the provision of support under section 4 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 to families with minors, the course of action taken must be consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to ensure that the decision has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. If a decision is being made as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support to a family with children due to no longer satisfying the eligibility criteria for support under section 4 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 (1999 Act), who have not been granted any form of leave, and are not eligible for support under section 95 of the 1999 Act, if the family are assessed as being destitute if it were not for the provision of the aforesaid support, the UK Border Agency must take in to account the impact of any decision on the family before proceeding. If the discontinuation of support is appropriate, the Case Owners should take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children. Before any action is taken to begin the process to discontinue support, the Case Owner should liaise with the local authority, notifying them that the UK Border Agency plans to discontinue support from the family, and request that the local authority provides alternative support. If the local authority makes an offer of support, the provision of support under section 4 should be discontinued as soon as the family transfers in to local authority care. If the UK Border Agency considers that the supported family are eligible for support provided by the local authority, but the local authority refuses to provide support, the provision of asylum support must be maintained until the local authority provides support. If a decision is taken that it would be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support to a family with children, the discontinuation letter should explain why the decision is consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 Authors CC SM BF Date 14/04/08 10/11/08 15/10/09 Change Reference New Instruction Re-branding Childrens duty paragraph added

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Section 4 Review Instruction


Table of Contents Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 4 review process Standard review checks Check if supported person has left the UK If CID shows that the supported person has left the UK If CID shows that the supported person has not left the UK Requesting further information If a reply is received from the supported person If no reply received from the supported person The supported person is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK 1st review six weeks after granting support The supported person is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason 1st review on date advised in the Medical Declaration Supported persons accepted owing to late stages of pregnancy or with a new-born baby 1st review six weeks after expected date of delivery or six weeks after birth The supported person is unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the of the Secretary of State there is no viable route of return Review after three months or when a policy statement confirming a change of policy in respect of a viable route of return has been issued The supported person has made an application for Judicial Review of a decision a decision in relation to his asylum claim Review after JR concluded Provision of support is necessary to prevent a breach of a persons ECHR rights 1st review after 14 days Check if the supported person has been granted a form of leave or refugee status Check if the AIT has agreed to hear a late appeal or further representations have been submitted and accepted as a fresh claim Barrier to removal has been concluded Discontinue support Discontinuation of support to families with children

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Introduction
This Asylum Instruction (AI) deals with the process for reviewing eligibility for support under section 4(2) and 4(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. It must be read in conjunction with the AI on Section 4 Support. For information on the process for reviewing eligibility for support under section 4(1)(c), which allows support to be provided to a person released on bail from detention under any provision of the Immigration Acts, refer to the Section 4 Bail Accommodation AI.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

Use of Terms Within this instruction, the term: Case owner refers to case owners or caseworkers within the Regional Asylum Teams and the Case Resolution Directorate (CRD). Senior Caseworker applies to SEO Senior Caseworkers within the regional teams and CRD. Applicant refers to failed asylum seekers who have applied for section 4 support. Supported person refers to failed asylum seekers who are currently in receipt of section 4 support.

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Section 4 review process


Section 4 cases are subject to a review process to ensure that only those entitled to support remain supported. In cases where the supported person is found to be no longer eligible or where a condition of support has been breached, support must be withdrawn and discontinued. Reviews must be completed promptly. Cases are reviewed on an ongoing basis, including normally: After two weeks where the supported person has applied for support on the basis that they are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK and has stated that they have registered with the Voluntary Assisted Returns and Reintegration Programme (VARRP), but this evidence has yet to appear on CID and cannot be confirmed through contacting the AVR Team. After six weeks where the supported person has applied for support on the basis that they are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK and has registered with VARRP, and again after a further six weeks. Following this the case must continue to be reviewed every three weeks. Support will not usually be discontinued until after three months as a return under VARRP can take up to three months to complete and a supported person remains approved under VARRP for this period. Six weeks from the Expected Date of Delivery (EDD) (or birth where we have been notified) in the case of pregnant mothers. As advised in the Medical Declaration, where the supported person is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason. In all other cases review periods must be set as appropriate (but normally at no longer than three-month intervals).

The review must be a complete reconsideration of the individual case, based on the current circumstances at the date of review. Case Owners must request further information from the supported person to enable them to provide evidence as to whether they remain eligible for section 4 support under regulation 3 of the Immigration and Asylum (provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005.

The review process is detailed below under each eligibility category. In all cases, Case Owners must confirm that the supported person continues to be destitute and record any change to the supported persons circumstances if notified.

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Standard review checks


The following checks must be carried out in all cases at each review. Check if supported person has left the UK Case Owners must check CID to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If CID shows that the supported person has left the UK (or the AVR Team has confirmed that the supported person has left the UK) Case Owners must contact the accommodation provider to confirm that the supported persons accommodation has been vacated, minute ASYS and close the case. See Ceasing Asylum Support. If CID shows that the supported person has not left the UK Case Owners must review eligibility under the relevant and other criteria, considering all the evidence available, including any new evidence which has been provided by the supported person.

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Requesting further information


In all cases, Case Owners must request further information, in order for the supported person to provide evidence that they remain eligible for section 4 support. Case Owners must: Check ASYS for the current address and confirm this with the accommodation provider. If the supported person is not residing at the address, carry out further investigations to establish where the supported person is residing. If the supported person is deemed to have absconded, consider absconder action. If the supported person has been moved, update ASYS and CID with the new address. Write to supported person to ask them to provide reasons why support should not be withdrawn. Send a copy of the letter to the applicants representative. Give 14 days (plus two for postage) to reply, and arrange to review the case in 16 days. Ensure stamped addressed label is enclosed. Where reply received, or at the 16-day review, consider whether the supported person remains eligible for support.

You must use one of the letters listed below and ensure that the contact details are correct.

Review Letters Review Medical Review Judicial Review Review Assisted Voluntary Return Review Further representations Review Failed appeal Review Refused Judicial Review

Review of a previous grant of section 4 support

Review letter templates can be found on Horizon. If a reply is received from the supported person Check if the supported person remains destitute. If the supported person is no longer destitute, discontinue support. See Ceasing Asylum Support. If the supported person remains destitute, consider if they are still eligible for support. See the AI on Section 4 Support on how to consider and decide eligibility for section 4 support.

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If supported person is still eligible under the same criterion, continue support. Set a further review date. If the supported person is now eligible for support under another criterion, maintain support and issue a new support letter setting out the new support grounds and conditions and a further review date. A copy of this letter should be sent to the representative. If the supported person is no longer eligible for support, discontinue support. See Ceasing Asylum Support.

You must use one of the letters listed below and ensure that the contact details are correct. Continuation of support letter templates can be found on Horizon.

Letters Continuation of section 4 support Continuation of support Continuation of support VARRP

If no reply received from the supported person Review the case on the basis of the evidence which is available, considering whether the supported person is still destitute and, if so, still eligible for support under the same or another criterion. If there is no evidence of destitution and eligibility, discontinue support. See Ceasing Asylum Support. If there is evidence that the supported person may have absconded, consider absconder action.

You must use one of the letters listed below and ensure that the contact details are correct. Warning letter templates can be found on Horizon. Uncontrolled if printed 6

Review Letters Warning breach of conditions Termination warning Termination warning no reply from the supported person Discontinuation warning VARRP Termination warning Accommodation provider

Warning letters

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The supported person is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK
Case Owners must ensure that the supported person is actively taking all reasonable steps to leave or enable them to leave the UK. The supported person must have complied with the re-documentation process (where possible), and have not breached reporting conditions. Where the supported person has applied for VARRP, they must still be approved for Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR). Two-week review Where the supported person has applied for the support on the basis of a VARRP application but the VARRP application was not recorded on CID, a further CID check must be carried out after two weeks. If the application is still not recorded on CID and the AVR Team and Refugee Action - Choices cannot confirm the application, further evidence must be sought from the supported person. 1st review six weeks after granting support Case Owners must firstly carry out the standard review checks to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If the supported person has not left the UK, Case Owners must check CID to see whether the VARRP application is still approved, or has been withdrawn by the supported person or delayed for any reason. Case Owners must then request further information if required in order for the supported person to provide evidence of their eligibility for section 4 support. See Requesting further information. If the supported person still qualifies under this criterion, Case Owners must set the next review date for six weeks later. Where a supported person continues to be eligible for section 4 support under this criterion, ongoing review after the 2nd review must be every three weeks until the supported person has left the UK. If a destitute family with children is assessed as being no longer eligible for section 4 support, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before discontinuing support.

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The supported person is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason
When reviewing section 4 eligibility on the basis of a physical impediment to travel or some other medical reason, the supported person must be asked to provide further relevant written medical evidence in the form of the UK Border Agency Section 4 Medical Declaration (Medical Declaration) in support of his/her application. If a Medical Declaration is submitted, there will be no need for Case Owners to refer the case to the Asylum Support Medical Adviser (ASMA) regarding the effect of the applicants condition on his/her ability to undertake international travel. 1st review on date advised in the Medical Declaration Case Owners must firstly carry out the standard review checks to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If the supported person has not left the UK, Case Owners must write to the supported person requesting an up-to-date Medical Declaration, if they wish to continue to be supported on medical grounds, and asking for any other reasons why support should not be withdrawn. Send a copy of the letter to the applicants representative. See Requesting further information. If the supported person still qualifies under this criterion, Case Owners must set the next review date for the date specified in the Medical Declaration. If a destitute family with children is assessed as being no longer eligible for section 4 support, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before discontinuing support.

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Supported persons accepted owing to late stages of pregnancy or with a new-born baby
When reviewing eligibility for section 4 support granted on the basis that the supported person was unable to travel owing to being in the late stages of pregnancy or because of a new-born baby, the supported person must provide further evidence that she continues to be eligible for support under this or another criterion. 1st review six weeks after expected date of delivery or six weeks after birth Case Owners must firstly carry out the standard review checks to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If the supported person has not left the UK, as the baby should now be old enough to travel, Case Owners must write to the supported person and their representative explaining that they are no longer eligible for support under this criterion. The letter must request any reason why support should not be withdrawn and promote VARRP. See Requesting further information If the supported person still qualifies under this criterion, Case Owners must set a new review date (the new date should be no more than two weeks later). If a destitute family with children is assessed as being no longer eligible for section 4 support, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before discontinuing support.

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The supported person is unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the of the Secretary of State there is no viable route of return
In reviewing a case granted support under this criterion, Case Owners must check on the Asylum intranet site to see whether the policy statement has been withdrawn and whether, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, a viable route of return has become available. If this is the case, section 4 support must be discontinued unless the supported person qualifies under another criterion. Review after three months or when a policy statement confirming a change of policy in respect of a viable route of return has been issued Case Owners must firstly carry out the standard review checks to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If the supported person has not left the UK, Case Owners must check for any policy update on the Asylum intranet site: If there continues to be a policy statement that there is currently no viable route of return, confirm whether the supported person is still destitute (see Requesting further information). If so, support must be continued and a new review date set for three months later. If the policy statement in respect of no viable route of return has been withdrawn, Case Owners must write to the supported person and their representative to explain that, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, there is now a viable route of return and the supported person is no longer eligible for support under this criterion. The letter must also request any reason why support should not be withdrawn and promote VARRP. See Requesting further information.

If a destitute family with children is assessed as being no longer eligible for section 4 support, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before discontinuing support.

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The supported person has made an application for Judicial Review of a decision a decision in relation to his asylum claim
Where section support has been granted on the basis that in England and Wales or Northern Ireland permission to proceed/leave has been granted, or in Scotland the supported person has applied for judicial review (JR), Case Owners must review the case after four weeks by checking CID and with JRU to see if there has been an outcome. If there has been no outcome and the supported person is still destitute, support should be extended for a further four weeks and a review date set. Case Owners must continue to review the case every four weeks until the JR is concluded. Case Owners must review continued eligibility for section 4 support as soon as the JR outcome is known. Review after JR concluded Case Owners must firstly carry out the standard review checks to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If the supported person has not left the UK, Case Owners must review the case in the light of the JR outcome. If the supported person has been granted refugee status If the supported person has been granted refugee status, discontinue support after 28 days. See Implementing Substantive Decisions and Ceasing Asylum Support for further information on how to implement the asylum decision and how to discontinue support. If the case has been remitted to UK Border Agency or the AIT If case has been remitted for reconsideration, the supported person may be eligible for section 95 support. The Case Owner must: Check ASYS for the supported persons current address and confirm this with the accommodation provider. Write to the supported person and their representative stating they may be eligible for section 95 support. Discontinue support. See Ceasing Asylum Support. JR has been withdrawn or refused If the JR application has been withdrawn or refused, the supported person may no longer be eligible for section 4 support. Case Owners must write to the supported person and their representative explaining that they are no longer eligible for section 4 support under this criterion; requesting any reason why support should not be withdrawn; and promoting VARRP. See Requesting further information. Where appropriate, Case Owners must check with TSols to confirm whether any court order requiring the Secretary of State to provide interim support has been withdrawn.

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12

If a destitute family with children is assessed as being no longer eligible for section 4 support, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before discontinuing support.

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13

Provision of support is necessary to prevent a breach of a persons ECHR rights


In cases where section 4 support has been provided under this criterion, the review period is dependent on the reason for granting support. Case Owners must therefore monitor the case and review eligibility according to whether: The barrier to removal has been concluded. The supported persons late or out-of-time appeal has been refused or been heard and dismissed. The supported persons further representations have been refused or a fresh asylum claim has been recorded, or a form of leave has been granted.

Case Owners may start the review process 14 days after granting support. 1st review after 14 days Case Owners must firstly carry out the standard review checks to determine whether the supported person has left the UK. If the supported person has not left the UK, Case Owners must review eligibility under this and other criteria, according to the evidence available, including any new evidence which the supported person has provided. The process for reviewing support is below. Check if the supported person has been granted a form of leave or refugee status If supported person has been granted a form of leave or refugee status, discontinue support after 28 days. See Implementing Substantive Decisions and Ceasing Asylum Support for further information on how to implement an asylum decision and how to discontinue support.

Check if the AIT has agreed to hear a late appeal or further representations have been submitted and accepted as a fresh claim If the AIT has agreed to hear a late or out-of-time appeal but the appeal has not yet been heard, or if the supported person has made further representations and these have been accepted as a fresh asylum claim but no decision on this has yet been made, they may now be entitled to section 95 support. The Case Owner must: Check ASYS for the supported persons address and confirm this with the accommodation provider Write to supported person and their representative stating they may be eligible for section 95 support. Discontinue support. See Ceasing Asylum Support. Uncontrolled if printed 14

Barrier to removal has been concluded Where the barrier to removal has been concluded or documentation barriers to leaving the UK have been overcome, or the supported persons late or out-of-time appeal has been refused or been heard and dismissed, or the supported persons further representations have been refused, the supported person may no longer be eligible for section 4 support. Case Owners must write to the supported person and their representative explaining that they are no longer eligible for support under this criterion; requesting any reason why support should not be withdrawn; and promoting VARRP. See Requesting further information. If a destitute family with children is assessed as being no longer eligible for section 4 support, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before discontinuing support.

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Discontinue support
Where support is discontinued, the supported person has a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act to the Asylum Support Tribunal (AST). See the AI on Section 4 Support and the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin on Asylum Support Appeals for further information on section 4 appeal rights. Supported persons who have their support discontinued are required to leave their accommodation within 14 days unless the supported person has been granted status, where support must be continued on a discretionary basis for 28 days. To discontinue support, Case Owners must: Draw up a refusal letter with reasons. Recheck that the address on ASYS has been confirmed by accommodation provider. Give 14 or 28 (if the supported person has been granted leave) days notice (giving an actual date). Include a Tribunals Service Asylum Support Notice of Appeal Form. Ensure that the letter is posted on the same day as it is dated. If the supported person is represented, fax and post the refusal letter to the representative. Serve a letter on the accommodation provider to notify them that support will end on the due date. Ensure that the letter to the provider is faxed and posted by recorded delivery. Scan confirmation of fax onto ASYS. Update ASYS.

Termination letter templates can be found on Horizon. You must ensure that the contact details are correct. Discontinuation of support to families with children When considering whether to discontinue the provision of support under section 4 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 to families with minors, the course of action taken must be consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to ensure that the decision has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. If a decision is being made as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support to a family with children due to no longer satisfying the eligibility criteria for support under section 4 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 (1999 Act), who have not been granted any form of leave, and are not eligible for support under section 95 of the 1999 Act, or as a result of a breach of the conditions of support as set out under regulation 6 of the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005, if the family are assessed as being destitute if it were not for the provision of the aforesaid support, the UK Border Agency must take in to account the impact of any decision on the family before proceeding. Uncontrolled if printed 16

If support is being discontinued as a result of a breach of the conditions of support as set out under regulation 6 of the 2005 Regulations, any decision as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support must be proportionate to the situation. If the breach was minor, such as failing to report, it may not be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support. If however, the breach was extremely serious, such as extreme violence or vandalism, it may be appropriate to discontinue support. When making decisions as to whether it would be appropriate to discontinue support, Case Owners should consult their Senior Caseworker before proceeding. If the discontinuation of support is appropriate, the Case Owners should take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children. Before any action is taken to begin the process to discontinue support, the Case Owner should liaise with the local authority, notifying them that the UK Border Agency plans to discontinue support from the family, and request that the local authority provides alternative support. If the local authority makes an offer of support, the provision of support under section 4 should be discontinued as soon as the family transfers in to local authority care. If the UK Border Agency considers that the supported family are eligible for support provided by the local authority, but the local authority refuses to provide support, the provision of asylum support must be maintained until the local authority provides support. If a decision is taken that it would be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support to a family with children, the discontinuation letter should explain why the decision is consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 Authors MO SM SK SM SM SM SM SM SM SM Date 19/04/07 26/03/08 21/05/08 03/11/08 04/06/09 11/06/09 09/07/09 02/10/09 14/04/11 29/06/11 Change Reference Published Process amendment Reps to be copied in to letters sent to SU. Re-branding ECHR Doc barriers overcome Bail information removed due to introduction of the S4 Bail AI on 15/06/09 Introduction of the Medical Declaration Childrens Duty paragraphs added Change of AVR provider Letters replaced with links to Horizon. References to enclosing S95 application forms removed.

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Section 4 Support
Table of Contents
Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Is the applicant eligible for support under section 4(2) Section 55 Applicant applies for section 4(2) support Section 4 applicants with dependants Is the applicant destitute? Decision outcome Is the applicant taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK? Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) If the AVR Team has no record of an application Is the applicant placing themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK? ETD application lodged with ISDU, or EU Letter prepared No ETD application lodged with ISDU, or no EU Letter prepared Is the ISDU process slower than that of the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme? ISDU can obtain an ETD sooner than, or as soon as, the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme ISDU cannot obtain an ETD sooner than, or as soon as, the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme Decision outcome Exceptional Circumstances Preventing Departure Is the applicant unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason? If the applicant has a physical impediment to travel or some other medical reason Female applicants in the late stages of pregnancy Applicants with a new-born child If the applicant does not have any physical impediment to travel or some other medical reason Decision outcome Is the applicant unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the Secretary of State there is currently no viable route of return available? Decision outcome If there is a statement of policy that in the Secretary of States opinion there is currently no viable route of return available Iraq If there is no statement of policy that in the Secretary of States opinion there is currently no viable route of return available Has the applicant made an application for Judicial Review of a decision in relation to their asylum claim? An application for JR submitted in England and Wales or Northern Ireland An application for JR is submitted in Scotland JR outcome Decision outcome Is support necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of a persons ECHR rights? Further Submissions No delay in the consideration of further submissions Section 4 applications submitted before the date of a pre-booked further submission appointment No further submissions outstanding nor appointment booked to submit further submissions Delay in the consideration of further submissions Decision outcome Refusing support

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Granting support Accommodating applicants Dispersal arrangements Section 4 appeals Appeal outcomes Review of support Repeat applications Breach of support conditions Complying with specified standards of behaviour regulation 6(2)(a) Reporting requirements regulation 6(2)(b) Section 4 breach of conditions action following failure to report Increasing reporting frequency Failure to reside at the authorised address or unauthorised absence regulation 6(2)(c) If the supported person does not reply or provide a reasonable explanation Complying with specified steps to facilitate departure regulation 6(2)(d) Reasonable explanation The supported person is found to be in breach of conditions Discontinuation of support to families with children Summary and decision outcome Accommodation providers

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Introduction
This instruction deals with applications for support under section 4(2) and 4(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. In their cases, Case Owners have overall responsibility for the end-to-end management of the asylum claim, with the help of their Asylum Team colleagues. This includes all asylum support issues. Case Owners will be responsible for the consideration and management of section 4 support. They will ensure that an applicants eligibility for section 4 support is assessed, and where granted, ensure support is reviewed and monitored. Support Staff check and process the section 4 application form and other information available, including checking ASYS and CID and updating them with all relevant information. The Support Staff also support the Case Owners in producing any letters relating to the process. Section 4(1) of the 1999 Act gives the Secretary of State the power to provide accommodation to persons with Temporary Admission (TA), those released from immigration detention and those on immigration bail. Failed asylum seekers who meet the eligibility criteria may be supported under section 4(2) and their dependants under section 4(3). Unless otherwise stated, this instruction relates to those supported under sections 4(2) and 4(3) only. For information on the provision of support under section 4(1)(c), which allows support to be provided to a person released on bail from detention under any provision of the Immigration Acts, refer to the Section 4 Bail Accommodation AI. Cash payments are not made under section 4. Supported persons and their dependants who receive section 4 support are generally provided with accommodation and an Azure pre-paid payment card (payment card) to cover food and essential toiletries only. Occasionally, full board accommodation may be provided to meet specific needs. In such cases, the supported person is not provided with a payment card. Food and essential toiletries will be provided by the accommodation provider. They may also supply nappies, etc and essential sanitary items for female supported persons. The payment card is administered by Sodexo on behalf of the UK Border Agency.

Further information on the nature of support under section 4 is provided in the Section 4 Frequently Asked Questions. Supported persons in receipt of section 4 support must continue to comply with any reporting requirements. A new reporting regime may be required after section 4 support is granted. Travel expenses for reporting events cannot be provided under section 4. However, there is provision under section 69 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 for this cost to be met separately. This instruction must be read in conjunction with Regulations 5 to 9 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 on determining whether persons are destitute. Case Owners must familiarise themselves with the relevant legislation particularly the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 (including subsequent amendments) and the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005, together with this AI and that on review of section 4 support. Uncontrolled if printed 3

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children


Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Every Child Matters; Change for Children sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

Use of Terms Within this instruction, the term: Case owner refers to case owners or caseworkers within the Regional Asylum Teams. Senior Caseworkers applies to SEO Senior Caseworkers within the regional teams. Applicant refers to failed asylum seekers who have applied for section 4 support. Supported person refers to failed asylum seekers who are currently in receipt of section 4 support.

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Is the applicant eligible for support under section 4(2)


Case Owners must consider whether the applicant is a failed asylum seeker or the dependant of a failed asylum seeker before considering whether the applicant is eligible for section 4 support. The regulations made under section 4(5) of the 1999 Act (at regulation 3(2) of the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005) state that the Secretary of State may provide support under section 4 to a failed asylum seeker who appears to be destitute (regulation 3(1)(a)) and who satisfies one or more of the following conditions: a. The person is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK. This could include complying with attempts to obtain a travel document to facilitate departure. b. The person is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason. c. The person is unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the Secretary of State there is currently no viable route of return available. d. The person has made an application in Scotland for judicial review of a decision in relation to their asylum claim or, in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, has applied for such a judicial review and been granted permission or leave to proceed. e. The provision of accommodation is necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of a persons Convention rights, within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998. A person currently in receipt of support under section 4 must continue to meet the above criteria in order to remain eligible for support. Case Owners must review periodically the circumstances of those supported under section 4 to ensure they remain eligible. Please see the AI on review of section 4 support.

Section 55
Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 prevents the Secretary of State providing support under section 4, 95 or 98 of the 1999 Act if he is not satisfied that a person applied for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable after arrival in the UK. However, in those cases where section 55(1) prevents a person being provided with support, section 55(5) provides that the Secretary of State is not prevented from exercising his power under section 4, 95 or 98 to the extent necessary to avoid a breach of a persons Convention rights. Section 55 applies to a person who applied for asylum on or after 8 January 2003. Therefore a person who applied for asylum on or after 8 January 2003 may only be provided with support under section 4 if the Secretary of State is satisfied either that they made their application for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable after arrival in the UK, or that not to provide support under section 4 would result in a breach of a persons Convention rights. If a person who applied for asylum on or after 8 January 2003 makes an application for support under section 4 and a decision has not previously been made under section 55, Case Owners must first decide whether section 55 prevents the provision of this support. Uncontrolled if printed 5

If section 55 does not prevent the provision of support under section 4, Case Owners must then consider whether the person otherwise meets the eligibility criteria for section 4. There is no right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, Asylum Support (Tribunal) against a refusal under section 55(1) and 55(5)(a). For further information, see the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin on Section 55 and the AI on Eligibility and Assessment of Asylum Support. Casework queries relating to section 55 processes and decision-making should be referred to your senior caseworker.

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Applicant applies for section 4(2) support


The general rule is that a person remains an asylum seeker for support purposes until their claim for asylum has been finally determined. Section 95 support is terminated for a refused asylum applicant without a dependent child under 18 in their household once they have exhausted their asylum appeal rights. There is a 21-day grace period from the notification to the implementation of the termination of section 95 support. To apply for section 4(2) support, an applicant must submit an application form for section 4 support which must include any evidence that demonstrates their eligibility. See Is the applicant eligible for support under section 4(2) above. On receipt of an application for section 4 support, the application must be registered on ASYS by the Support Staff. Please refer to the ASYS User Manual on Registering an Application and Section 4 Applications for guidance. After registering the application, a Critical Comment must be entered on ASYS by the Support Staff to identify the case as an Asylum Team case.

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Section 4 applicants with dependants


Section 4(3) enables the Secretary of State to support dependants of failed asylum seekers. Dependants must meet the same eligibility criteria. The definition of dependant is the same as for support under section 95 and is contained in regulation 2 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. Dependants include spouses, civil partners, people who have lived as husband and wife for two of the last three years, children and close family members who have a disability. There is no requirement for the dependant to have been a dependant on the asylum claim. Applicants with a dependent child under 18 in their household, who were eligible for asylum support under section 95 at the time their asylum appeal rights were exhausted, continue to be eligible for that support in accordance with section 94(5). Where a dependent child is born or (aged under 18) becomes part of the household within the 21-day grace period following the notification of the termination of support, section 95 support will continue. If the only dependent child is born or (aged under 18) becomes part of the household outside of the 21-day grace period, the family will not be eligible for section 95 support. They may be eligible for section 4. For further information, see the AI on Dependants on a support application.

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Is the applicant destitute?


To be eligible for support under section 4(2) or (3) an applicant must appear to the Secretary of State to be destitute or is likely to become destitute within a 14 day period. To determine whether the applicant is destitute, Case Owners must have regard to the applicants circumstances currently and prior to making the section 4 application. The destitution test must be applied before considering the application under the criteria in regulation 3(2) of the 2005 Regulations. The test for destitution for section 4 support is the same as that used to determine section 95 applications under section 95(3) of the 1999 Act: a person is destitute if: a. he does not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not his other essential living needs are met); or b. he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his other essential living needs For full details on the assessment process, including what the applicant must declare, determining assets and calculating their value, determining income, calculating the appropriate level of support, the prescribed thresholds and testing destitution see Asylum Support Process Instruction: Assessment and Test of Destitution Process. For further advice on assessing destitution, Case Owners can also refer to Regulations 5 to 9 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, and Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 4: Determining whether persons who apply for asylum support are destitute (Please note that when referring to the destitution threshold information in Policy Bulletin 4 the subsistence rates specified will need to be amended to reflect current levels). In deciding whether an applicant is destitute, Case Owners must pay particular regard to: Whether the applicant was or is currently supported under section 98 or 95 or was supported under Schedule 9 to the 1999 Act (in other words, supported by a local authority under the Interim Scheme). The time elapsed between that support ending and the applicant applying for section 4 support. Whether the applicant applied for section 4 support during the grace period. The evidence available to support the section 4 application. Whether the applicant has, or has had, access to alternative support, accommodation or financial support. If yes, from whom and for what period? Whether any alternative support is ongoing.

If the applicant has been without asylum support for a prolonged period, it may be reasonable for Case Owners to consider that the applicant has had access to an alternative source of support, and may continue to do so, unless a good explanation is provided as to why this support can no longer be provided. It is for the applicant to provide evidence to support their application. Therefore, Case Owners may request further information relating to the application for support (to satisfy themselves that the applicant is destitute and/or satisfies one or more of the criteria at regulation 3(2) of the 2005 Regulations). Uncontrolled if printed 9

Case Owners must: Request any further information in writing giving 14 days within which to reply. Copy the letter to the applicants representative.

Case Owners must not decide the applicants eligibility for section 4 support until further information is received or the time for reply has expired. However, Case Owners may continue to assess the application and collate all the information required to make a decision.

Decision outcome
If the applicant does not provide the requested information, Case Owners must refuse section 4 support on the ground that they do not consider the applicant to be destitute. Case Owners must ensure that the refusal letter makes clear that the applicant had the opportunity to provide further evidence to show destitution but failed to do so. Section 4 support is not granted solely on the basis that an applicant is destitute. If an applicant is deemed destitute, Case Owners must go on to assess the application under regulation 3(2) of the 2005 Regulations. Applicant is destitute Case Owner assesses the application under regulation 3(2) of the 2005 Regulations. Applicant is not destitute Case Owner refuses section 4 support. Applicant has right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications.

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Is the applicant taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK?
Under regulation (3(2)(a) of the 2005 Regulations an applicant must be taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK, or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK, to qualify for section 4 support. The Home Office considers it is reasonable for applicants who are taking steps to leave the UK voluntarily, either through an Assisted Voluntary Returns programme or independently through other means, to leave the UK within 3 months. This includes obtaining relevant documentation to enable departure. Consequently an applicant will only be eligible for support under regulation 3(2)(a) once, unless there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant. This amended policy of limiting the provision of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) to one opportunity (with the exception of cases where there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant), which was implemented on 08/06/09, can be applied to applicants who are granted support after this date, and retrospectively to all supported persons currently in receipt of section 4 support who were not in receipt or have not previously been in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) on the date the revised policy was implemented. However, if a supported person was in receipt or has previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) on the date of the implementation of the revised policy, if he/she reapplies for support under regulation 3(2)(a) for a second time, providing sufficient evidence to show he/she is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK, he/she should receive one further supported period under this regulation if he/she satisfies the other eligibility criteria. To determine eligibility, Case Owners must consider: Whether the applicant has applied for Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR). Whether the applicant has fully complied with the re-documentation process. Did the applicant supply evidence to support an application for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD)? Was the applicant invited to a re-documentation interview? If so, did they attend and comply fully with it? Is the applicant subject to a prosecution under section 35 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Applicants, etc) Act 2004? Whether the applicant could leave the UK sooner if they applied for AVR, rather than wait for an ETD via the Immigration Service Documentation Unit (ISDU).

Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR)


Case Owners must actively promote AVR to the applicant and explain that in certain circumstances: The applicant may not be eligible for section 4 support if they have not applied for AVR. Section 4 support may be discontinued if the supported person does not apply for AVR.

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The applicant will only be eligible for support under regulation 3(2)(a) once, unless there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant. Once the supported person has applied for AVR, they must proactively co-operate with arrangements for their return. It is not sufficient simply to sign up for AVR. See the AI on Voluntary Departures for further information. If an AVR application to Refugee Action - Choices is accepted, the application will be valid for 3 months and the applicant will be expected to leave the UK within this period. If Refugee Action Choices are unable to organise return within the 3 month period, the supported person can remain approved in exceptional circumstances. With the exception of cases where there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant, applicants will only be eligible for support under regulation 3(2)(a) once. If an applicant applies for section 4 support under the criterion that he/she has either secured acceptance on the AVR programme or applied for AVR, but he/she has previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a), the applicant does not, with the exception of a legitimate barrier to departure or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, qualify under this eligibility criterion. If AVR was unsuccessful the Case Owner should assess whether the applicant has provided evidence that he/she was unable to leave the UK while he/she was previously in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) due to a legitimate barrier to departure, or due to exceptional circumstances preventing departure, at the time his/her AVR application was extant. If so, support may be provided under regulation 3(2)(a) for a second and final time. For further information on what qualifies as an exceptional circumstance in this scenario which may prevent departure, refer to Exceptional Circumstances Preventing Departure. If there were no legitimate barriers to departure or exceptional circumstances preventing departure, but the applicant has provided evidence that there are exceptional circumstances at the time of re-application for section 4 support which may require the provision of support to avoid a breach of the applicants ECHR rights, consideration should be given to whether the applicant qualifies for support under regulation 3(2)(e). Case Owners should consult a Senior Caseworker, before making a positive decision on support in such a case. If an individual is granted support under regulation 3(2)(a) he/she must maintain contact with the Case Owner and Refugee Action - Choices (if he has applied for AVR). Maintaining close contact will enable Refugee Action - Choices to provide assistance in overcoming any real difficulties the applicant may have in obtaining documentation. In these situations the AVR Team may seek assistance from the Removals Liaison Unit or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in resolving the problem. There may be a temporary situation in which Refugee Action - Choices is unable to conduct voluntary returns to a country, although the Secretary of States opinion remains that there is a viable route of return. Case Owners must check with a Senior Caseworker before making a decision on support in such a case.

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If the AVR Team has no record of an application Refugee Action - Choices must be contacted via the AVR Team to check whether an application has been lodged: The Old Fire Station 150 Waterloo Road London SE1 8SB Freephone: 0808 800 0007 Fax: 0207 401 3699 E-mail: Choices@refugee-action.org.uk Applicant has not previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) AVR application registered with No AVR application registered Refugee Action - Choices Grant section 4 support. 1st review after 6 weeks to check supported person is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK and then 2nd review 6 weeks after 1st review. Extend support on timescale advised by AVR Team or Refugee Action Choices. If AVR application withdrawn by the supported person, consider whether they are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK. If not, discontinue support with a right of appeal. If AVR application has been rejected by the AVR Team, verify the reason with the AVR Team before discontinuing support. Grant section 4 support, if appropriate. If no application registered after 2 weeks, consider to what extent the supported person is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK, with a view to discontinuation of support if it is considered the supported person is not taking all reasonable steps. If a supported person remains eligible, continue to review as appropriate (but at no longer than 3-month intervals).

Applicant has previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) With the exception of cases where there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant, the applicant is not eligible for section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) as he/she has already been supported under this regulation. However, if the applicant has provided evidence of a legitimate barrier to departure or a legitimate exceptional circumstance which prevented departure, support may be provided under Uncontrolled if printed 13

regulation 3(2)(a) for a second and final time. Case Owners must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual Section 4 Applications.

Is the applicant placing themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK?
With the exception of cases where there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant, applicants will only be eligible for support under regulation 3(2)(a) once. If an applicant applies for section 4 support under the criterion that he/she is placing himself/herself in a position in which he/she will be able to leave the UK, but he/she has previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a), the applicant does not, with the exception of a legitimate barrier to departure or exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, qualify under this eligibility criterion. If the applicant was unable to facilitate his/her departure from the UK while previously in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a), the Case Owner should assess whether the applicant has provided evidence that he/she was unable to leave the UK while he/she was previously in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a), due to a legitimate barrier to departure or due to an exceptional circumstance preventing departure at the time he/she was previously supported under regulation 3(2)(a). If so, support may be provided under regulation 3(2)(a) for a second and final time. For further information on what qualifies as an exceptional circumstance in this scenario which may prevent departure, refer to Exceptional Circumstances Preventing Departure. If there were no legitimate barriers to departure or exceptional circumstances preventing departure, but the applicant has provided evidence that there are exceptional circumstances at the time of re-application for section 4 support, which may require the provision of support to avoid a breach of the applicants ECHR rights, consideration should be given to whether the applicant qualifies for support under regulation 3(2)(e). Case Owners should consult a Senior Caseworker before making a positive decision on support in such a case. If the applicant is not prevented from receiving section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a), Case Owners must consider to what extent the applicant has complied with the re-documentation process by considering: If an application for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) been lodged with ISDU, or an EU Letter prepared? Did the applicant attend and comply fully with any re-documentation interview? Was the applicant required to attend their Embassy or High Commission to assist the redocumentation? If so, did they attend? The applicant is not currently being investigated or prosecuted for non-compliance with the re-documentation process under section 35 of the 2004 Act?

If an individual is granted support under this regulation he/she must maintain contact with the Case Owner. Maintaining close contact will enable the Case Owner to provide assistance in overcoming any real difficulties the applicant may have in obtaining documentation. Yes No Uncontrolled if printed 14

See ETD application lodged with ISDU, or EU Letter prepared

See No ETD application lodged with ISDU, or no EU Letter prepared

ETD application lodged with ISDU, or EU Letter prepared


Case Owners must take the issues above into consideration when determining whether the applicant has complied fully with the re-documentation process. If Case Owners determine that the applicant has fully complied, the applicant may be eligible for support under this criterion.

No ETD application lodged with ISDU, or no EU Letter prepared


If the applicant has significantly impeded attempts to facilitate their leaving the UK, such that an ETD cannot be obtained, an ETD application cannot be submitted to ISDU, or an EU Letter cannot be prepared, the applicant may be ineligible for section 4 support.

Is the ISDU process slower than that of the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme?
If the applicant has complied fully with the re-documentation process, but the timescale for ISDU to obtain an ETD is likely to be lengthy and arrangements to leave the UK much sooner could be made with the help of Refugee Action - Choices, the applicant is unlikely to qualify for section 4 support unless they apply to Refugee Action - Choices for AVR. Case Owners must inform the applicant that they are expected to use the quickest route to obtain an ETD and that failure to do so may affect their eligibility for section 4 support. To determine eligibility for section 4 support under this policy, Case Owners must consult the ISDU website to ascertain the average time for obtaining an ETD from the applicants Embassy or High Commission. Case Owners must contact the relevant country team within ISDU, through a Senior Caseworker, if the website is inconclusive. Refugee Action - Choices can normally conduct returns within a three-month period, during which period the applicants status is shown by the AVR Team on CID as approved. (If the application for AVR is no longer shown as approved, Case Owners must check the reasons with the AVR Team). Case Owners must request an explanation from the applicant if they claim that it will take longer than this timescale to obtain travel documents and take the explanation into account in deciding whether the applicant is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK. ISDU can obtain an ETD sooner than, or as soon as, the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme Case Owners may determine that the applicant is eligible for section 4 support under this criterion and grant section 4 support. ISDU cannot obtain an ETD sooner than, or as soon as, the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme If the applicant could leave the UK voluntarily sooner than waiting for ISDU to obtain an ETD, Case Owners may refuse support under section 4, subject to any breach of the applicants ECHR rights. In these circumstances Case Owners must encourage the applicant to apply for AVR.

Decision outcome
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Where Case Owners are satisfied that the applicant is taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK, section 4 support must be granted. Eligibility must be reviewed after the first six weeks and again at 12 weeks from the initial decision to ensure that the supported person is proactively pursuing their departure from the UK. It is not sufficient simply to sign up for AVR with Refugee Action - Choices, but then fail to pursue the application. See the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support for further information on the review process. Applicant has not previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) Applicant is taking all reasonable Applicant is not taking all steps to leave the UK reasonable steps to leave the UK Grant support. 1st review after 6 weeks. 2nd review 6 weeks after 1st review. Assess application against other criteria and evidence supplied by the applicant. If eligibility is not established, refuse support with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

Applicant has previously been in receipt of section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) With the exception of cases where there was a legitimate barrier to departure, or where there were exceptional circumstances which prevented departure, at the time the applicants first period in receipt of support under regulation 3(2)(a) was extant, the applicant is not eligible for section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(a) as he/she has already been supported under this regulation. However, if the applicant has provided evidence of a legitimate barrier to departure or a legitimate exceptional circumstance which prevented departure, support may be provided under regulation 3(2)(a) for a second and final time.

The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

Exceptional Circumstances Preventing Departure


An example of an exceptional circumstance that may prevent an applicant from travelling or from taking actions to obtain travel documents might, for example, include: Serious illness The applicant is required to obtain a letter from a GP or other medical practitioner treating the applicant, clearly stating why the illness prevented the applicant from complying. A relevant change in circumstances, such as the death of a dependant Relevant supporting evidence of the change in circumstances must be provided in all cases. If Refugee Action - Choices did not return the applicant to his/her country of origin while the applicants AVR application was extant, due to waiting for logistical/financial reasons to facilitate departures to the applicants country of origin.

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Is the applicant unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason?
Under regulation 3(2)(b) of the 2005 Regulations an applicant is eligible for section 4 support if they are unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or some other medical reason. To determine if an applicant is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason, Case Owners must consider: UK Border Agency Section 4 Medical Declaration (Medical Declaration) containing evidence why the supported person (or his/her dependant) is unable to leave the UK by reason of physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason. A MATB1 document, if available, or other recent medical documentation confirming pregnancy from a pregnant womans medical professional confirming that the applicant is pregnant and stating the expected date of delivery (EDD). The birth certificate of a new-born baby. If possible, the applicant must supply the long birth certificate, as it contains details of the childs father. Case Owners must assess the ability of the childs father to support the child prior to the applicant leaving the UK. Alternatively a medical document / certified letter from a medical professional confirming the birth of the new-born baby can be submitted, though the full birth certificate must later be submitted shortly after a grant of support.

If the applicant has a physical impediment to travel or some other medical reason
The applicant is required to submit a completed Medical Declaration. The Medical Declaration must be completed by the applicants General Practitioner (GP) or NHS Consultant, and clearly state why the applicant is unable to leave the UK by reason of physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason, the exact nature of the physical impediment or medical reason, and either when the applicant will be able to leave the UK or when the applicants condition is due to be reviewed. If a Medical Declaration is submitted, there will be no need for Case Owners to refer the case to the Asylum Support Medical Adviser (ASMA) regarding the effect of the applicants condition on his/her ability to undertake international travel. It is for the applicant to provide the relevant written medical evidence in the form of the Medical Declaration to support his/her application. The Medical Declaration must be submitted as evidence with the applicants application for support. If a Medical Declaration is not submitted, Case Owners should request the submission of a Medical Declaration, giving the applicant 14 days to respond. Case Owners must not determine eligibility until the time given has expired. Where the applicant fails to provide the Medical Declaration, Case Owners may consider the applicant ineligible for section 4 support under this criterion, but continue to assess the claim under the remaining criteria. In exceptional circumstances where Case Owners have serious concerns about the reasons given in the Medical Declaration for an applicant being unable to leave the UK, the Case Owner may telephone the GP / NHS Consultant who completed the Medical Declaration for clarification. If there are concerns about the authenticity of the GP / NHS Consultant who completed the Medical Declaration, Case Owners may contact the British Medical Association to check that the GP / NHS Consultant is registered with them. Note that the test is whether the applicant is able to leave the UK, not the availability or standard of medical treatment in the country of origin. Uncontrolled if printed 17

Female applicants in the late stages of pregnancy


If a female applicant applies for section 4 support on the ground that she is in the late stages of pregnancy, and therefore unable currently to leave the UK, the applicant must provide a MATB1 form, if available, or other recent medical documentation confirming pregnancy and stating the expected date of delivery (EDD). A MATB1 is issued by a doctor or midwife up to 20 weeks prior to the EDD, and indicates when the baby is expected to be born. Unless there are complications with the pregnancy supported by medical evidence that the applicants health and/or that of the unborn child may be at risk, support must not normally be granted until around 6 weeks before the EDD. Where the applicant recently entered the UK she may not have a MATB1. In these circumstances the applicant must provide Case Owners with written evidence, from a medical practitioner or midwife, confirming pregnancy and stating her EDD. If the applicant provides the required evidence, the applicant is eligible for section 4 support. Case Owners must grant section 4 support with a review date 6 weeks after the EDD or birth of the child if known.

Applicants with a new-born child


If the applicant has a new-born child under 6 weeks old, and is therefore currently unable to leave the UK, she should provide Case Owners with a copy of the childs long birth certificate (or short birth certificate if the long birth certificate cannot be obtained). Alternatively a medical document / certified letter from a medical professional confirming the birth of the new-born baby can be submitted, though the full birth certificate must later be submitted shortly after a grant of support. There is a cost for the long birth certificate, which the applicant may not be able to meet. It is intended to make provision for this through regulations under section 4(10) of the 1999 Act. In the interim, Case Owners can accept the short birth certificate which currently is issued without charge. Where the applicant recently entered the UK, she may not have a birth certificate for the child. In these circumstances the applicant must provide Case Owners with written evidence, from a medical practitioner or midwife, stating the childs approximate birth date. If the applicant provides the required evidence, the applicant is eligible for section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(b). Case Owners must grant section 4 support with a review date 6 weeks after the childs date of birth. Case Owners must consider whether the applicant can obtain support from the father of the child or children and explain that support under section 4 may be denied or discontinued if it comes to light that the applicant was or is in receipt of support from the father.

If the applicant does not have any physical impediment to travel or some other medical reason
The applicant is not eligible for section 4 support under this criterion. Case Owners must continue to assess the application under the remaining criteria. Uncontrolled if printed 18

Decision outcome
If the applicant does not provide the requested information, and there is no evidence that they satisfy any of the other eligibility criteria, Case Owners must refuse section 4 support. Where Case Owners are satisfied that the applicant is unable to leave the UK, section 4 support is granted with a review period based on the advice of the medical practitioner and reviewed accordingly until the date they are deemed able to undertake international travel. See the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support for further information on the review process. Applicant is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason Grant support. For pregnant women/new mothers review 6 weeks after birth. Any other, continue to review as appropriate (but at no longer than 3month intervals) OR On medical advice. Applicant is not prevented from leaving the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason Assess application against other criteria and evidence supplied by the applicant. If not eligible, refuse support with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

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Is the applicant unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the Secretary of State there is currently no viable route of return available?
Under regulation 3(2)(c) of the 2005 Regulations an applicant may be unable to leave the UK because in the opinion of the Secretary of State there is currently no viable route of return. To be eligible for section 4 support under this criterion: There must be a statement of policy that the Secretary of State is of the opinion that there is no viable route of return available to the applicants country of origin.

If any such statement has been issued, it will be available on the Asylum intranet site.

Decision outcome
If there is a statement of policy that in the Secretary of States opinion there is currently no viable route of return available Case Owners must grant section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(c) with a review period of 3 months or until the policy changes, whichever is earlier. Iraq Between January and July 2005 the Secretary of States opinion was that there was no viable route of return to Iraq. The policy changed from August 2005 when alternative viable routes of return to Iraq were recognised as being established. Further information is provided in the Section 4 Frequently Asked Questions.

If there is no statement of policy that in the Secretary of States opinion there is currently no viable route of return available The applicant is not eligible for section 4 support under this criterion. Case Owners must continue to assess the application under the remaining criteria. There is a statement of policy that in the SofSs opinion there is currently no viable route of return Grant support. Review period of 3 months or when policy is changed, if earlier.

There is no statement of policy

Assess application against other criteria and evidence supplied by the applicant. If not eligible, refuse support with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

See the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support for further information on the review process. The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance. Uncontrolled if printed 20

Has the applicant made an application for Judicial Review of a decision in relation to their asylum claim?
Under regulation 3(2)(d) of the 2005 Regulations an applicant who has applied for judicial review (JR) of a decision in relation to their asylum claim may be eligible for section 4 support. Where the applicant has applied for section 4 support under this section, Case Owners must check CID to ascertain whether the applicant has applied to a Scottish Court for JR, been granted permission to proceed with a JR in England and Wales, or been granted leave in Northern Ireland. In all cases the JR must relate to a decision in relation to the applicants asylum claim. Section 4 support will not be given for JRs against asylum support refusals (although the court may order that interim support be given in these circumstances). In England and Wales and Northern Ireland, support cannot be granted unless permission to proceed or leave has been granted. In Scotland there is no formal permission to proceed procedure for JR applications. Therefore, where the proceedings take place in Scotland, Case Owners need only be satisfied that the application for JR has been made. Case Owners must: Check CID for record of a JR application. If no application is listed, Case Owners must contact the Judicial Review Unit (JRU) to check whether a JR application has been lodged and (outside Scotland) to ascertain its status and the timescale for conclusion. Liaise with the applicants representative if no application is recorded on CID and JRU has no record of an application.

In England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Case Owners must seek advice from JRU regarding the approximate timescale for the High Court to decide whether to grant permission to proceed or leave, in order to diary a date to check with JRU whether it has been granted. If the applicant or representative provides appropriate proof of postage, Case Owners must contact JRU to advise them that an application has been lodged and provide proof of postage if requested. If the applicant or the representative cannot prove that an application for JR has been submitted, Case Owners may assume that no application was or has been submitted and may therefore refuse section 4 support under regulation 3(2)(d). Case Owners must continue to assess the application under the remaining criteria.

An application for JR submitted in England and Wales or Northern Ireland


Where permission/leave is granted, Case Owners must grant section 4 support with an initial review period of four weeks. If the High Court decision is received within this period, Case Owners must review section 4 support according to the High Court decision and whether there is an appeal.

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If the High Court decision is not received within this period, Case Owners must extend the review period by a further four weeks, or until a High Court decision is received, whichever is earlier. Case Owners may accept confirmation that permission to proceed/leave has been granted from JRU, or must obtain a copy of the court order from the applicant or their legal representative.

An application for JR is submitted in Scotland


Case Owners must grant section 4 support with a review date of four weeks, or until the date of the JR hearing (if known), whichever is earlier. The supported persons section 4 support must be reviewed on this date and may be extended if necessary, with a further review date set as appropriate.

JR outcome
Where the JR results in the applicant being granted leave to remain, support must be discontinued 28 days after leave to remain has been granted. Where the case is remitted to the UK Border Agency or the AIT to be reconsidered, the applicant may be eligible for section 95 support, and Case Owners must supply the applicant with a Asylum Support application form (NASS1) for this purpose. See the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support for further information on the review process.

Decision outcome
JR application made in England and Wales or Northern Ireland Permission to proceed/leave granted Grant support. 1st review after 4 weeks or the hearing date (whichever is earlier). Awaiting permission to proceed/leave decision Refuse support until permission to proceed/leave has been granted unless there is a court order ordering the support of the applicant. The letter must reflect that the applicant will be supported pursuant to a court order (and not under section 4 because they are destitute and satisfy one or more of the conditions in regulations 3(2)). Permission to proceed/leave refused Assess application against other criteria and evidence supplied by the applicant. If not eligible, refuse support with a right of appeal under s103 of the 1999 Act. Judicial review concluded If the applicant is successful and granted status, support must be discontinued after 28 days. If the case is referred to the UK Border Agency or AIT to be reconsidered, the applicant may be eligible for section 95 support. Case Owners must provide the applicant with a Asylum Support Application Form 22

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(NASS1) inviting them to apply, if required. If the applicant is unsuccessful, their eligibility for section 4 support must be reviewed.

Application made in Scotland Judicial review application recorded Grant support 1st review after 4 weeks or the hearing date (whichever is earlier). No record of application Refuse support after considering other criteria, with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act. Judicial review concluded

If the supported person is successful and granted status, support must be discontinued after 28 days after leave is granted. If the case is referred to the UK Border Agency or the AIT to be reconsidered, the applicant may be eligible for section 95 support. Case Owners must provide the supported person with a Asylum Support Application Form (NASS1) inviting them to apply, if required. If the supported person is unsuccessful, their eligibility for section 4 support must be reviewed.

The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

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Is support necessary for the purpose of avoiding a breach of a persons ECHR rights?
Under regulation 3(2)(e) of the 2005 Regulations, if the applicant is not eligible for support under the other criteria under regulations 3(2), Case Owners must consider whether support under section 4 is necessary in order to avoid a breach of a persons ECHR rights. Case Owners must consider applications for support under regulation 3(2)(e) on a case-by-case basis. It is for the applicant to provide evidence that a refusal to provide support would be a breach of a persons ECHR rights. If the applicant is not eligible for support under the other criteria under regulations 3(2), and the application contains information which indicates that support under section 4 may be necessary in order to avoid a breach of the applicants ECHR rights, but there is insufficient evidence to make a decision on eligibility under regulation 3(2)(e), Case Owners may request further information in writing relating to the application, allowing 14 days for the applicant to provide a response. If the applicant does not provide the requested information, and there is no evidence that they satisfy any of the other eligibility criteria, Case Owners must refuse section 4 support. An important consideration is whether the applicant can be expected to leave the UK to avoid a breach. It would not be reasonable to expect a person to leave the UK in the following circumstances (this list is not exhaustive): The applicant has submitted a late appeal against the Secretary of States decision to refuse asylum and the AIT is considering whether to allow the appeal to proceed out of time. The applicant has submitted to the Secretary of State further submissions which are outstanding. Support under section 4 may be provided in such cases, if there is or will be a delay in serving a decision on these further submissions, unless it is clear that the further submissions are manifestly unfounded, or merely repeat the previous grounds or do not disclose any claim for asylum at all.

These are examples only. Other circumstances may also give rise to a breach and Case Owners must consider each case on its own facts. See the AI on Considering Human Rights Claim for further information. Where it would not be reasonable to expect the applicant to leave the UK and Case Owners consider that refusing support would breach a persons ECHR rights, Case Owners must grant section 4 support. The review period will be determined by the reason why the applicant cannot leave the UK (i.e. the basis on which support was granted) and the date by when the barrier is likely to be resolved, or a three-month period, whichever is earlier. See the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support for further information on the review process.

Further Submissions
With effect from 14th October 2009, applicants whose case is being managed by the Case Resolution Directorate (CRD) will be required to make any further submissions by appointment and in person at the Liverpool Further Submissions Unit. With effect from 14th October 2009, those whose case is being managed by a regional asylum team will be required to make any further submissions in person at a specified reporting centre in their region. This does not apply Uncontrolled if printed 24

to further submissions submitted before 14th October 2009. For further information on the valid submission of further submissions, refer to the Further Submissions AI. If an applicant submits an application for section 4 on the solely on the basis that he/she has further submissions outstanding, the Case Owner must assess the further submissions before the application for section 4 is considered. If for some reason there must be a justifiable delay in serving a decision on the further submissions which can be justified to a senior manager of Grade 7 level or above, Case Owners must consider whether not granting section 4 support would breach the applicants ECHR rights (see R (on the application of AW) v London Borough of Croydon and other [2005] EWHC 2950 (Admin) paragraph 69).

No delay in the consideration of further submissions If there is not a delay in serving a decision on the further submissions, Case Owners must act as follows: If the further submissions result in a grant of leave to remain, Case Owners must refuse section 4 support as the applicant will not be a failed asylum seeker. If the further submissions are accepted as constituting a fresh asylum or Article 3 application, and the applicant is given a right of appeal against that decision, Case Owners must refuse section 4 support and advise the applicant that he/she may be eligible for asylum support provided under section 95 of the 1999 Act, and provide him/her with a Asylum Support Application Form (NASS1) for that purpose. For further information on the provision of support under section 95, refer to Policy Bulletin 73: Provision of Initial Accommodation and the Eligibility and the Assessment of Asylum Support AI. If the further submissions are rejected, or accepted as a fresh asylum or Article 3 application but certified under section 96 of the 2002 Act, Case Owners should refuse section 4 support unless the applicant is eligible for support on another basis. If the application for support is refused, the refusal letter should notify the applicant that if he/she believes that he/she is eligible for section 4 support on another basis he/she has the opportunity to re-apply for section 4 support. The applicant should either be directed towards the full policy criteria which set out the circumstances under which section 4 support is normally provided, or the full policy criteria should be enclosed. For further information on certification under section 96, refer to the One-Stop Procedure Immigration Directorate Instruction.

Section 4 applications submitted before the date of a pre-booked further submission appointment In these cases, if an applicant submits an application for support under regulation 3(2)(e) on the basis of outstanding further submissions: while an appointment to submit the further submissions has been arranged, but before the date of the appointment, if the applicant does not qualify for section 4 support on other grounds, a final decision on the section 4 application should be delayed until a decision is made on the further submissions.

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If there is a delay in serving a decision on the further submissions, Case Owners should refer to Delay in the consideration of further submissions. In the event the applicant has applied for section 4 support on other grounds in addition to his/her section 4 application on the basis of outstanding further submissions, the Case Owner should not delay evaluating eligibility on the other grounds: If the applicant is assessed as being eligible for section 4 support on other grounds, an offer of section 4 support should immediately be made, advising the applicant the criteria under which he/she will be supported. The letter should also set out why the applicant has not been granted section 4 support on the basis of outstanding further submissions. If the applicant is assessed as being in-eligible for section 4 support on other grounds, a final decision on the section 4 application should be delayed until a decision is made on the further submissions.

No further submissions outstanding nor appointment booked to submit further submissions If an applicant has applied for section 4 support on the basis of outstanding further submissions, but he/she: does not have further submissions outstanding, and in the event the applicant is required to submit further submissions at a pre-arranged appointment, he/she does not have an appointment to submit the further submissions arranged, the section 4 application must be refused unless the applicant is eligible for support on another basis. The refusal letter should notify the applicant that if he/she believes that he/she is eligible for section 4 support on another basis he/she has the opportunity to re-apply for section 4 support. The applicant should either be directed towards the full policy criteria which set out the circumstances under which section 4 support is normally provided, or the full policy criteria should be enclosed.

Delay in the consideration of further submissions If for some exceptional reason there will be a delay in serving a decision on the further submissions, the Case Owner should consider whether the applicant is eligible for support under regulation 3(2)(e). It should be assessed whether the applicants ECHR rights would be breached if it were not for the provision of support. Support will not be granted if it is clear that the further submissions are manifestly unfounded, or merely repeat the previous grounds or do not disclose any claim for asylum at all. If the applicant is granted support on the basis of outstanding further submissions, subject to remaining destitute and continuing to satisfy the conditions of support, as set out under regulation 6(2) of the 2005 Regulations, his/her support is expected to continue until the UK Border Agency makes a decision on the further submissions. But Case Owners should expect to be able to justify the continued failure to get the further submissions resolved to senior managers of Grade 7 level or above.

Decision outcome

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Convention right would be breached Grant support. Review period dependent on the reason (but no longer than 3-month interval).

Convention right would not be breached Assess application against other criteria and evidence supplied by the applicant. If not eligible, refuse support with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

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Refusing support
If an application for section 4 support is unsuccessful, or if section 4 is initially granted but later discontinued, the applicant has a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act to the Firsttier Tribunal, Asylum Support. If the appeal is dismissed, the applicant will not be able to remain in accommodation provided by the UK Border Agency and will be required to support themselves until they leave or are removed from the UK, unless they subsequently become entitled to section 4 support because of a material change in circumstances. Refusal Letters Grounds for refusal
Destitution Failing to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK Unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason No viable route of return Judicial review of a decision in relation to asylum claim

Letters
Refusal Letter Destitution

Refusal Letter No Application for AVR

Refusal Letter Physical Impediment to Travel Refusal Letter No viable route of return Refusal Letter JR Permission to Proceed/Leave Refused Refusal Letter No Application Recorded (Scotland) Refusal Letter Further Representations

Convention rights Refusal Letter Human Rights

There is one main refusal letter, which is stored on ASYS. The Support Staff must select the correct optional text, relating to the refusal decision, for Case Owners to review and agree. A regulation 3(2)(a) refusal letter can be accessed on Horizon, to be used if the application for support is being refused on the basis that the applicant has previously been supported under regulation 3(2)(a). The Support Staff must prompt the Case Owner to review the reporting or other contact management requirements. The section 4 refusal letter: Explains that the applicant will not receive accommodation or any other form of support. Explains that the applicant has three working days to exercise their right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, Asylum Support under section 103 of the 1999 Act, and includes a copy of the section 4 appeal form. Promotes AVR. Explains the continued reporting or other contact management requirements. Explains that the applicant must continue to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK or place themselves in a position in which they are able to leave the UK.

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Arrange for the refusal letter to be served on the applicant and their representative as soon as possible - by fax or 1st class post or in person. Include a Tribunals Service Asylum Support Notice of Appeal Form and envelope. Prepare for a possible appeal, if required See Asylum Support Appeals for further information. Update ASYS and CID.

The Support Staff must always minute ASYS and CID. Example ASYS minute: Application from applicant dated dd/mm/yy, requesting support under section 4. Applicant is requesting support because (select criteria stated). Application refused (insert reasons for refusal). Letter served on the applicant on dd/mm/yy. Case Owners name, location and telephone number. The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

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Granting support
The Secretary of State may make support to failed asylum seekers and their dependants subject to one or more of the conditions set out in regulation 6(2) of the 2005 Regulations, provided that they are set out in a notice to the person in writing. One such condition is that the applicant must reside at an authorised address and not be absent without permission for more than seven consecutive days and nights or for no more than a total of 14 days and nights in any six-month period. If the application for section 4 support is successful, the supported person may be required to move to new accommodation, which may not necessarily be in the area where they currently live. If the supported person is provided with full board accommodation, all meals and essential toiletries will be provided for them by the accommodation provider and the supported person will not receive support by the way of the payment card. If the supported person is provided with self-catering accommodation, they will receive a payment card for the purchase of food and essential toiletries which may be exchanged at designated shops close to that accommodation.

The section 4 grant letter: Explains the decision and when support will be reviewed. Explains that accommodation will be provided. Explains how support will be provided by full board accommodation or accommodation and a payment card. Sets out the conditions on which support is granted. Explains the supported persons ongoing duty to comply with the asylum process. Explains the implications of breaching these conditions. Explains the continued reporting or other contact management requirements. Promotes AVR, where appropriate.

The Support Staff must: Arrange for the grant decision to be served on the applicant and their representative as soon as possible - by fax or 1st class post or in person. Liaise with the Section 4 Accommodation Team to arrange accommodation. Diarise the dates for the review of support (by setting up a new task in tab 9 on ASYS). Update ASYS with details of the section 4 support. Update CID.

Section 4 grant letters will be created on ASYS when the necessary changes to the system have been made. In the meantime, the Support Staff must select the appropriate letter below, for Case Owners to review and agree. Uncontrolled if printed 30

Grant Letters Grounds for grant The applicant is taking steps to leave the UK Letters Grant Letter VARRP Grant Letter Taking steps to leave

The applicant is unable to leave the UK

Grant letter No Viable Route of Return Grant letter Pregnancy Grant letter Medical

Judicial Review, or grant of Grant Letter Judicial Review interim support by Court Grant Letter Court Order order Grant Letter Human Rights (other) Grant Letter Human Rights (fresh claim) Grant Letter Human Rights (late appeal)

Human rights grounds

You must ensure that the contact details are correct in all letters. Grant letters can be found on Horizon. The Support Staff must always minute ASYS and CID: Example ASYS minute: Application from applicant dated dd/mm/yy, requesting support under section 4. Applicant is requesting support because (select criteria stated). Application approved (insert reasons for grant). Letter served on the applicant on dd/mm/yy. Application form passed to the travel team to arrange travel/accommodation (where appropriate). Case Owners name, location and telephone number. Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

Accommodating applicants
The applicant has 14 days from the service of the grant letter to take up the support. The Support Staff must ensure that the diary is updated to reflect this deadline. There is some flexibility to this deadline, but it will be up to the Case Owners or the Accommodation Teams discretion as to when to agree a delayed acceptance or when to require a second application for support to be submitted. Dispersal arrangements An applicant granted section 4 support may be required to move to new accommodation in another area. Accommodation will not be provided in London/South East unless there are compelling, compassionate circumstances (see the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin on Uncontrolled if printed 31

Dispersal). Where applicants live outside London/South East, Case Owners must, where possible, arrange for section 4 accommodation within the same region. If the applicant has submitted medical evidence that may impact on the section 4 dispersal location or the nature of the property allocated, advice on the dispersal of the applicant can be obtained from the Asylum Support Medical Adviser (ASMA). The ASMA will advise on the general availability of medical treatment in particular regions, the applicants fitness to travel to section 4 accommodation, and the nature of any accommodation to be provided. ASYS must be updated when the supported person moves into new accommodation. The Support Staff must refer to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications for guidance.

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Section 4 appeals
A person whose application for support under section 4 is rejected, or whose support under section 4 is discontinued for a reason other than their departure from the UK, has a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, Asylum Support (Tribunal) if the decision to refuse or discontinue support was taken on or after 31 March 2005. See the Asylum Support Policy Bulletin on Asylum Support Appeals for further information on the asylum support appeal process. Where a decision is taken to discontinue support under section 4 and the supported person appeals to the Tribunal, as long as the Tribunal accept the appeal within the discontinuation period (the 14 day period after which the supported person must leave the section 4 property) support should continue until the appeal has been heard. A fax should be sent to the accommodation provider informing them that an appeal is pending and that support will continue until the outcome of the appeal is known. If support has already been discontinued and as a result the supported person has moved out of section 4 accommodation, support will not be reinstated on the basis that the Tribunal have accepted a late appeal.

Appeal outcomes
If the outcome of an appeal to the Tribunal is for support to be granted or restarted, Case Owners must ensure that support is granted or restarted as soon as possible following receipt of the Tribunal determination (whether received at the hearing or by fax).

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Review of support
Section 4 support is subject to a review process to ensure that only those supported persons who remain eligible are supported. Section 4 cases must be reviewed by Case Owners on a regular basis, including normally: After two weeks, where the supported person has yet to register for AVR and is supported on the basis that they are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK. Six weeks after the supported person has registered for AVR, and again after a further six weeks. (Support would not normally be discontinued until three months have elapsed, as normally a person remains approved for AVR for three months and supported persons can normally leave the UK within this time if they co-operate fully with Refugee Action - Choices). Six weeks from the EDD (or birth where we have been notified of the date) in the case of pregnant mothers. As advised in the Medical Declaration, where the supported person is unable to leave the UK by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason.

In all other cases review periods must be set as appropriate (but normally at no longer than three-month intervals). If Case Owners become aware of a change in the supported persons circumstances that may make them ineligible for section 4 support, Case Owners must make necessary enquiries and take action appropriate to the change in circumstances. See the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support for further information on the review process.

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Repeat applications
If a person who has previously applied for section 4 support makes a subsequent application, Case Owners must be satisfied that the person meets the eligibility criteria set out in Is the applicant eligible for support under section 4(2) above. If an application for support under section 4 is a repeat application, it will be considered on its individual merits. But, if there has been no material change in the persons circumstances since support was last refused or discontinued, it is likely that Case Owners will come to the same conclusion on the same set of facts as they did at that time.

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Breach of support conditions


The provision of section 4 support is subject to conditions imposed under regulation 6(2) of the 2005 Regulations, providing the conditions have been set out to the person in a notice in writing (the grant letter). Support may be discontinued if Case Owners consider that any of these conditions have been breached without reasonable explanation. Regulation 6(2) specifies that conditions may relate to compliance with: Specified standards of behaviour. Reporting requirements. A requirement to reside at an authorised address, and not be absent without permission for more than seven consecutive days and nights or more than a total of 14 days and nights in a six-month period. Specified steps to facilitate departure from the UK.

The standard conditions for section 4 support are set out in the section 4 application form. They apply to the supported person and any dependant. They must: Comply with standards of behaviour specified by the accommodation provider, for example in an occupancy agreement, and they must not commit acts of antisocial or violent behaviour. Comply with any reporting requirement. Reside at the accommodation provided and must not be absent without permission from the accommodation for more than seven consecutive days and nights or for more than a total of 14 days and nights in a six-month period. Comply with specified steps to facilitate their departure from the UK. They are required to comply with attempts to return them to their country of origin, and to take all reasonable steps to obtain travel documents to facilitate their departure. (If they are eligible for section 4 support because of a judicial review, or because they have submitted further representations or made an out-of-time appeal to the AIT, continued support will not be subject to this condition).

Case Owners may become aware of a breach of conditions on information received from, among others, an accommodation provider, the police or UK Border Agency Intelligence. Case Owners must give the supported person the opportunity to explain the alleged breach of conditions before discontinuing support. Case Owners must write to the supported person detailing the alleged breach, and the consequences of breaching section 4 support conditions, and inviting the supported person to provide an explanation. A copy of this letter should be sent to the supported persons representative. In deciding whether the supported person has breached a condition of support without reasonable explanation, Case Owners must consider all the available information. In the circumstances set out below, Case Owners may decide that a condition of support has been breached. Uncontrolled if printed 36

Complying with specified standards of behaviour regulation 6(2)(a)


The accommodation provider or police must provide written evidence that the supported person has committed an act of antisocial or violent behaviour. Alternatively, the accommodation provider must provide written evidence that the supported person has committed a breach of the specified standards of behaviour, for example those set out in an occupancy agreement.

Reporting requirements regulation 6(2)(b)


Under regulation 6(2)(b) of the 2005 Regulations the provision of section 4 support may be subject to the condition that the supported person complies with reporting requirements, if this condition is set out in a notice to that person in writing. If the supported person has a reporting regime, but he/she fails to report without providing a reasonable explanation, he/she will be considered not to have complied with reporting requirements. If a failed asylum seeker fails to attend a reporting event as specified in his/her IS96 form, which outlines his/her contact management requirements, Case Owners must follow the process specified in the Failure to Report and Absconders AI. What is accepted as a reasonable explanation for failing to attend reporting events is set out in section 10.4 of the Failure to Report & Absconders AI.

Section 4 breach of conditions action following failure to report Following a failure to report without reasonable explanation, the Case Owner should immediately start the section 4 support failure to report process: 1. Issuing a failure to report warning letter - A failure to report warning letter should be sent to the supported person and to his/her representative (if represented). The letter should inform the supported person that his/her section 4 support may be discontinued if he/she fails to attend the next reporting event (two consecutive events) without providing a reasonable explanation for failure to report, and if the supported person has a reasonable explanation for failing to attend the previous reporting event, he/she should provide evidence of this within 7 calendar days. The letter should enclose a copy of the failure to report notification form(s) (ISE 343) and a copy of the latest IS96.

2. Action to be taken following the issuing of a failure to report warning letter If the supported person subsequently attends the next reporting event, no further asylum support breach of conditions action is required. If the supported person subsequently provides a reasonable explanation for missing the previous reporting event, but subsequently fails to attend the following reporting event without providing a reasonable explanation, the Case Owner should issue another failure to report warning letter (see action 1 above). If the supported person fails to report for two consecutive events without providing a reasonable explanation for either reporting failure, he/she will be considered to be in breach of regulation 6(2)(b): failure to comply with reporting requirements, and the Case Owner should consider discontinuing section 4 support. The decision to discontinue Uncontrolled if printed 37

support is a discretion, not a duty, so the discretion must always be exercised reasonably in accordance with public law principles. If a decision is made to discontinue support, a discontinuation letter should be sent to the supported person and to his/her representative (if represented) with a 14 calendar day discontinuation period. The letter should enclose a copy of the failure to report notification forms (ISE 343) and a copy of the latest IS96. If during the 14 calendar day discontinuation period, the supported person subsequently provides a reasonable explanation for failing to attend the previous reporting event, section 4 support should be made available again. A First Tier Tribunal - Asylum Support appeal form should also be enclosed with the discontinuation letter as the decision to discontinue section 4 support will trigger a right of appeal under section 103(2A) of the1999 Act. In cases where the supported person is defined as an absconder, Case Owners should also consider whether the supported person has complied with regulation 6(2)(c), by residing at the authorised address and not being absent without permission from the accommodation for more than seven consecutive days and nights or for more than a total of 14 days and nights in a sixmonth period. Refer to Failure to reside at the authorised address or unauthorised absence for further information. Any proposed discontinuation of support to families with children should be made with reference to Discontinuation of support to families with children

Increasing reporting frequency In all cases where a supported person fails to report, a closer contact management regime should be considered, e.g. increasing the reporting regime to weekly reporting or pastoral visits.

Failure to reside at the authorised address or unauthorised absence regulation 6(2)(c)


The supported person must reside at the authorised address to continue to receive section 4 support. Additionally they must not be absent without Case Owner or Case Owner permission for more than seven consecutive days and nights, or for more than a total of 14 days and nights in a six-month period. Case Owners must maintain close contact with the accommodation provider to ensure that the supported person is not in breach of this condition. Case Owners may request excerpts from the accommodation providers occupancy register, but must also consider increased pastoral visits, where Case Owners suspect that the supported person may be in breach of this condition. Where Case Owners decide to discontinue section 4 support for breach of this condition, the testimony of other residents and/or the accommodation provider may be used to support the decision. Before discontinuing support under this condition, Case Owners must give the supported person the opportunity to explain their absence. Case Owners must write to the supported person, setting out: That there is evidence to suggest that they are in breach of this condition, and any specific absences, with dates (where available). That the supported person must explain why they were absent. Uncontrolled if printed 38

That section 4 support may be discontinued if the supported person does not continue to reside at the authorised address, or fails to provide a reasonable explanation for their absence. That the supported person will no longer be allowed to stay in the accommodation, if support is discontinued. The supported persons right of appeal, should support be discontinued. A reminder of their duty to comply with any conditions placed on their continued stay in the UK.

If the supported person does not reply or provide a reasonable explanation If the supported person does not reply or provide a reasonable explanation, Case Owners may infer that the supported person has no reasonable explanation. The Support Staff must prepare a letter discontinuing support to be served on the supported person at the next reporting event or by post at the last known address. The Support Staff must fax a copy of the letter and any interview record to the supported persons representative. If the supported person provides an explanation Case Owners must decide whether, in view of the supported persons explanation, it would be unreasonable to discontinue support. For example: The supported person alleges that they have been subject to harassment, or other unacceptable behaviour While Case Owners may require the supported person to provide evidence of this, it would be unreasonable to discontinue support in the meantime. Case Owners may also consider finding alternative accommodation for the supported person, which may improve their circumstances. The supported person has been staying with friends or family Case Owners must check whether there is a specific reason for the supported person staying with them the supported persons ill-health, for example or whether the friends or family can support the supported person. If the absence was temporary and intended to be temporary, it would be unreasonable for Case Owners to discontinue support. However, where friends or family have the capacity to support the supported person, they may not be destitute and Case Owners may discontinue section 4 support.

Where the supported person has been absent from their designated address, other than whilst in hospital, it may be reasonable for Case Owners to assume that someone else has been supporting them. If Case Owners reasonably believe that this alternative support may continue, it would be reasonable to discontinue section 4 support. This list is not exhaustive and Case Owners must decide whether a supported person is in breach of this condition on a case-by-case basis.

Complying with specified steps to facilitate departure regulation 6(2)(d)


It is a condition of support that the supported person complies with specified steps to facilitate his/her departure from the UK, providing that this condition have been set out to the person in a notice in writing. This includes complying with attempts to return him/her to his/her country of origin and all reasonable steps to obtain travel documents. Uncontrolled if printed 39

Case Owners must decide when it is appropriate to issue a notice of steps with which a supported person must comply, dependant on the supported persons individual circumstances. It would not be appropriate to apply this condition to specify the following steps to facilitate departure in the following scenarios: If the supported persons eligibility arises from a judicial review, further submissions or an out-of-time appeal, where he/she has expressed a fear of persecution by the state of his/her country of origin, it would not be appropriate to require the supported person to directly liaise with authorities representing his/her country of origin. If the supported person is in receipt of support due to being unable to leave the United Kingdom by reason of a physical impediment to travel or for some other medical reason, if the medical condition temporarily impacts on the supported person ability to travel within the UK, it may limit the distance in which the supported person can be expected to travel to undertake steps to facilitate his/her departure.

This list is not exhaustive and Case Owners must decide what specified steps are appropriate on a case-by-case basis. Case Owners must notify the supported person in writing of the steps he/she is required to take, setting a deadline for when this must be completed. The deadline must be appropriate to the specified step the supported person is expected to complete. For example, if the completion of the specified step requires the supported person to attend a documentation interview at his/her Embassy or High Commission, the deadline should take in to account the expected time taken to arrange and attend the interview, and if appropriate, the expected time taken for the supported person to apply for and, if eligible, for the provision, of an applicable additional service or facility under the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Services or Facilities) Regulations 2007 (the 2007 Regulations), to enable him/her to arrange and attend the interview. For further information on the provision of additional services or facilities under the 2007 Regulations, refer to Additional Services or Facilities under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 AI. Where a supported person does not fully comply with these, Case Owners may decide that he/she no longer continues to meet the conditions of support. For example: The supported person did not attend a documentation interview at their Embassy or High Commission. The supported person has not submitted the required documents for ISDU to submit an ETD application. The supported person is subject to an ongoing investigation or prosecution under section 35 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 for not complying with the documentation process. The supported person failed to attend an appointment or interview with UK Border Agency officers without a reasonable explanation pertaining to the obtaining of travel documentation.

This list is not exhaustive and Case Owners must decide whether a supported person is in breach of this condition on a case-by-case basis. If Case Owners decide that the supported person is not complying with the steps specified, they should consider discontinuing section 4 support.

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If specified steps to facilitate departure have been stipulated, but the supported person encounters real difficulties in completing the specified steps, it is the responsibility of the supported person to immediately notify his/her Case Owner. If on the deadline for the completion of the specified step to facilitate departure from the UK, the specified step(s) has not been completed, nor reasonable explanation provided for having failed to do so, a warning letter must be sent to the supported person. The letter must inform the supported person that he/she has not complied with this condition, requesting that he/she within an appropriate deadline either complies with the specified steps to facilitate departure from the UK, or provides a reasonable explanation with supporting evidence (if viable) of why this could not be done. As specified above, the deadline must be appropriate to the specified step the supported person is expected to complete. The supported person should be warned that a decision may be taken to discontinue support if he/she breaches this condition of support. If following the issuing of the warning letter: The supported person complies with the specified step(s) to facilitate departure: The provision of support should continue, and a decision should be made as to whether further steps to facilitate departure should be set out in a notice to the supported person. The supported person fails to comply and does not provide satisfactory explanation for having failed to do so: The Case Owner should consider whether it would be appropriate to discontinue section 4 support with a 14 calendar day discontinuation period. If the potential discontinuation regards a family with children, Case Owners should refer to Discontinuation of support to families with children before making a decision on whether it is appropriate to discontinue section 4 support. The supported person provides a satisfactory explanation for why he/she was unable to undertake the specified steps to facilitate departure: The Case Owner should assess whether: o the specified steps to facilitate departure remain appropriate; o it would be reasonable to extend the deadline for the completion of the specified step; o it would be appropriate to provide assistance in overcoming any real difficulties the supported person may have in obtaining documentation.

Reasonable explanation If the supported person is unable to undertake a specified step to facilitate his/her departure from the UK, a reasonable explanation for having failed to comply might, for example, include: An illness (supported persons own or dependants) prevented him/her from undertaking the specified step The supported person is required to supply evidence from their GP or other treating medical practitioner, clearly stating the reason why they were unable to undertake the specified step. The eligibility criteria under which the supported person qualifies for section 4 support, has been changed to one where it would not be appropriate to apply the specified step as a condition for the continued provision of accommodation.

Explanations for failing to undertake specified steps to facilitate departure from the UK should not normally be accepted if after the specified barrier ceased to apply, the supported person could have reasonably been expected to undertake the specified step before the deadline.

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Where the Case Owner is unsure or would like further advice on whether an explanation provided constitutes a reasonable explanation or whether the supporting evidence provided is satisfactory, they must contact their Senior Caseworker.

The supported person is found to be in breach of conditions


Where Case Owners are satisfied that the supported person has breached a condition of their section 4 support without reasonable explanation, the Support Staff must prepare a letter to the supported person for Case Owners to review and approve. This must set out: That the supported person is in breach of their section 4 support conditions. The breach for which the support is to be discontinued, and any specific evidence of it. That their section 4 support will be discontinued and that they will no longer be entitled to reside in their current accommodation. The supported persons right of appeal and how to appeal. The supported persons duty to comply with any conditions placed on their continued stay in the UK.

Discontinuation of support to families with children When considering whether to discontinue the provision of support under section 4 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 to families with minors, the course of action taken must be consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, to ensure that the decision has regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the UK. If a decision is being made as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support to a family with children as a result of a breach of the conditions of support as set out under regulation 6 of the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005, if the family are assessed as being destitute if it were not for the provision of the aforesaid support, the UK Border Agency must take in to account the impact of any decision on the family before proceeding. Any decision as to whether it is appropriate to discontinue support must be proportionate to the situation. If the breach was minor, such as failing to report, it may not be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support. If however, the breach was extremely serious, such as extreme violence or vandalism, it may be appropriate to discontinue support. When making decisions as to whether it would be appropriate to discontinue support, Case Owners should consult their Senior Caseworker before proceeding. If the discontinuation of support is appropriate, the Case Owners should take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children. Before any action is taken to begin the process to discontinue support, the Case Owner should liaise with the local authority, notifying them that the UK Border Agency plans to discontinue support from the family, and request that the local authority provides alternative support. If the local authority makes an offer of support, the provision of support under section 4 should be discontinued as soon as the family transfers in to local authority care. If the UK Border Agency considers that the supported family are eligible for support provided by the local authority, but the local authority refuses to provide support, the provision of asylum support must be maintained until the local authority provides support. Uncontrolled if printed 42

If a decision is taken that it would be appropriate to discontinue the provision of support to a family with children, the discontinuation letter should explain why the decision is consistent with the UK Border Agencys obligations under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

Summary and decision outcome


In summary, Case Owners must: Send a breach of conditions letter requesting an explanation to be submitted formally in writing. Consider whether to discontinue support once an explanation has been received or the supported person has not responded to the request. Send a decision letter (continuing support with warning if appropriate or discontinuing). If discontinuing support, include a Tribunals Service Asylum Support Notice of Appeal Form and envelope. Copy the letter to the supported persons representative. Liaise with the accommodation provider (via the Section 4 Accommodation Team). Where appropriate, liaise with the police to obtain a crime number and check whether the supported person has had any previous complaints made against them.

For further information on discontinuing support, refer to the AI on Reviewing Section 4 support.

Supported person responds


Explanation accepted Explanation rejected

Supported person does not respond Case Owner may decide there has been a breach and discontinue support, with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

Section 4 support continues. Review period as appropriate (but no longer than 3-month interval).

Discontinue section 4 support with a right of appeal under section 103 of the 1999 Act.

The Support Staff must record the decision on ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manual on Section 4 Applications and Section 4 Discontinuation Tool for guidance.

Accommodation providers
On discontinuing section 4 support, Case Owners must inform the accommodation provider of that decision. Case Owners must confirm this in writing to the accommodation provider instructing that an eviction notice be served on the supported person, ordinarily giving them no less than seven days to vacate the accommodation. This notice must be in accordance with any occupancy agreement. Case Owners must consider with Case Owners whether to review the supported persons contact management regime.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 16.0 17.0 18.0 19.0 20.0 Authors MO SK SK SM SK SM SM SM SM SM SM SM SM SM SM DT DT JL SM SM Date 19/04/07 17/05/07 21/06/07 26/03/08 21/05/08 29/10/08 24/03/08 04/06/09 11/06/09 07/07/09 09/07/09 11/09/09 02/10/09 09/10/09 19/11/09 07/04/10 08/04/10 26/11/10 14/04/11 14/06/11 Change Reference Published Correction of Grant letter Human Rights (fresh claim). Process amendment. Process amendment. Reps to be copied in to letters sent to SU. Re-branding Amendment to destitution guidance Limiting AVR to one opportunity Bail section removed due to the introduction of a S4 Bail AI on 15/06/09 Amendment to 3(2)(a) policy Medical Declaration Introduced Instruction added to enclose TSAS envelopes with refusals Childrens Duty paragraphs added Regulation 3(2)(e) section amended to reflect new further submissions process. Clarification of further submissions procedure Reference to voucher deleted and payment card added. Regulation 6 (2) (d) expanded. Change to Failure to Report Policy Change of AVR provider Amendment to specified steps guidance

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CEASING ASYLUM SUPPORT


Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Legislation 3. Asylum Support 3.1 Grace Periods 3.2 Right of Appeal 3.3 Section 4 Support 3.4 Supported Persons Whose Household Includes a Dependent Child Under the age of 18 3.5 Women Who Give Birth Around the Time that their Support Ends 3.6 High Court Injunctions 3.7 One Stop Service 4. Updating ASYS/Serving Decision 5. Applicants Granted Leave to Enter/Remain in the UK 5.1 Termination letter to the applicant (NASS 61) 5.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 63) 5.3 Notification to the Accommodation Provider (NASS 64) 5.4 Letter to the DWP (NASS 35) 6. Asylum/Article 3 Application Refused Outright 6.1 No Appeal 6.2 Appeal 6.3 Late Appeals 6.3.1 Warning letter to the applicant (NASS 60) 6.3.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 62) 6.3.3 Notification to the accommodation provider (NASS 64) 7. Withdrawn Asylum Claims 7.1 Warning letter to the applicant (NASS 60) 7.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 62) 7.3 Notification to the Accommodation Provider (NASS 64) 8. No Longer Destitute 8.1 Suspension of Support 8.2 Terminating Support 8.3 Right of Appeal 8.4 Overpayments Uncontrolled if printed

9. No Longer in the UK 9.1 Applicant Leaves with UKBA Assistance 9.2 Applicant Leaves UK without UKBA Knowledge 9.3 Terminating Support 9.3.1 Warning letter to the applicant (NASS 60) 9.3.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 62) 9.3.3 Notification to the accommodation provider (NASS 64) 10. Overpayments 11. Application for Support to be Reinstated 11.1 Reinstatement table Glossary

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1. Introduction
This instruction is for all officers that manage asylum support cases. The instruction sets out how to cease support following a decision that affects an applicants immigration status i.e. a grant or refusal of leave to enter or remain or the withdrawal of an asylum claim. In addition the instruction covers ceasing support where the applicant is no longer destitute following a change in their circumstances for example, the applicant is granted permission to work, is detained or removed. It provides instructions on calculating overpayments and the action that should be taken if overpayments are made. This instruction also sets out the procedure for considering applications for support to be reinstated.

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2. Legislation
The key provisions relating to support for asylum seekers are set out in Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. For support purposes an asylum seeker is defined at section 94 of the Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999. Section 95(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 defines when an applicant is deemed to be destitute. Section 94(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 defines when a claim for asylum is determined. Regulations 2(2) and 2(2A) of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000, as amended by regulation 3 of the Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2002 prescribe the relevant grace periods. Section 103(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, states if the Secretary of State decides to stop providing support for a person under section 95 before that support would otherwise have come to an end, that person may appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. Overpayments made as a result of an error by the Secretary of State may be recovered under the provisions of section 114 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. All other overpayment cases are recoverable le under section 112 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, (Part VI) through the County Court (or in Scotland the Sheriff). Section 112 outlines a power to recover money where a person has misrepresented or failed to disclose a material fact and support was provided under section 95 or 98 as a consequence. Regulation 4 of the Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/11) which came into effect on 5th February 2005 inserted paragraph 17A into the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. This provides that the Secretary of State may require a supported person to refund asylum support if it transpires that he was not destitute at any time during which Asylum Support was being provided for him. The same requirement can be applied in cases where the dependants of the supported person were not destitute, at a time when he or they were being provided with asylum support. If this refund is not paid within a reasonable period, it can be recovered from the supported person as if it were a debt due to the Secretary of State.

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3. Asylum Support
For the purposes of asylum support, a claim for asylum means: a claim that it would be contrary to the UKs obligations under the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) for him to be removed from, or required to leave, the UK If an applicant no longer has an undetermined claim for asylum, or an undetermined claim under Human Rights Act (HRA) Article 3 or an appeal pending,

he ceases to be eligible for support under the provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. A claim for asylum is determined at the end of a period of either 21 or 28 days beginning: on the day on which the Secretary of State notifies the applicant of his decision on the claim; or if the applicant has appealed against the Secretary of States decision, on the day on which the appeal is disposed of.

The day on which the Secretary of State notifies the applicant in writing of his decision is the day the applicant receives his decision. If the decision is sent by First Class post and addressed to the representative or to the asylum seekers last known address, the decision is deemed to have been received on the second day after the day on which it was posted by the UK Border Agency. An appeal is disposed of when it is no longer pending for the purposes of the Immigration Acts. An appeal is pending during the period beginning when it is instituted and ending when it is finally determined, withdrawn or abandoned. An appeal is finally determined when an application for reconsideration can no longer be made to the High Court under section 103(A)1 or an application can no longer be made to appeal on a point of law to the Court of Appeal under section 103B or 103E of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, as amended by the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004. If neither party appeal against the first appeal determination, the appeal is finally determined 5 working days after the determination is deemed to have been served. If the determination is further appealed, the Tribunal will determine whether there is an error of law. If the Tribunal finds there is an error of law the appeal will be sent back to the AIT to reconsider. Once this appeal is determined either party have 10 working days to further appeal the determination to the Court of Appeal. If no further appeal is lodged the appellant is deemed to have exhausted his/her appeal rights. 3.1 Grace Periods Applicants are entitled to receive asylum support for a prescribed period after they have been notified of the decision on their asylum application or after the day on which their appeal is disposed of (see section 94(3)(B) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999). This gives applicants the opportunity to make arrangements for additional accommodation and support or Uncontrolled if printed

to make arrangements for their departure from the UK. For support purposes, an applicant ceases to be an asylum seeker after the prescribed period ends. The prescribed periods are: 28 days when the Secretary of State notifies the claimant of the decision to accept the asylum claim or the appeal is disposed of by being allowed (30 days if the decision is served by post). 21 days in any other case.

There is no legislative power to provide support beyond the 21 or 28 day prescribed period. Therefore, support must be ceased at the end of the prescribed period. However, in cases where the asylum seekers household includes a dependent child, who was dependent on the asylum support application before the end of the prescribed period, he may remain eligible to receive support after the prescribed period ends. For further guidance, see Supported persons whose household includes a dependent child under the age of 18. 3.2 Right of Appeal There is no right of appeal against termination of support resulting from the fact that a persons status as an asylum seeker has ceased because this is when support would normally come to an end. However applicants sometimes submit an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal - Asylum Support. If an appeal is submitted, officers should comply with any directions from the Tribunal. 3.3 Section 4 Support In certain cases support may be provided under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to eligible applicants. For guidance on when Section 4 support can be provided, see the Asylum Instruction Section 4 Support. 3.4 Supported Persons Whose Household Includes a Dependent Child Under the age of 18 If an asylum seekers household includes a child who is under 18 and a dependent of his, he is to be treated (for asylum support purposes) as continuing to be an asylum seeker while the child is under 18 and he and the child remain in the United Kingdom providing the dependant was part of the household before the time when the applicant became Appeal Rights Exhausted. Support will not be discontinued in these cases unless: refugee status or other leave to remain is granted; or they fail to comply with the conditions of Asylum Support.

In these circumstances ASYS should be amended to show the new status of the asylum claim. No action to terminate support should be taken and the status on ASYS should continue to reflect the current status of the asylum support application. Support will continue while: the dependant is under 18; and the main applicant and the dependant remain in the United Kingdom; and the dependant continues to be dependent on the supported person; and the dependant continues to be part of the household.

A "bring forward" (BF) system must be used to ensure that the case is identified 4 weeks before the youngest childs 18th birthday in order that support can be ended on the birthday and 21 days notice given. Uncontrolled if printed

Support may be discontinued if families fail to comply with the conditions of Asylum Support. Case Owners should refer to the section titled Investigating a breach of conditions of the Asylum Instruction Withdrawal of asylum support - breach of conditions for guidance.
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3.5 Women Who Give Birth Around the Time that their Support Ends A pregnant woman, whether single or part of a couple, who has no other minor dependants will cease to be eligible for support when her asylum claim is determined according to the definition in section 94 (3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. If the child is born within the prescribed (grace) period (21 days if the decision is served in person; 23 days if served by post) following a negative outcome on their asylum application, then support under section 95 continues until either the mother or child leaves the UK or until the child turns 18. For guidance on adding and removing dependants, see the Asylum Instruction Dependants on a Support Application. If the child is born outside the prescribed period (21 days if the decision is served in person; 23 days if served by post) then the mother and child may be eligible for support provided under section 4 of the 1999 Act, subject to fulfilling eligibility criteria. The local authority may also have the power to support the child under section 17 (services for children in need) or under section 20 (accommodation) of the Children Act 1989. For further guidance see the Asylum Instruction Section 4 Support.

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3.6 High Court Injunctions Support should not be stopped if a High Court injunction is obtained on behalf of the supported asylum seeker that prevents support from being withdrawn until the court decides one way or the other.
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3.7 One Stop Service A One Stop Service (OSS) provider is an external voluntary agency, which receives funding from the UK Border Agency to deliver aspects of the asylum support service. A letter must be sent to the Service nearest to the applicants place of residence to advise them that support is to be discontinued.

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4. Updating ASYS/Serving Decision


Asylum support can only be discontinued through ASYS. Follow the guidance as set out in the manuals, Commence Termination Tool and Terminating an Application when ceasing support. Support must be discontinued manually using these instructions and following the guidance in this instruction. If support is being ceased manually, use ASYS to produce letters that advise the applicant, the One Stop Service provider and the accommodation provider that support is going to be discontinued. All the letters produced in ASYS can and will need to be edited. The letters that need to be produced and guidance on editing them, are set out in the Applicants granted leave to enter/remain in the UK, Asylum/Article 3 Application Refused Outright, Withdrawn asylum applications and No longer in the UK sections. Support for asylum cases that are being considered by the Case Resolution Directorate can be ceased automatically by the bulk cessation tool. If this takes place, the letters will be generated and issued by the Status Discontinuations and Restarts team. Officers must ensure that CID is updated with the following data to ensure that the bulk cessation tool on ASYS can be used to initiate the discontinuation process. HO Reference Full name Nationality Date of Birth Address Representative address Date raised (date of application) Case outcome Case outcome date Final appeal stage outcome date (last stage of the appeal process the case reaches) Decision dispatched date Asylum support reference (on ASYS) Cessation date (date decision dispatched)

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5. Applicants Granted Leave to Enter/Remain in the UK


A grant of leave is classified as: Refugee Leave Humanitarian Protection (HP) Discretionary Leave

Applicants who are granted Asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave are not eligible to receive asylum support after the 28-day grace period has come to an end. When the decision to grant leave is served on the applicant, the applicant is warned that their asylum support will cease in 28 days. Support must be ceased using ASYS. Refer to the ASYS Manuals Commence Termination Tool and Terminating an Application. A case must be set to In Termination until support can be discontinued. Once ASYS is set to Terminated, support cannot be reinstated without a new application being made. When an applicant is granted leave to enter or remain, officers must update ASYS and produce all paperwork relating to support on the same day that the decision is entered into CID. All paperwork relating to their support must be served by officers at the same time as the decision on their asylum claim. The letters that should be produced are set out below. All letters produced in ASYS can and should be edited as detailed below. 5.1 Termination letter to the applicant (NASS 61) Where the supported person is in receipt of subsistence support, the Case Owner must enter details of the date of their final payment and the amount of that final payment. This must be sent to the applicant along with the DWP notification letter (NASS35). Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. The eviction date should be amended so it is the accommodation end date. In paragraph 6, select either UK Border Agency or Initial (Accommodation) The sentence If you believe that your support should continue because your claim for asylum is pending, evidence of this with your relevant reference numbers should be faxed to should be amended to include the Case Owners contact details.

5.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 63) This letter advises the nearest voluntary sector One Stop Service that support is to be discontinued. Identify the appropriate One Stop Service and address the letter accordingly. Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. The sentence Please note, if the applicant has raised an issue about their asylum claim should be amended to include the Case Owners details.

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5.3 Notification to the Accommodation Provider (NASS 64) This letter advises the accommodation provider that support is to be discontinued and advises them to issue the applicant with a minimum 7 day notice to quit. The accommodation provider must be given a minimum of 10 business days notice to allow them time to do this. Where possible the 7 days should be timed to coincide with the expiry of the 28 day prescribed period. Notice to quit is produced by the accommodation provider and served on the supported person. The Notice to Quit must be in writing and fulfil the requirements of Regulation 22 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. This notice is deemed to have been served on the supported person two working days after the notification to the accommodation provider is sent. Where the supported person is living in dispersal, initial or spot booked accommodation, caseworkers must: Generate the NASS 64 on ASYS Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received Amend the eviction date so it is the accommodation end date. Enter the accommodation end date at the bottom of page 3. Print the letter and post it on to the Collaborative Business Portal. o If the portal is not available, the letter must be posted to the accommodation provider via recorded delivery. o Ensure that the letter has been received by the provider using Track and Trace. Place copies of all correspondence on file. Fully minute ASYS with details of all actions taken including telephone conversations with the provider or any other parties. Update the file accordingly.

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5.4 Letter to the DWP (NASS 35) The NASS35 is sent with the termination letter stating that Asylum Support is to be discontinued and showing details of the support that the supported person has received since being granted leave. The supported person should present this to the JobCentre Plus when applying for benefits. The NASS 35 is generated by ASYS. The letter must include a photograph of the supported person. The photograph can either be the one submitted with the Asylum Support application form or the electronic image captured when the ARC was prepared. If no photograph is available, for example when a dependent is granted status separately or the photograph is unusable, then the discontinuation letter must be sent with a request that photographs be submitted in order that a NASS35 may be issued. Included with the NASS35 should be the Benefit Information leaflet in an appropriate language (the English version is shown in the Standard Letter catalogue).

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Applicants and their dependants aged 18 and over, granted asylum or humanitarian protection after 11 June 2007, will have the opportunity to apply for an integration loan. The loan is designed to give these individuals financial help to obtain a specific item or activity to assist with their integration into the UK. This could relate to accommodation, education or employment. The integration loan scheme will be financed from the savings made by the abolition of backdated benefits. If a NASS35 is produced and sent out in error, either as a result of incorrect information from CID in respect of the asylum outcome, or with incorrect personal details about the applicant, then before a new NASS35 is issued and/or support reinstated the applicant must return the erroneous NASS35 to the UK Border Agency.
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6. Asylum/Article 3 Application Refused Outright


If an applicant no longer has an undetermined asylum claim, an undetermined Article 3 claim under the European Convention of Human Rights or a pending appeal, they cease to be eligible for Section 95 support under the provisions of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and support must be discontinued unless their household includes a dependent child under the age of 18. Applicants are warned that their support is going to be ceased in 21 days when they are advised of the decision on their asylum claim. This warning is contained in the information and advice leaflet given to them with the decision paperwork and the NASS 60. If the decision is to be communicated by post, an extra two days is added to the 21 day cessation period. Caseworkers must produce the NASS 60 at the same time that CID is updated with the asylum decision and must serve this letter to the applicant at the same time that the asylum decision is served. The case worker must also produce the NASS 64 and post it onto the Collaborative Business Portal in accordance with the section Notification to the accommodation provider (NASS 64). The caseworker must inform the applicant that if they submit an appeal, the NASS 60 will no longer be valid and a new NASS 60 will be produced when they become appeal rights exhausted. If the applicant has an out of country right of appeal, support will cease 21 days after the applicant is notified of the decision on their asylum application unless the household includes a dependent child under the age of 18. By operation of section 17(2) of the UK Borders Act 2007, a person remains an asylum seeker during the period when they can bring an in country right of appeal or an in country right of appeal is brought. If the applicant has an in country right of appeal, support will cease 21 days after the applicant is notified of the decision on their claim. The applicant has 10 working days after they receive the decision on their asylum claim in which to lodge an appeal. Caseworkers must cease support using ASYS, referring to the ASYS User Manuals Commence Termination Tool and Terminating an Application. Case Owners should ensure that a case is set to In Termination until they are sure that support can be discontinued. Once ASYS is set to Terminated, support cannot be reinstated without a new application being made. A review should be set for the 11th day after the decision to refuse leave was received by the applicant to establish whether an appeal has been submitted. 6.1 No Appeal If an appeal is not received, asylum support can be ceased unless their household includes a dependant child under the age of 18. 6.2 Appeal If an appeal is submitted, support cannot be ceased until the applicant is appeal rights exhausted. If their household contains a dependant under 18, Caseworkers should refer to Supported persons whose household includes a dependent child under the age of 18. As soon as notification of the appeal is received, the caseworker must: Post a letter on to the Collaborative Business Portal informing the accommodation provider that the applicant is eligible to remain in their accommodation. Uncontrolled if printed

Delete the accommodation end date from ASYS. Change the support type to Allocated.

If an appeal is submitted and the appeal is dismissed, caseworkers will need to produce another NASS 60, which will contain the new date on which support is going to cease, the NASS 62 and the NASS 64. When an applicants case becomes Appeal Rights Exhausted (ARE), caseworkers must update ASYS and produce all paperwork relating to support on the same day that the ARE date is entered into CID. If this is not done, discontinuation action may be taken automatically by the Bulk Cessation Tool rather than the caseworker. The grace period will commence on the date the appeal is Finally Determined, and therefore caseworkers must ensure that the asylum support paperwork is served as close to the ARE date as possible. The date support ends will be the end of the grace period, currently 21 days from the date the appeal ceases to be pending. 6.3 Late Appeals If an appeal is submitted after support is ceased and it is accepted as in time then the applicant becomes eligible for support. If, at this time, support has been fully terminated because no appeal was received, then a new application for support must be made. If support has not been fully terminated then support should continue until the applicant becomes Appeal Rights Exhausted. Caseworkers must take the following action: Post a letter on to the Collaborative Business Portal informing the accommodation provider that the applicant is eligible to remain in their accommodation. Delete the accommodation end date from ASYS Change the support type to Allocated.

Caseworkers should refer to the Asylum Instruction Appeals Not Lodged By The Appeal By Deadline for further guidance on late asylum appeals. If support is terminated and an appeal is submitted, caseworkers may have to reinstate support. Guidance on reinstating support can be found in the section Applications for support to be reinstated. The following letters should be produced. All letters produced in ASYS must be edited as detailed below. 6.3.1 Warning letter to the applicant (NASS 60) Where the supported person is in receipt of subsistence support, the date of their final cash support payment and the amount of that final payment must be entered. Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. If the decision is being served in person and no appeal has been submitted, the sentence Support is provided for a period of 21 days following the notification of the resolution of your asylum claim, which is deemed to be received 2 days following the determination of your asylum application should be amended to Support is provided for a period of 21 days following the notification of the resolution of your asylum claim. Uncontrolled if printed

If the decision is being served after the applicant becomes Appeal Rights Exhausted, the sentence Support is provided for a period of 21 days following the notification of the resolution of your asylum claim, which is deemed to be received 2 days following the determination of your asylum application should be amended to Support is provided for a period of 21 days following the date your appeal was finally determined. The sentence - Our records show that your claim for asylum was determined on the [date], therefore the period of support ends on [date] must be replaced with: You have been notified of the decision on your asylum claim on [date], therefore your support ends on [date]. Or if the applicant is Appeal Rights Exhausted: Your appeal was finally determined on [date], therefore your support ends on [date, ie 21 days after the date the appeal was finally determined]. The eviction date should be amended so it is 21 days after the decision dispatch/service date (or 23 days if the decision was served by post). In paragraph 6, select either UK Border Agency or Initial Accommodation. The sentence If you believe that your support should continue because your claim for asylum is pending, evidence of this with your relevant reference numbers should be faxed to should be amended to include the Case Owners contact details. The reference to the International Organization for Migration should be removed. The references to the Section 4 Team should be removed and replaced with the Case Owners details as the Case Owner will be responsible for handling all section 4 enquiries.

6.3.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 62) This letter advises the nearest One Stop Service that support is to be discontinued. Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. The sentence If you believe that your support should continue because your claim for asylum is pending, evidence of this with your relevant reference numbers should be faxed to should be amended to include the Case Owners contact details. The reference to the International Organization for Migration should be removed.

6.3.3 Notification to the accommodation provider (NASS 64) This letter advises the accommodation provider that support is to be discontinued and advises them to provide the applicant with a 7 day notice to quit. The accommodation provider must be given a minimum of 10 business days notice to allow them time to do this. This notice is generated by the accommodation provider and is between the provider and the supported person. This notice is deemed to have been served on the supported person two working days after the notification to the accommodation provider is sent. Generate the NASS 64 on ASYS. Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. Amend the eviction date so it is 21 days after the decision service date (or 23 days if the decision was served by post). Enter the accommodation end date at the bottom of page 3. Print the letter and post it on to the Collaborative Business Portal. Uncontrolled if printed

o If the portal is not available, the letter must be posted to the accommodation provider via recorded delivery. o Ensure that the letter has been received by the provider using Track and Trace. Place copies of all correspondence on file. Fully minute ASYS with details of all actions taken including telephone conversations with the provider or any other parties. Update the file accordingly.

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7. Withdrawn Asylum Claims


If an applicant withdraws their asylum claim, he is not eligible for asylum support as he is no longer someone who has made a claim for asylum. Applicants are not entitled to a grace period as there has not been a decision on the asylum claim. However, caseworkers should note that if the applicant withdraws his appeal, he will be entitled to a grace period. Caseworkers should also note that if the application for support is still under consideration when the asylum application is withdrawn, the application for support should be refused on the grounds that the person is not an asylum seeker. If the person is already being supported then cash support should be discontinued immediately. Accommodation providers must be given 10 business days notice that an applicant is required to leave the accommodation so they can give the statutory 7 day notice to quit. If the supported person occupies dispersal, emergency, or spot-booked accommodation, the caseworker must ensure that the accommodation provider is notified that the accommodation is now cancelled. Caseworkers must discontinue support using ASYS. Refer to the ASYS User Manuals Commence Termination Tool and Terminating an Application. The letters to the applicant, the one stop service and the accommodation provider must be produced and dispatched on the same day that CID is updated. If this is not done, support may be ceased by the Status Discontinuations and Restarts team. Caseworkers should note that a case must be set to In Termination until they are sure that support can be discontinued. Once ASYS is set to Terminated, support cannot be reinstated without a new application being made. The following letters should be produced using ASYS. The letters should be edited as detailed below. 7.1 Warning letter to the applicant (NASS 60) Where the supported person is in receipt of subsistence support, enter details of the date of their final cash support payment and the amount of that final payment. Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. The eviction date should be amended so it is the accommodation end date. The sentence Support is provided for a period of 21 days following the notification of the resolution of your asylum claim, which is deemed to be received 2 days following the determination of your asylum application must be deleted if there is not a grace period. The sentence Our records show that your claim for asylum was determined on the [date], therefore the period of support ends on [date] must be replaced with one of the following options: Your asylum application is deemed to have been withdrawn on [date], therefore your support ends on [date]. or Your appeal is deemed to have been abandoned on [date], therefore your support ends on [date].

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In paragraph 6, select either Asylum Support or Initial. The sentence If you believe that your support should continue because your claim for asylum is pending, evidence of this with your relevant reference numbers should be faxed to should be amended to include the Case Owners contact details.

7.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 62) This letter advises the nearest one stop service that support is to be discontinued. Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received.

7.3 Notification to the Accommodation Provider (NASS 64) This letter advises the accommodation provider that support is to be discontinued and advises them to issue the applicant with a 7 day notice to quit. The accommodation provider must be given a minimum of 10 business days notice to allow them time to do this. This notice is generated by the accommodation provider and is between the provider and the supported person. This notice is deemed to have been served on the supported person two working days after the notification to the accommodation provider is sent. Generate the NASS 64 on ASYS Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received Amend the eviction date so it is the 10th day after the decision service date. Enter the accommodation end date at the bottom of page 3. Print the letter and post it on to the Collaborative Business Portal. o If the portal is not available, the letter must be posted to the accommodation provider via recorded delivery. o Ensure that the letter has been received by the provider using Track and Trace. Place copies of all correspondence on file. Fully minute ASYS with details of all actions taken including telephone conversations with the provider or any other parties. Update the file accordingly

There is no right of appeal against termination of support where the asylum claim has been withdrawn.
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8. No Longer Destitute
This section applies where a change in the applicants circumstances indicate they are no longer in need of asylum support i.e. no longer destitute. The change may be that the applicant has for example, notified the UKBA that they are working, imprisoned, or the applicant has been detained pending removal. Any information received must be verified before support is terminated or suspended. If a case has been referred for an investigation, caseworkers must contact the investigations team before taking any action to suspend or terminate support; any on-going investigation must be concluded. If information received leads a caseworker to believe that a change of circumstances warrants an investigation, the case should be referred to an investigating officer. 8.1 Suspension of Support In some situations a change of circumstances may warrant only a suspension of support. If a supported person has notified the UK Border Agency that they will not be destitute for a specific period for example, because they are detained or imprisoned, the period of time they do not require support must be established. Accommodation and subsistence should only be suspended in cases where the suspension will last up to 30 days. If the applicant and their dependants essential living needs will be met for longer than 30 days, support must be terminated. If the applicant is sentenced to more than 30 days in detention, support should be terminated immediately. However cases should be considered on a case by case basis where a release date is known. Consideration must be given as to whether the applicant is a vulnerable person. The applicant, accommodation provider, via the CBP (Collaborative Business Portal) and one stop service provider must be informed of the decision in writing using the letters listed below available on ASYS. The applicant must be given reasons for the suspension of support. Officers should issue: NASS 121a to the applicant NASS 121b to the accommodation provider NASS 121c to the one stop services Suspend support using ASYS. Refer to the ASYS User Manual; Manual Amendments to Regular Payments. The ASYS asylum application status on the Person form must be amended. The high level status on ASYS on the accommodation and subsistence forms must be amended to reflect Allocation Review choose the comment Change of Circumstances from the drop down list. Applicants should inform UKBA in writing if there is a (further) change in their circumstances which would allow for their regular support payments to be restarted. 8.2 Terminating Support Any decision to discontinue support following a change of circumstances must be taken individually, objectively and impartially. The decision should be based on the particular situation of the supported person concerned. Where support is being terminated, the applicant, the accommodation provider, via the CBP (Collaborative Business Portal) and the one stop service provider must be informed of the Uncontrolled if printed

decision in writing using the letters listed below available on ASYS. A copy of the applicants letter should be sent to their representative. Officers should issue: NASS 121a to the applicant NASS 121b to the accommodation provider NASS 121c to the one stop services Discontinue support using ASYS. Refer to the ASYS User Manual Terminating an Application. Ensure that the asylum application status on the Person form within ASYS has been amended to reflect the current status of the case. The high level status on ASYS on the accommodation and subsistence forms must be amended to reflect In Termination or Termination Appeal choose the comment support no longer needed from the drop down list. A case must be set to In Termination until the case worker is sure that support can be discontinued. Cases involving removal should not be set to Terminated until it is confirmed the applicant has been removed. Once ASYS is set to Terminated, support cannot be reinstated without a new application being made.
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8.3 Right of Appeal Under section 103(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, there is a right of appeal against the decision to stop providing support for a person under section 95 before that support would otherwise have come to an end. If support is being terminated, a Tribunals Service Asylum Support notice of appeal form and envelope must be sent to the applicant. If support is being suspended, there is not a right of appeal against that decision.

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8.4 Overpayments Overpayments should only be reclaimed if there was a delay in the applicant reporting the change of circumstances to UKBA. Requests for overpayments to be reclaimed must be approved by a team leader.

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9. No Longer in the UK
9.1 Applicant Leaves with UKBA Assistance Information may be received to indicate that an applicant (single or with dependants) has been removed from the UK, for example the applicant decided to utilise the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) programme or enforced removal was used. The information must be verified using CID, once information is verified support must be discontinued. Where CID can not confirm the applicants departure the Applicant Leaves UK without UKBA Knowledge process should be followed. Where departure is confirmed letters should only be sent to the One Stop Service and the accommodation provider, no letter needs to be sent to the applicant. 9.2 Applicant Leaves UK without UKBA Knowledge If information is received indicating that the applicant has left the UK of their own accord, support must be discontinued as soon as the information has been verified. Where an Immigration Officers report has been received confirming embarkation, then such verification is not necessary. Where the information is received from another source, this must be confirmed. This should be done by writing to the asylum seeker at their authorised address advising them that information has been received that they have left the United Kingdom, that their support is being discontinued and that they must respond immediately if they require support. If they fail to reply within 5 days their support must be terminated with immediate effect. Applicants are not entitled to a right of appeal as the asylum claim is treated as being withdrawn or appeal abandoned. 9.3 Terminating Support Discontinue support using ASYS. Refer to the ASYS User Manuals Commence Termination Tool and Terminating an Application. Ensure that the asylum application status on the Person form within ASYS has been amended to reflect the current status of the case. The high level status on ASYS on the accommodation and subsistence forms must be amended to read In Termination or Termination Appeal choose the comment termination proceeding from the drop down list. A case must be set to In Termination until the case worker is sure that support can be discontinued. Once ASYS is set to Terminated, support cannot be reinstated without a new application being made. The following documents should be produced via ASYS. The letters should be edited as detailed below. 9.3.1 Warning letter to the applicant (NASS 60) The first paragraph should be amended to: The UK Border Agency has received information that you have left the United Kingdom. I am writing to advise that you are no longer eligible for support under section 95/98 (delete as appropriate) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 because you are no longer an asylum seeker and as such your support is being discontinued. For your support to continue you must respond immediately by telephoning the number given above (replace the number given above with the Case Owners telephone number). Choose either section 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received. Uncontrolled if printed

The eviction date should be amended so it is the accommodation end date. The sentence Support is provided for a period of 21 days following the notification of the resolution of your asylum claim, which is deemed to be received 2 days following the determination of your asylum application must be deleted as there is not a grace period. The sentence Our records show that your claim for asylum was determined on the [date], therefore the period of support ends on [date] must be replaced with one of the following options: Your asylum application is deemed to have been withdrawn on [date], therefore your support ends on [date]. or Your appeal is deemed to have been abandoned on [date], therefore your support ends on [date].

In paragraph 6, select either UK Border Agency or Initial. The sentence If you believe that your support should continue because your claim for asylum is pending, evidence of this with your relevant reference numbers should be faxed to should be amended to include the Case Owners contact details. Where the supported person is in receipt of subsistence support, the Case Owner must enter details of the date of their final cash support payment and the amount of that final payment.

9.3.2 Notification to the One-Stop Service (NASS 62) This letter advises the nearest One Stop Service that support is to be discontinued. Case Owners must choose either section 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received.

9.3.3 Notification to the accommodation provider (NASS 64) This letter advises the accommodation provider that support is to be discontinued and advises them to issue the applicant with a 7 day notice to quit. The accommodation provider must be given a minimum of 10 business days notice to allow them time to do this. This notice is generated by the accommodation provider and is between the provider and the supported person. This notice is deemed to have been served on the supported person two working days after the notification to the accommodation provider is sent. Generate the NASS 64 on ASYS Choose either 95 or 98 to indicate the type of support being received Amend the eviction date so it is the 10th day after the decision service date. Enter the accommodation end date at the bottom of page 3. Print the letter and post it on to the Collaborative Business Portal. o If the portal is not available, the letter must be posted to the accommodation provider via recorded delivery. o Ensure that the letter has been received by the provider using Track and Trace. Place copies of all correspondence on file.

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Fully minute ASYS with details of all actions taken including telephone conversations with the provider or any other parties. Update the file accordingly

There is no right of appeal against termination of support where the asylum claim has been withdrawn.

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10. Overpayments
When ceasing support, calculate whether an applicant has received more asylum support than they are entitled to. If an overpayment has been made, applicants may be required to repay the additional support that has been paid. Refer to Asylum Support Policy Bulletin 67 for guidance on overpayments. Once an overpayment has been identified, calculate the amount overpaid. Caseworkers must complete the Overpayment Referral Form and forward it to the Overpayments Recovery Team.

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11. Application for Support to be Reinstated


Asylum support ends when an applicants asylum claim is fully determined and the appropriate prescribed period has ended. See Asylum Support for guidance on prescribed periods. Applicants whose support has been discontinued before then are able to request that their support is reinstated. Applications for support to be reinstated where support has been terminated for reasons such as failure to travel or breach of conditions will go to appeal at the First-Tier Tribunal - Asylum Support. Case Owners should instigate investigations on their own cases where it is alleged that support has been incorrectly discontinued. Applications for support to be reinstated should be considered and decisions served within three days of receiving the application. Applications for reinstatement of support must be received in writing before the case is investigated. Upon receipt of the application, CID and ASYS should be checked to find out if an application for support to be restarted has been made before. CID and ASYS must be noted that a request for reinstatement of support has been made. The application should be investigated using resources such as CID, ASYS, First-Tier Tribunal Asylum Support and the case file. When investigating the claim, check the following: If the decision was served by post, was it sent to the correct address? Is the asylum or human rights claim still outstanding? Has the applicant received his/her asylum decision or appeal determination? Has the applicant lodged an appeal in time? Has the immigration judge ruled that an out of time appeal be treated as in time? Was the applicant Appeal Rights Exhausted when support was terminated? Does the applicant have a court order directing that section 95 support be reinstated? Has the applicant a minor dependant who was part of their household before the end of the grace period?

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11.1 Reinstatement table Refer to the following table when deciding whether to reinstate support. Outcome Decision EXCEPTIONS Decision not served Dont reinstate if the RFRL has been REINSTATE (Refusal, Grant of Status) sent to correct address and returned. Appeal Lodged IN TIME REINSTATE (Adjudicator Appeal, PTA Tribunal, Statutory Review, PTA Court of Appeal) Applicants with minor REINSTATE dependants Decision REINSTATE withdrawn/reconsidered (fatally flawed) Appeal Lodged OUT OF NO REINSTATEMENT TIME (Adjudicator Appeal, PTA Tribunal, Statutory Review, PTA Court of Appeal) Seeking or proceeding NO REINSTATEMENT through Judicial Review Granted Leave (Leave to NO REINSTATEMENT Unless grant letter has not been Remain/Discretionary served (see above). NASS 35 must be Leave/Humanitarian returned if sent out before support Protection) can be reinstated. Removed/Voluntarily left NO REINSTATEMENT country (VARP) Fresh Asylum Claim NO REINSTATEMENT Breach (of asylum support NO REINSTATEMENT conditions) Terminations/ Absconders Seeking/Granted Hard Case NO REINSTATEMENT (Section 4) support Appeal to the European NO REINSTATEMENT Court of Human Rights A reply should be faxed, posted or served in person to the applicant or their representatives. This letter must inform the applicant whether support was correctly or incorrectly discontinued, the reasons why it was correctly or incorrectly discontinued and what action will now be taken. This letter should be saved on to ASYS. If an applicant wishes to apply for support to be reinstated they must submit a fresh Asylum Support application form in the following circumstances:

A fresh asylum/Article 3 ECHR claim is lodged and accepted as such; An out of time appeal is lodged and allowed to proceed.

A note detailing the decision must be entered onto CID and ASYS. If it is decided that support should be reinstated, use ASYS to reinstate support.

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Glossary
Term
NASS 35 NASS 60

Meaning
Letter to the DWP Termination letter to the applicant Warning letter to the applicant Notification to One Stop Provider (for applicants refused leave) Notification to One Stop Provider (for applicants granted leave) Termination letter to the Accommodation provider No Longer Destitute Suspension or Discontinuation of Support Letter to applicant No Longer Destitute letter to Accommodation Provider No Longer Destitute letter to One Stop Provider

NASS 61 NASS 62 NASS 63 NASS 64


NASS 121a NASS 121b NASS 121c

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 Authors BF M.Miller M.Miller B.Foyle C.Browne MMiller M Miller M Miller/B Foyle Date 22/02/07 28/03/07 08/05/07 11/06/07 25/06/07 31/10/07 31/10/08 07/01/09 Change Reference Style changed to suit web look and amalgamated with support processes Removed reference to voided instruction Added NASS 64 Confirmation slip Addition of Integration Loan information Amendment to grace period Addition of minimum data set to be entered into ASYS Re-branded Reflects decision to cease printing NASS35s on secure paper, and laminating. Update to branding. Removal of NASS 64 confirmation slip. Amendment to appeal submitted procedure. Update to legislation Inclusion of No Longer Destitute Process

9.0

M-A Marshalleck

October 2009

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TRANSITION AT AGE 18
Table of Contents

Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 Support Arrangements when UASC turns 18 Grant Agreements

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Introduction
This instruction provides guidance to Asylum Case Owners on processing applications for support from unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) currently being supported by a Local Authority social services department, and who are approaching their 18th birthday. N.B. Although the Asylum Support Team will carry out most, if not all, of the support functions on behalf of the Asylum Case Owner, it is the Asylum Case Owner who retains overall responsibility for ensuring these functions are carried out in a timely fashion. The instruction also provides information on the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 (the Children Leaving Care Act) and guidance on the handling of applications for support from former UASC who have been "looked after" by the Local Authority under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (the Children Act) and qualify for the provisions of the Children Leaving Care Act. Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Every Child Matters; Change for Children sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC)


Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) are young people aged under 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian, and who claim asylum. In terms of support, they either receive assistance from the local social services department as children in need (under section 17 of the Children Act) or are accommodated under section 20 of that Act. When a UASC reaches the age of 18, section 17 duties cease to apply to them and Councils' duties to accommodate and maintain those who have been looked after under section 20 also comes to an end. However, under sections 23C-E and 24 of the Children Act, as amended by the Children Leaving Care Act 2000, Local Authorities continue to have duties and powers in respect of UASC who have been accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act (see section below entitled: Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000).
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Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000


The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 came into force on 1 October 2001. The Act inserted a number of provisions into the Children Act 1989, and the principal aim of the provisions is to improve the life chances of young people living in and leaving Local Authority care in England and Wales. It imposes duties on Local Authorities to support children leaving care (including asylum seekers) until they are at least 18 and to assist them until they are at least 21. These duties include providing Personal Advisers and Pathway Plans for all eligible young people. The Personal Adviser will provide the link between the young person and their Local Authority, providing support and guidance and helping to co-ordinate services. The Pathway Plan will map out a route to independence for these young people, and will be reviewed at least once every six months until the young person reaches at least 21. The responsible authority will also assist the young person with their educational, training and employment needs, and will provide general assistance where required. Similar legislation applies in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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Support Arrangements when UASC turns 18


Many UASC will continue to be eligible for assistance from their Local Authority under Leaving Care legislation. A person will usually be eligible to Leaving Care support if he/she has been supported by the Local Authority for more than 13 weeks before their 18th birthday under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (Or under similar provisions in Scotland and Northern Ireland). N.B. A person who is eligible to receive Leaving Care support is not eligible for asylum support. This is because asylum support is a residual support entitlement that only applies if the person has no entitlement to any other form of support. If, however, UASC are not eligible to receive Leaving Care support they may be eligible for asylum support under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act), provided they would be otherwise destitute and meet specific requirements. To enable UK Border Agency Case Owners to decide whether the applicant is destitute Local Authority Childrens Services Departments should be asked to provide a letter stating that their duties and powers to provide services to the UASC under section 17 of the Children Act, or to maintain and accommodate him or her under sections 20 and 23B of the Children Act, will cease from a specified date in the future (usually the persons eighteenth birthday). The letter should also state whether the LA is aware of any other resources/support in kind available to the young person, that might disqualify them from asylum support or which the UK Border Agency should take into account when assessing their asylum support claim.

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Grant Agreements
The UK Border Agency provides funding to Local Authorities in England to cover some of their costs in supporting former UASC who have turned 18 and are receiving Leaving Care support. The arrangements are set out in a Grant Agreement that is issued each year.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 Authors JL JL Date 23/08/11 04/11/11 Change Reference First version of instruction replacing Policy Bulletin 29 Second version of instruction correcting reference to Welsh Local Authorities, who in fact do not receive the Leaving Care Grant from UKBA.

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ACCESSING COUNTRY OF ORIGIN INFORMATION


This instruction outlines how all Case Owners and caseworkers should access country information when handling asylum claims. To obtain information relevant to an asylum claim, Case Owners or caseworkers should, in the first instance, read the Country of Origin Information Reports, Country of Origin Bulletins and Country of Origin Key Documents produced by the Country of Origin Information Service (COIS). Only after these sources and any hard copy material have been examined may it be appropriate to consult a Senior Caseworker. This course of action should only be taken where the information required is deemed essential to the consideration of a claim and worthy of possible delays and resource implications. The Senior Caseworker should only be consulted after checking all the available material on the Knowledge Base and in hard copies. Approaching Country Specific Asylum Policy Team (CSAPT) or the Country of Origin Information Service (COIS) direct should not be done routinely. The Senior Caseworker acts as a filter for enquiries to COIS/CSAPT. The Senior Caseworker may be aware of similar enquiries and will be able to help with assessing whether the information is really needed in order to take a decision on the case. The Senior Caseworker may decide that it is necessary to refer to the appropriate COIS Country Officer for further information or he/she may tell the Case Owner or caseworker to do so. Such contact should normally be by e-mail, on file or by completing a proforma. Decision makers are reminded that they should consult the Guide to COIS Service Contact List, Guide to Country of Origin Information and the Guide to SCW Country Allocation, to establish the appropriate point of contact.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 Authors MO Date 22/02/07 Change Reference Re-formatted to new website format

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THE ASYLUM INTERVIEW


1: Introduction and key points 2: Interview arrangements 2.1 Children 2.2 Care of children during asylum interviews 2.3 Non-suspensive appeal cases 2.4 Illness 2.5 Choice of language 2.6 Requests for a same-sex interviewer and interpreter 2.7 Pregnancy 2.8 Friends or companions 2.9 Religious festivals 2.10 Health & Safety/risk assessment 2.11 Interviewing applicants in prison 3: Interview formalities 3.1 Introductions 3.2 Written statements 3.3 Submission of documents 3.4 The applicants declaration 3.5 The NINo application 3.6 The Biometric Residence Permit

4: Investigating the asylum claim at interview 4.1 General principles 4.2 Questioning techniques 4.3 Victims of torture or other trauma 4.4 Applicants with scars 4.5 Breaks in the interview 4.6 Mental illness 4.7 Threats of self-harm or suicide 4.8 Aggressive or threatening behaviour 4.9 Concluding the interview 4.10 Interview transcripts and read-overs 5: Recording of asylum and active review interviews 5.1 Recording policy 5.2 Action to be taken where a complaint is lodged 6: Legal representatives

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6.1 6.2 6.3

Policy Non-OISC regulated representatives Professional conduct

7: Interpreters 7.1 Professional conduct 7.2 Languages at interview 8: Complaints about an interviewer or interpreter 8.1 Complaints made during interviews 8.2 Complaints about an interpreter 8.3 Complaints of discrimination

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1: Introduction and key points


1.1 Purpose of guidance Encourage effective interviewing and help ensure the just determination of asylum applications. Promote the efficient use of valuable staff and office resources. Reinforce separate guidance on the assessment of asylum applications.

1.2 Prepared, focused and professional Be familiar with the outline of the application and relevant country of origin information (COI), so as to focus the interview and avoid wasting time on irrelevant questions. Demonstrate an open but enquiring mind: clarify apparent gaps in the evidence, any significant discrepancies or contradictions with COI. Show particular care and sensitivity when interviewing alleged victims of torture or other forms of violence. As far as possible, comply with any request by the applicant or the legal representative for an interviewer or interpreter of a particular gender. Dress and act in a professional manner as representatives of the UK Border Agency; casual or inappropriate clothing is not acceptable. Dependent children should not be present during the interview, in the interests of the child and all others concerned. Interview preparation should consider arrangements for use of UK Border Agency childcare facilities as appropriate. Interviews should not be cancelled or suspended without very good reason.

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2: Interview arrangements
2.1 Children Substantive interviews with applicants who are under eighteen must be conducted by interviewers who have completed the requisite training and are qualified to interview children. For further guidance see the Asylum Instruction on Processing an asylum application by a child . Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. In dealing with parents and children, staff must therefore see the family as a unit and as individuals. In particular, it is important not to lose sight of the child as an individual, as well as part of a family, and to be vigilant and responsive to the childs needs. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm. 2.2 The care of children during asylum interviews It is the UK Border Agencys duty to avoid the undermining or weakening of family relationships that can occur, for instance, by undue or inappropriate questioning of parents in front of their children. UK Border Agency staff must ensure that parents are not required to give an account of personal victimisation if their children are present. Children should therefore not be present at an asylum interview, in the interests of all concerned, and in the interests of the child in particular, bearing in mind the statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. In some cases, however, children may be required to attend at the beginning of the interview, for re-documentation purposes only. For those without satisfactory childcare arrangements of their own, each regional office has its own arrangements in place to ensure that children are not present when parents are interviewed. This can include rescheduling the interview to accommodate childcare arrangements, or the provision of childcare at or near UK Border Agency premises. The Asylum Instruction on Processing Family Cases sets out the policy, processes and procedures to be followed when considering an asylum claim from a family with at least one child under 18 years of age. 2.3 Non-suspensive appeal (NSA) cases It is preferable for substantive interviews with applicants entitled to reside in the countries listed in section 94(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (NIA) Act 2002 to be conducted by interviewers who have completed the requisite training and are accredited to make decisions on Non-suspensive appeal (NSA) cases. Interviewers who are not NSA accredited must ensure that they fully understand the NSA interview processes by speaking with a NSA accredited case owner or asylum officer or senior caseworker before they agree to conduct a NSA interview. Only case owners and Senior Caseworkers who have received the requisite training are authorised to make decisions on applications from the countries listed in section 94(4). Uncontrolled if printed v4.5

2.4 Illness All asylum and human rights applicants will normally be required to attend a substantive asylum interview, except in the situations where an interview may be omitted in accordance with paragraph 339NA of the Immigration Rules. In all cases where the applicant is unable to attend or proceed with an interview due to illness or medical condition, the applicant or his legal representative must provide evidence in the form of a letter/certificate from his GP or hospital, either beforehand or within five working days after the date of the interview. If satisfactory evidence is provided, the interview may be rebooked. However, where the applicant has not attended and has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation or medical evidence, the claim may be treated as withdrawn and consideration discontinued in accordance with paragraph 333C of the Rules. In the event of a GPs or Consultants letter confirming that an applicant is mentally (or physically) unable, for the foreseeable future, to cope with an interview situation or respond to the simplest of questions, the personal interview may be omitted and written evidence taken in accordance with paragraph 339NA(vii) of the Rules. 2.5 Choice of Language An applicant may have been screened in one language but expressed a preference for the substantive interview to be conducted in his first language. If this is a language for which an interpreter cannot be found, the interviewer should explain this to the applicant and conduct the interview in the language used for the screening interview unless there are good reasons not to. 2.6 Requests for a same sex interviewer and interpreter If the applicant requests a gender specific interviewer and interpreter, this should as far as possible be accommodated, especially if this has been requested in advance of the interview. The interviewer should ensure that he/she is aware of gender related issues, since this may affect how the applicant responds during interview. Guidance can be found in the Asylum Instructions on Gender issues in the asylum claim, Gender identity, and Sexual orientation. 2.7 Pregnancy There is no hard and fast rule, but expectant mothers should be able to attend at least up to six weeks before the birth, unless advised not to on medical grounds (evidence should be provided). For those who have given birth, interviews should not be arranged until at least six weeks afterwards. 2.8 Friends or companions For reasons of confidentiality, an applicant will normally be interviewed alone or in the company of his legal representative. Exceptionally, however, and with sufficient advance notice, a friend or other companion may be admitted to provide emotional or medical support, at the discretion of the interviewer. Companions are admitted on condition that they are there solely to provide medical or emotional support, will not intervene in any way during the interview, and will observe complete confidentiality afterwards.

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2.9 Religious Festivals UK Border Agency staff will be sensitive and respectful of religious beliefs. However, an applicant would be expected to attend an interview even though the interview date falls on the day of a religious festival or holiday. 2.10 Health & Safety/Risk Assessment Case owners should check file notes in advance to find out if there are any known risk factors relating to the interviewee, such as previous violent outbursts, verbal abuse, criminal convictions, mental illness, etc. This will allow the case owner to assess any risks relating to the interview and inform security if there is any reason to believe an applicant may be a danger to the health and safety of themselves, interpreters, other applicants or staff, so that steps can be taken to negate the risk. 2.11 Interviewing applicants in prison Contact should be made with the prison management to arrange a time and date for the interview and, once arranged, to serve notice of the interview on the applicant.

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3: Interview formalities
3.1 Introductions When opening the interview, the interviewer should: Introduce him/herself and anybody else in the room not known to the applicant, who should be asked to consent to their presence. Be satisfied that the applicant presenting himself is the subject of the case file who has been requested to attend an interview, and is at the address already registered. Explain that all information will be dealt with in confidence and that no asylum information will be disclosed to the authorities of the applicants country of nationality but that it may be disclosed to other government departments to help them in their functions. Confirm that the applicant understands the interpreter and the interview procedure. Confirm that the applicant is well, and is ready to be interviewed.

3.2 Written statements If a written statement or other evidence has been submitted prior to the interview, the interviewer should ask the applicant who wrote and submitted the evidence. The applicant should be asked if they are aware of the content of the evidence and if they agree with it. 3.3 Submission of documents Any documents submitted at interview should be listed on the interview record. Accepting an original document during an interview does not imply acceptance as genuine. The applicant should be asked about the provenance, contents, and relevance of documents during the course of the interview. If a passport or other valid form of identification (birth certificate, identity card etc) is submitted, this must be retained by the interviewer for identification purposes until the claim is considered, as it may be required for documentation purposes at a later stage. If the applicant submits a document in a foreign language he should be asked what the document is and what relevance it has. If the document is or could be relevant, the applicant should be given five working days to submit a translation, unless it would be more effective for the UK Border Agency to obtain one. There are operational constraints to obtaining translations of documents and interviewers are not obliged to accept documents which have not been translated, or to agree to translate a document. 3.4 The applicants declaration Where these were not previously obtained at an earlier stage, the biodata section of the interview record must be completed in full. The applicant is required to sign at the bottom of each page where his details are contained (pages 2-4). The interviewer should not try to persuade the applicant to sign if they, or their legal representatives, are reluctant to do so. 3.5 The NINo application Where these were not previously obtained, details should be completed prior to the start of the interview. v4.5 Uncontrolled if printed

3.6 The Biometric Residence Permit It should be explained to the applicant that anyone applying for asylum on or after 29th February 2012 and granted leave as a result, is to be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This replaces the Immigration Status Document as the evidence of leave. In order to receive a BRP, principal applicants (and their dependants) will need to enrol their biometrics at a Front Office Service (FOS) location - 104 Post Offices across the UK will act as the FOS locations.

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4: Investigating the asylum claim at interview


4.1 General principles Every interview must focus on establishing and testing key aspects of the claim and avoid areas which are not relevant. Obtaining relevant and detailed evidence on material elements of the claim at an interview will enable a decision maker to make a well-informed and balanced decision on the asylum and human rights aspects of an application, including any relevant information about the applicants dependants in the UK. An applicant should be expected to provide information to a level of detail which a person who experienced a given incident or undertook particular activities should reasonably be expected to recall. It is also important that allegations of torture or ill-treatment are fully investigated at interview with appropriate sensitivity (see Victims of torture or other trauma). The investigation should focus on potentially externally verifiable details such as published facts, key dates and locations of events or incidents, but it should also probe the context in which the individual lived and worked in the country of claimed persecution, as well as (for example) the reasons for their conversion to one particular religion over others, or their involvement in one political party over others and so on. If, in the interview, a claimed material fact appears to be inconsistent with either the applicants previous evidence or with generally known facts, or if what is being said appears to make no sense, he must be asked to explain or clarify this. If the applicant is not asked to explain and the application is then refused on credibility grounds, it will make for a weaker argument at the decision and appeal stage. Interviewers should not hesitate to invite an applicant to submit supporting evidence which he may reasonably be expected to be able to obtain, and to do so within a specified timescale, normally five working days. This should be clearly recorded on the interview record. 4.2 Questioning techniques Once the outline of the account has been established, it will usually be appropriate to ask more probing questions to gather more detail about the events e.g. Tell me more about; When and where did it happen? How many people attended the demonstration? Who led it? Was it legal? Was it reported in the media which? Summaries are useful for interviewers to check that they have obtained the correct details e.g. So you were mainly involved in distributing leaflets? Your sister was a member of the group is this correct? Summarising also illustrates to the applicant that all of the information has been properly recorded. Signposting is a useful way for interviewers to inform the applicant what they are going to ask questions about e.g. Id like to talk to you about your arrest. I am going to ask you about your journey to the United Kingdom. Signposting can increase an applicants sense of security about being interviewed. Interviews are currently recorded verbatim. For as long as it remains the practice to record interviews in longhand, legibility is obviously crucial, especially names/places/organisations which must be fully recorded using block capitals. v4.5 Uncontrolled if printed

Interviewers should ask the applicant to focus on the question being asked and rephrase the question if necessary. Applicants can be advised that they will have the opportunity at the end of the interview to add any other comments or issues which they were not asked about. 4.3 Victims of torture or other trauma Victims of torture or other forms of violence may have difficulties in recounting the details because of the sensitive nature of those experiences. Nevertheless, where an applicant claims to have been tortured or the victim of other forms of serious ill-treatment, it is important that the applicant is asked for detailed information about when, where, how, and by whom the torture was inflicted. Interviewers should phrase their questions carefully, so as to get as full an account as possible, while taking care not to cause undue distress. The following questions are suggested as a guide: the method of torture used; any equipment employed; the place where the torture took place; the duration of the ill-treatment; the frequency of abuse; the purpose of the torture or abuse; the number and sex of the individuals involved; which agency of the state (if applicable) carried out the torture; the immediate effects of the torture on the individual; any ongoing effects of torture.

The applicant should also be asked if he or she received medical or NGO assistance in the country of origin at any point following the torture or other forms of violence, and about any continuing treatment in the UK for the physical and/or psychological effects. The applicant should be informed that it is open to him to submit medical evidence and asked if he is in the process of obtaining a medical report about the torture. For victims of rape or other forms of sexual violence, obtaining precise details about the act itself is unnecessary, but it is important that information is obtained regarding the events leading up to, and after, the act, together with the surrounding circumstances at the time it took place, as well as the motivation of the perpetrator, if known. 4.4 Applicants with scars If the scars are on a visible part of the body, for example lower arms or legs, the interviewer may accept an offer to see the scars. However the applicant should be told that the interviewer is not qualified to form an opinion as to how the scars were obtained and whether they are consistent with the claimed causes. If the interviewer sees the scars, the interview record should be noted as to where the scars are on the body. If the interviewer does not consider that it would be appropriate to look at the scars this should be recorded.

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4.5 Breaks in the interview An asylum interview is likely to be demanding on the applicant, interpreter, and the interviewer, but it is not an interrogation and should never be a test of endurance. A brief break may on occasion be needed, at the discretion of the interviewer, who is responsible for ensuring the integrity and security of the interview process. A break may also be taken if the interviewer needs to review progress or if a statement needs to be checked against country of origin information before the applicant leaves the office. Details of the duration and reason for the break must be clearly recorded, as should the offer of a break which is not in the event accepted. If the applicant is taken ill, security should be called to request medical help. The interview should be suspended with all details recorded on the interview record. Similarly, if the interviewer is taken ill, the interview should normally be suspended and rebooked. If the interpreter becomes unwell, a break should be called in order to find another interpreter to continue, if at all possible. 4.6 Mental illness Applicants may state during an asylum interview (or show by the manner of their replies) that they are, or have been, affected by mental illness. There may also be evidence on the case file to suggest that the applicant has been affected by mental illness and has sought medical advice or treatment. Nevertheless, an interview should not be cancelled or suspended on the grounds of past or present mental illness unless the applicant is clearly unable to cope with an interview situation or respond to the simplest of questions. If a GPs or Consultants letter is received confirming that an applicant is mentally or physically unable, for the foreseeable future, to cope with an interview, the personal interview may be omitted and written evidence taken in accordance with paragraph 339NA of the Rules. 4.7 Threats of self-harm or suicide The safety of the applicant, interviewer and any other participants is paramount, and security must be called immediately if an applicant threatens to self-harm in the interview room. Health and safety issues at interviews are of course primarily the responsibility of the interviewer and of office management. Threats of suicide in the event that an application is refused should be noted in the record and reported to management after the interview, and any further action taken which is considered necessary in the circumstances of the case, which of course should also be recorded. 4.8 Aggressive or threatening behaviour Interviewers should at all times maintain control of the situation in the interview room. They should remain calm if provoked and maintain a friendly but firm manner. However, an interviewer should not continue an interview in the face of abuse or aggression. If the interviewer feels at risk of physical harm, security must be notified immediately and the interview terminated. An interviewer must never try to restrain or detain anyone. See Reducing the risk of violence at work guidance for staff. All incidents of threat and abuse must be reported to the interviewers line manager. The line manager must then complete the accident report form as soon as possible after the incident has been reported to them. It is a legal requirement that accident, injuries, assault, v4.5 Uncontrolled if printed

near miss, verbal abuse and threatening behaviour are reported and investigated. See Reducing the risk of violence at work guidance for managers

4.9 Concluding the interview By the end of the interview, interviewers should be satisfied, subject to any further research or information, that they have the information they need from the applicant for a sound decision to be made on the asylum and human rights aspects of the application. If they decide to ask for further evidence, this should be recorded and the applicant should be given a minimum of five working days in which to do so. If not, a decision may be taken as soon as possible after the interview. As the interviewer nears the end of the interview, the applicant should be asked Do you feel OK and have you understood the questions put to you today? Have you understood the interpreter/what I have said? (as appropriate) Do you wish to add anything to what you have told me today? Are there any statements which you would like to change? Are there any other reasons not previously mentioned why you wish to remain in the UK? This can include personal circumstances that you wish to be taken into consideration. To submit further evidence, as agreed, within five working days.

If the applicant states that he/she felt unwell during the interview or did not understand certain questions, the interviewer should make a note of this and rephrase any questions that were not understood. If present, the legal representative should be asked if they have any brief comments about the interview at the end of the interview. 4.10 Interview transcript and read-overs The interviewer must always provide a photocopy of the interview record for the applicant, who is required to sign the original copy of the interview record to confirm receipt of a copy. Read-overs should only be given in very exceptional circumstances, for example, when an applicant is clearly traumatised or is having real difficulty in coping with the situation. If a read-over is considered necessary, this should be noted on the interview record, together with the reason why. Any amendments or additions to the interview record should be initialled by both the applicant and the interviewer.

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5: Recording of asylum and active review interviews


5.1 Recording policy The UK Border Agency is required to allow applicants, with some exceptions, to have their asylum interviews electronically recorded where they make such a request. The exceptions are those entitled to publicly funded legal representation at interview, or the resources to fund their own legal representation. This means that Interviews should not normally be recorded where a legal representative is present, or where applicants with self-funded legal representation choose not to have their legal representative present. The invitation to interview letter advises eligible applicants to inform their case owner if they wish the interview to be recorded, and to provide 24 hours notice of their request in order to avoid a delay on the day. Interviewers should check files prior to interview to see if a request has been made. If not, there is no need to ask if the applicant wishes the interview to be recorded. The applicant may be given copies of the recording on receipt of a dated signature of acknowledgement. This may be written in the Comments section at the end of the interview record. Interviewers should not agree to any request to play back the recording. Applicants and their representatives are not permitted to use their own recording equipment during an asylum interview, but there should normally be no difficulty with a representative using a laptop for the purpose of taking notes providing it does not distract the applicant. 5.2 Action to be taken where a complaint is lodged If a complaint is made against an interviewer following a recorded interview, the normal complaints procedure must be followed (see complaints about an interviewer or interpreter) and the record used, if necessary, to refute or verify a complaint. Recordings must not be taken out of a secure office environment, since this is a breach of confidentiality and is contrary to UK Border Agency policy. Requests for a second interview so that a recording can be made should only be accepted only if there was a failure to action a request received prior to the first interview.

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6: Legal representatives
6.1 General policy This section provides guidance on the role of the legal representative, if one is present during the substantive interview. An asylum applicant has the right to consult a legal representative at his own expense or at public expense in accordance with provision made by the Legal Services Commission, Scottish Legal Aid Board, or the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission. The UK Border Agency does not believe that legal representation at an interview is essential for an adult applicant to set out his grounds for his asylum and/or human rights application, but legal representatives or advisers regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) are welcome to attend a clients interview, and their presence should not be objected to without very good reason. 6.2 Non OISC regulated representatives Access to interviews should be denied to representatives who are not qualified to provide immigration advice and are not exempted from regulation. As part of interview preparation, the OISC can confirm whether or not an adviser is registered. A telephone call may be needed, as their website lists some, but not all the registered advisers. 6.3 Professional conduct If the interviewer believes a legal representative or their interpreter is acting unprofessionally at the interview, access to the interview may be denied with the approval of by a senior officer.

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7: Interpreters
7.1 Professional conduct The UK Border Agency will provide an interpreter at public expense whenever necessary. Interpreters should conduct themselves in a professional and impartial manner, and respect confidentiality at all times. Interviewers must not ask any interpreter to act outside the professional standards set by the UK Border Agency in the Interpreters Code of Conduct. The Code may be summarised as follows: An interpreter should: Treat everything heard or seen as confidential, whilst on an assignment. Ensure that what is stated in another language is accurately interpreted. Spell out any foreign name or place said by the interviewee. Inform the interviewer immediately if there is any difficulty in interpreting. Use direct speech when interpreting; for example, the interpreter should say: "I attended a demonstration ", and should not say: "he said he attended " Hand to the interviewer any notes taken during the interview An interpreter should not: Offer an opinion, comment or declare any personal observations on truthfulness or ethnic origin of an applicant even if requested to do so. Indulge in general conversation with an applicant before (other than to establish both speak the same language and/or dialect), during or after an assignment. Be acquainted with or related to the interviewee or anyone associated with their case. Accept an assignment if previously acting as the interpreter for the legal representative on the same case - it is inappropriate for the same person to interpret in the same case. 7.2 Languages at interview Interviewers should confirm that the applicant is content to be interviewed in the language/dialect for which the interview has been booked and that the applicant understands the interpreter. If the applicant begins to speak another language or dialect, the interpreter should alert the interviewer immediately. If the interpreter has been provided in the correct dialect or language but the applicant claims not to understand him, the interviewer should find out the nature of the difficulties. If it is clear that the applicant is not being obstructive and genuinely does not understand, the interviewer will need to decide whether to call the Interpreter Operations Unit (IOU) to see if another interpreter can be found to allow the interview to continue the same day, or to cancel and re-book the interview. If there are any concerns with the interpreters conduct or understanding of the discussion, the interviewer should call a break and discuss the concerns with the interpreter outside the interview room. If it is not possible to resolve the problem, the interview should be suspended, discussed with a Team Leader/Workflow Manager and an alternative interpreter arranged. An Interpreter Monitoring form must be completed and sent to the Central Interpreters Unit (CIU) in all cases where an interview is suspended / cancelled due to language difficulties / interpreter problems.

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8: Complaints about an interviewer or interpreter


8.1 Complaints made during an interview If a complaint or other expression of dissatisfaction is made during the interview: The interviewer should try to resolve the difficulty at the time, consulting a senior officer during a break if advice is needed. All relevant information should be fully recorded in the interview record and in the file minutes. In the event of a formal complaint being lodged the investigating officer should be able to judge what happened at the interview in order to respond to the complaint and it is therefore essential that a full and complete record is kept on file. The interviewer should, if requested, provide the name and address of his or her line manager, so that any complaint made after the interview can be quickly dealt with. Alternatively, a complaint may be made on line via the UK Border Agency website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/contact/makingacomplaint.

8.2 Complaints about an interpreter If during the interview there is a complaint about the interpreter, the interviewer should note the interview record and attempt to resolve it at the time of the interview, calling a break if necessary to seek advice from a senior officer. Where it is not possible to resolve the complaint satisfactorily, the interview should be suspended while a different interpreter is found. The interviewer should also complete the Interpreter Monitoring form. The form should also be completed if an interpreter has provided an exceptionally good service. 8.3 Complaints of discrimination The Equality Act 2010 outlaws discrimination in public authority functions on grounds of disability, race, religion or belief, sex, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, or age. The Act also places a general duty on public authorities to work towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different groups. If an applicant states that they have been discriminated against for any of these reasons, the interviewer should ask for full details and record them on the interview record.

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CONSIDERING HUMAN RIGHTS CLAIMS


Table of Contents

Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children European Convention on Human Rights - Background Human Rights Act Background Article 3 and the EU Qualification Directive Country of return Individual threat in situations of armed conflict ECHR Rights incorporated into UK Law by the Human Rights Act How the UK Border Agencys work is affected by the Human Rights Act Identifying that a Human Rights Claim has been made Where the applicant has outstanding immigration applications Where the applicant makes a claim under ECHR only Articles stated explicitly by the applicant Articles not explicitly stated by the applicant Case Consideration - General General Consideration of Human Rights Issues Addressing human rights issues in RFRLs Consideration of Asylum Claims raising Human Rights - Specific Issues Engagement of the UKs obligations under the ECHR and HRA Domestic Cases Foreign Cases Foreign Cases: distinction between Article 3 and the other Articles of the Convention. Sufficiency of Protection/Internal Relocation Standard of Proof Article 2 and Protocol 13 ECHR General Consideration of Article 2 issues Capital Punishment (Article 2 and Protocol 13) Article 3 ECHR General Consideration Torture Inhuman treatment or punishment Degrading treatment or punishment Treatment by the state Treatment by non state agents Internal Relocation Uncontrolled if printed 1

Medical claims Article 8 medical claims Suicide Prison conditions Other severe humanitarian conditions meeting the Article 3 threshold Article 8 ECHR Article 14 General Consideration Other Incorporated Articles Duration of Grants of Leave Humanitarian Protection Discretionary Leave Conditions of stay Recording the Consideration on the Minute General principles for recording the consideration on the minute Basis of the claim against the Asylum Policy Instructions on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave Human Rights Articles Consideration of the Human Rights Articles Annex A: (Articles Incorporated into UK Law by the Human Rights Act) Article 2 - Right to Life Article 3 Prohibition of Torture Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery and Forced Labour Article 5 Right to liberty and security Article 6 Right to a fair trial Article 7 No punishment without law Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion Article 10 Freedom of expression Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association Article 12 Right to marry Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination Article 16 Restrictions on political activity of aliens Article 17 Prohibition of abuse of rights Article 18 Limitations on use of restrictions on rights THE FIRST PROTOCOL Article 1 Protection of property Article 2 Right to education Article 3 Right to free elections THE THIRTEENTH PROTOCOL Article 1 Abolition of the death penalty Article 2 Death penalty in time of war Uncontrolled if printed 2

Introduction
This section contains policy and process guidance on the consideration to be given to human rights issues which are raised alongside an asylum claim or are inherent in that claim. For additional information see Asylum Instructions (AIs) on Humanitarian Protection, Discretionary Leave, Article 8 and Further representations and Fresh Claims; IDI chapter on Appeals - One-Stop Procedure and Considering the Asylum Claim instructions. Decision makers should note that human rights claims which fall within the scope of Article 2, Article 3, or Protocol 13 (replaced Protocol 6) Article 1 of the ECHR, where the fear relates to a Convention reason, should be processed as asylum claims and dealt with in accordance with the procedures detailed in the AI Considering Asylum Claims as well as the procedures in this section. Decision makers should also note that in accordance with Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on Minimum Standards on Procedures for Member States for Granting and Withdrawing Refugee Status (The Procedures Directive) with effect from 1 December 2007, paragraph 327 of the Immigration Rules has been amended to reflect that any application for international protection which includes Humanitarian Protection shall be presumed to be an application for asylum. All claims for Humanitarian Protection should be classed and treated as an asylum claim even where the applicant makes it clear that he only wants to make a claim for Humanitarian Protection or even where the Refugee Convention is not engaged. A person who cannot be forcibly removed on ECHR grounds will not be eligible for leave on those grounds if the person could return voluntarily without facing a real risk of suffering the harm feared. On that basis a reference in this instruction to a return includes a voluntary and an enforced return. Guidance on the consideration of non-asylum related claims is contained in the IDI chapters on Human Rights and the Article 8 AI.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children


Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm. Uncontrolled if printed 3

The section entitled Claims Triggered by Immigration Decisions makes reference to decisions to remove. Consideration must be made of the Code Of Practices statement that there must always be a presumption in favour of not detaining a family and each familys case must be considered on its individual merits. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/consultations/closedcon sultations/keepingchildrensafe/

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EuropeanConventiononHumanRightsBackground
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly referred to as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)) was adopted in 1950 and came into force in 1953. It was designed to give binding effect to the guarantee of various rights and freedoms in the UN Declaration on Human Rights, adopted in December 1948. The Convention is a treaty of the Council of Europe, which was established after the end of the Second World War with the aim of protecting Europe against totalitarianism and a repeat of wartime atrocities. The Convention is intended to protect human rights in countries which are democratic by seeking to secure a fair balance between the general interest of society and the protection of the individuals fundamental rights. The rights contained within the Convention can be relied upon by any person, non-Governmental organisation or group of individuals and in some cases by companies and other bodies, but not by governmental organisations, such as local authorities, as the Convention is about protecting fundamental rights and freedoms against the power of the State.

Human Rights Act Background


Before the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force, an individual who wished to bring a claim against the UK government for acting in breach of the Convention could only do so before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, having demonstrated that they had exhausted all remedies in the United Kingdom courts. This process (the right of individual petition) is inevitably lengthy and expensive. Parliament decided that this was not acceptable and that the importance of maintaining human rights in this country meant that rights guaranteed by the Convention should be enforceable in domestic courts. Thus the Human Rights Act 1998, which came into force on 2 October 2000, was introduced and allows cases concerning the rights in the Convention to be brought in the United Kingdom courts.

Article 3 and the EU Qualification Directive


Humanitarian Protection overlaps considerably with Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR (plus Protocol 13). However, there may be some cases where a person who does not qualify for Humanitarian Protection will still have a successful Article 3 claim and may get Discretionary Leave. Please see the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave for further guidance. The Qualification Directive agreed by the European Union in 2004 was implemented with effect from 9 October 2006. As well as establishing common European qualifying standards for refugees, the Directive also defines a category of persons eligible for subsidiary protection. The Immigration Rules and the Regulations which implement the Directive apply to all live claims in the system on and after 9 October, including cases at the appeal stage. The provisions on subsidiary protection are similar to the UKs former provisions on Humanitarian Protection, which have been amended and incorporated into the Immigration Rules to meet the new requirements. Decision makers should consult the AI on Humanitarian Protection. In brief, a person is now eligible for Humanitarian Protection if the Uncontrolled if printed 5

person is not a refugee and faces a real risk of suffering serious harm in the country of return. Under paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules, serious harm means: 1. the death penalty or execution; 2. unlawful killing; 3. torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country of return; or 4. serious and individual threat to a civilians life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict. There is a large overlap between the requirement to provide protection against serious harm under the Qualification Directive and the obligations imposed by article 3 of the ECHR. However, the overlap is not complete and it remains necessary to consider whether there are substantial grounds for believing that, on return, an applicant would be exposed to a real risk of treatment contrary to Article 3 as well as whether there are substantial grounds for believing that the applicant would be exposed to a real risk of serious harm. Contrasting points to note are:

Country of return
The main difference between article 3 and the definition of serious harm is that torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment only amounts to serious harm if the prohibited treatment would occur in the country of origin. There is no such restriction in article 3 of the ECHR. There are two main scenarios where this will be relevant: return to a country other than the country of origin. Where a person could return to a country other than the country of origin but can demonstrate a serious risk of treatment contrary to article 3 in that third country, Humanitarian Protection will be granted as a matter of policy (if the person has nowhere else to go) even though the Immigration Rules and the EU Qualification Directive do not apply. Note that a person who faces a real risk of such treatment in the country of origin but who could reasonably be expected to return to a third country where there is no such risk is not a person who is in need of protection; and risk of ill treatment in the UK. If removal from the UK would involve ill treatment in the UK then removal would be unlawful and cannot proceed, but the policy on Humanitarian Protection does not apply. Unless the applicant can be expected to return voluntarily, Discretionary Leave will be granted. See the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave for further guidance.

Individual threat in situations of armed conflict


This is an area where Article 3 and the definition of serious harm overlap. To qualify for Humanitarian Protection on this basis, the applicant must show that there are substantial grounds for believing that the applicant, if returned to the country of return, would face a real risk of a serious and individual threat to life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in a situation of international or internal armed conflict. The main effect of this provision is to clarify the instances in which Article 3 of the ECHR can be engaged in a situation of armed conflict. It reflects existing European caselaw in that respect. Article 15(c) makes it clear that, whilst a situation of international or internal armed conflict does not, in itself, give rise to a claim for protection, it can provide the basis for such a claim where applicants can show that they are individually at risk. Uncontrolled if printed 6

See AI on Humanitarian Protection for further guidance.

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ECHR Rights incorporated into UK Law by the Human Rights Act


See Annex A for Articles of the Convention that are incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act. Those that largely refer to the machinery for enforcing rights in Strasbourg are not incorporated. The Convention sets out a number of civil and political rights which each Contracting Party is required to secure to everyone within its jurisdiction. One way these rights can be grouped is by the extent to which they can be qualified or limited. Non-derogable rights - These are rights which a State must guarantee, without exception, at all times, including in time of war or other public emergency. Rights which fall into this category are: Article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), Article 4(1) (prohibition of slavery), and Article 7 (no punishment without law). Article 2 (right to life) also falls within this category, except that a derogation is permitted in one limited area - deaths resulting from lawful acts of war. Nor is any derogation permitted to Protocol 13 (abolition of the death penalty). Other absolute rights - All the non-derogable rights are absolute in that there are never any circumstances which justify the State in some way limiting or curtailing those rights. Some of the other Convention rights contain elements which are also absolute in peace time - for example, Article 5 includes certain rights which must be provided to a person arrested or detained; Article 6 sets out some standards on a right to a fair trial which must be adhered to; and Article 9 provides an unlimited right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (although there are limitations on how a persons religion or beliefs are manifested). Rights in this category are absolute except that in times of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation they may be derogated from in limited ways, as provided for by Article 15 of the Convention. Rights with defined limitations - Other rights such as the right to marry and found a family (Article 12) and parts of Article 5 (right to liberty and security) can be limited in the circumstances defined in the Convention itself. For example, Article 12 is qualified by being subject to national laws governing these rights if, for example, the national law prohibited marriage until a person was 21 years old that would not be a breach of Article 12. Qualified rights - These rights include the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8), the right to freedom of expression (Article 10) and the right to the peaceful enjoyment of property (Article 1 of Protocol 1). Interference with these rights is permissible subject to various qualifications. These include the requirement that any interference must be in accordance with the law, be necessary in a democratic society (i.e. meets a pressing social need and is proportionate) and be related to one or more of the permissible aims as set out in the relevant Article.

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How the UK Border Agencys work is affected by the Human Rights Act
Section 6 of the Human Rights Act makes it unlawful for a public authority (such as a Government department) to act (or fail to act) in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right, unless, as the result of a provision of primary legislation, it could not have acted differently. It should be remembered that the Human Rights Act does not create new rights, rather it enables individuals to rely on existing ECHR rights before UK courts. The UK Border Agency has for many years had regard to ECHR rights in considering asylum claims, because of the UKs international obligations under the ECHR. Experience suggests that the Convention rights most likely to be raised alongside an asylum claim or to be inherent in such a claim are Articles 2, 3, 8 and 14. Article 2, 3 and 14 together with Protocol 13 (death penalty), are dealt with below. For information on Article 8, please refer to the asylum instruction on Article 8. Of course, applicants will sometimes raise other Articles and the full text of the other ECHR Articles is given in Annex A. Further guidance on how to deal with specific articles may be sought from a senior caseworker.

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Identifying that a Human Rights Claim has been made


Human Rights claims can be made at any stage of the asylum process. Where asylum is claimed, decision makers should consider that an implied Article 3 claim has been made. Claims for asylum will often include assertions that an applicants human rights would be breached if they were removed to their country of origin. Often the basis of a human rights claim will be the same as the basis of the asylum claim and the applicant in support of both claims submits the same statements.

Where the applicant has outstanding immigration applications


CID and the file should be checked to see if the applicant has other applications such as a marriage application outstanding. For further guidance see the AI on Processing Hybrid Applications .

Where the applicant makes a claim under ECHR only


Applicants may consider their fear of return to their country of origin under the ECHR only. However, paragraph 327 of the Immigration Rules requires us to presume that a person who asks for protection is claiming asylum even if they do not mention the Geneva Convention. Therefore such cases must be treated as an asylum application.

Articles stated explicitly by the applicant


Applicants or their legal representatives will sometimes explicitly state the articles of the ECHR under which they wish their claims to be considered (for example: 'returning me to [country] would be a breach of Article 3 because I will be tortured'). Decision makers should note that: The Articles may have been made only once or several times at any stage in the evidence gathering process The nature and the content of each statement may be slightly or wholly different from ones that have been made previously There may also be additions over time of more articles of the ECHR under which the applicant wishes his claim to be considered The claim should be considered against every ECHR article mentioned in accordance with this instruction.

Articles not explicitly stated by the applicant


Where no specific articles have been quoted by the applicant or his legal representative, the circumstances of each case and all the evidence submitted against the provisions of the ECHR should always be considered. The AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave provide instructions on this. All the evidence needs to be considered at the initial decision making stage rather than later in the process, whether the applicant has asked for this to be done or not.

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Case Consideration - General


General Consideration of Human Rights Issues
It has been the UK Border Agencys practice to treat asylum claims as implicit human rights claims, but the incorporation of Humanitarian Protection into the Immigration Rules formalises this practice. Where an asylum application has been made, decision makers should consider: 1. whether the applicant qualifies for asylum under paragraph 334 of the Immigration Rules; 2. if not, whether the applicant qualifies for Humanitarian Protection under paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules (see the AI on Humanitarian Protection); 3. if not, whether the applicant qualifies for Discretionary Leave on other ECHR grounds, including article 3 grounds that fall outside the scope of the Immigration Rules on Humanitarian Protection (see advice elsewhere in this instruction and in the AI on Discretionary Leave); and 4. if not, whether the individual circumstances of the case are so compelling that a grant of Discretionary Leave is appropriate. Grants in this category will be rare. Decision makers should follow this process in asylum cases even where neither the ECHR nor Humanitarian Protection has been mentioned specifically by the applicant. Some applicants will seek consideration of Humanitarian Protection or other ECHR issues without making an asylum claim. Such applications should be considered as an asylum claim. In most cases where ECHR considerations prevent return, the normal course of action will be to grant Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. However where an applicant is excluded from refugee status (see the AI on Exclusion), they will also be excluded from Humanitarian Protection under the Immigration Rules (paragraph 339D) and from standard grants of Discretionary Leave (see the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave). In such cases, consideration should be given to the possibility of seeking assurances or undertakings from the authorities in the intended country of return with a view to removing the individual in conformity with our obligations under the ECHR and the Immigration Rules. Decision makers who encounter cases in which it may be necessary to seek an assurance prior to a person being able to return (whether enforced or voluntarily) should contact Asylum Operational Policy Unit via a senior caseworker. Where it appears that a person's claim for asylum raises human rights issues (or where a SEF or statement of additional grounds under section 120 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 either directly refers or alludes to specific human rights issues) these issues should be examined at interview and addressed in the RFRL. Where human rights issues are involved, decision makers will need to consider whether the alleged human rights violation will take place within the UK or after return in the country of return (i.e. whether it is a domestic or a foreign case). This will be relevant to how the case is approached. See Engagement of the UKs obligations under the ECHR and HRA.

Addressing human rights issues in RFRLs


If the asylum claim is successful, there is no requirement to address human rights issues in the grant letter. However, where the asylum claim falls for refusal the decision maker must look at whether the applicant will qualify for Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave, Uncontrolled if printed 11

following the procedure set out in General Consideration of human rights issues. If the applicant does not qualify for either, the Reasons for Refusal Letter must explain why the applicant is not eligible for Humanitarian Protection under the Rules and why the decision is not otherwise in breach of the ECHR as well as why refusal of asylum is not in breach of the 1951 Convention. Where the applicant mentions ECHR/human rights during his or her asylum claim the relevant Articles must be addressed in any Reasons for Refusal Letter. If no specific Article is mentioned, it is not necessary to address all of the possible Articles that might conceivably apply. It is only necessary to consider whether it is reasonably clear on the facts that a particular Article may be engaged e.g. Article 3 if the claim is based on torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. If it is considered that there is a clear ECHR article to be addressed, but that it falls to be refused, reasons should be covered in the RFRL whether or not the issue has been raised by the applicant.

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Consideration of Asylum Claims raising Human Rights Specific Issues


Engagement of the UKs obligations under the ECHR and HRA
A person may claim that they should be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom as their removal would be a breach of their human rights and that they cannot reasonably be expected to return voluntarily. A person may alternatively or additionally allege that in taking an immigration decision as defined in section 82(2) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 a public authority has breached their human rights. This means that the public authority (i.e. the UK Border Agency) has acted in a way which is unlawful by virtue of section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 - i.e. acted, or failed to act, in a way which is incompatible with one of the Convention rights.

Domestic Cases
The House of Lords in Ullah and Do confirmed that the primary focus of the ECHR is territorial, i.e. the UK must respect the Convention rights of those within the UK (see Article 1 of the ECHR which states that signatories to the Convention have obligations to persons within their jurisdiction). A domestic case is where an applicant alleges that the UK has acted in a way which infringes the applicants enjoyment of a Convention right within the territory of the UK. An example of a domestic case would be where a person claims that their removal would separate them from their family in the UK (Article 8). In such cases the sole issue is whether that right has, or will be breached by removal (since a voluntary return would have the same effect), having regard where necessary to the circumstances in which the ECHR itself provides for limitations or qualifications to that right.

Foreign Cases
A foreign case is one where it is claimed that requiring a person to leave the UK will lead to a violation of the applicants Convention rights in the country of return, i.e. the alleged violation of the Convention right will occur outside the territory of the UK. For example, an applicant may allege that on return they will suffer inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3), unlawful detention (Article 5), an unfair trial (Article 6) or restrictions on their freedom of expression (Article 10).

Foreign Cases: distinction between Article 3 and the other Articles of the Convention.
Decision makers are likely to come across 3 main types of foreign case: Humanitarian Protection cases involving a real risk of serious harm (i.e. cases involving Article 2 (right to live), Protocol 13 (prohibition of the death penalty) and many Article 3 cases); other Article 3 cases; and cases in which a breach of another right under the ECHR is alleged. All asylum claims should be treated as containing an implied claim for Humanitarian Protection on the ground that the applicant will face a real risk of serious harm in the country of return, and/or a claim for Discretionary Leave on the basis that requiring the applicant to leave the UK will otherwise breach the UKs obligations under Article 3 (see Article 3 ECHR) because of the ill treatment the applicant alleges he will suffer on return. In other words, all asylum claims should be treated as an implied Article 3 foreign case and if Uncontrolled if printed 13

the asylum claim is refused, consideration should be given to whether return would breach the UKs obligations under Article 3, first by reference to the requirements for Humanitarian Protection and then by reference to any residual Article 3 issues that may entitle the applicant to Discretionary Leave. Just as in a Humanitarian Protection case the applicant must show that there are substantial grounds for believing that return will expose the applicant to a real risk of serious harm, in other Article 3 foreign cases, it is sufficient for an applicant to show that there are substantial grounds for believing that return will expose the applicant to a real risk of a breach of Article 3 for the UKs obligations under Article 3 to be engaged (see Article 3 ECHR for details as to what is required to meet the real risk test). Where the real risk test is met, return will breach the UKs obligations under Article 3. In relation to foreign claims arising out of other Articles of the Convention, caseworkers should consider whether there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that return will expose the applicant to a flagrant violation of the relevant Convention right. The House of Lords in Ullah and Do held that a flagrant violation is where the right will be completely denied or nullified in the destination country and emphasised the high threshold required to engage the UKs EHCR obligations on return in cases alleging a breach of an Article other than Article 3: in order to meet the high threshold, it would be necessary to establish at least a real risk of a flagrant violation of the very essence of the right. There will be a real risk of a flagrant violation on return where there is a real risk that conditions in the country of return are such that it will be impossible for the applicant to exercise any meaningful aspect of the ECHR right. Given the very high threshold, treatment in the country of return will only engage the UKs obligations under ECHR, other than Article 3, in exceptional cases. When considering a foreign case involving an article other than Article 3, Article 2 or Protocol 13, caseworkers should adopt the following approach: - assess the likelihood of the alleged treatment/conduct occurring on return and whether such treatment/conduct would be a breach of the ECHR; then - consider whether any breach would be sufficiently serious that it would amount to a flagrant violation of the relevant Convention right. (See the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave).

Sufficiency of Protection/Internal Relocation


Refer to the AIs on Internal Relocation and Humanitarian Protection and Considering the Asylum Claim for guidance.

Standard of Proof
A person must show that there are substantial grounds for believing that, if they return to their country of origin or other country of return, there is a real risk of their being subjected to serious harm (paragraph 339D of the Immigration Rules or treatment that would otherwise breach their Convention rights. This is in practice the same standard of proof as in asylum cases, i.e. a reasonable degree of likelihood.

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Article 2 and Protocol 13 ECHR


General
Article 2(1) states that: " Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law." However, under Article 2, there are certain situations where an authority will not be considered to have breached a person's right to life. These are set out in Article 2(2) which states that: " Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary: (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence; (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection." In practice, the limitations in Article 2(2) are unlikely to apply in individual human rights claims.

Consideration of Article 2 issues


There is limited caselaw on the extent to which the UKs obligations might be engaged by the return of a person to a country where it is alleged that their right to life would be threatened. However, we would not normally seek to return a person to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk they would be unlawfully killed either by the State or through the State being unable or unwilling to protect them. Applicants who face a serious risk to life or person arising from an unlawful killing may, subject to certain exclusions, be eligible for a grant of Humanitarian Protection (see the definition of serious harm (paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules). See also AI on Humanitarian Protection, or Discretionary Leave if the applicant is excluded from Humanitarian Protection). Note that Article 2 does not apply in medical and suicide claims, in which death would not be caused by lawful or unlawful killing.

Capital Punishment (Article 2 and Protocol 13)


Breaches of the right to life (Article 2) and the prohibition of the death penalty (Protocol 13) are defined as serious harm for Humanitarian Protection purposes. The definition of serious harm in paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules includes the death penalty or execution and unlawful killing. The details of the claim should be fully considered in order to determine whether there are substantial grounds for believing there is a real risk of the applicant being intentionally deprived of their life or that, on the basis of the available evidence, there is a real risk that a person would be convicted and face the death penalty in the country of return. In death penalty cases it will often be necessary to contact the Country of Origin Information (COI) Service for advice as to whether the death penalty is on the statute books for the crime in question and whether it is actually used in practice and the Country Specific Asylum Policy Team for guidance as to the UK Border Agencys country policy in that context. In some countries the death penalty remains in force but is not in common use. Uncontrolled if printed 15

An applicant may make claims that they have broken laws or that their activities would one day bring them to the attention of the authorities and could, if they returned, lead to the death sentence being imposed. The fact that a person has not yet been sentenced for a crime would not necessarily exclude them from the benefit of Humanitarian Protection. The important question is whether or not there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that the person will be prosecuted, convicted and face the death penalty as a result of their conviction. Any person who would face a real risk of the death penalty being carried out if removed may be eligible for Humanitarian Protection and where the applicant falls to be excluded from Humanitarian Protection may be eligible for Discretionary Leave. Please refer to the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave. Decision makers must not contact authorities abroad to enquire about the risk of an individual facing the death penalty without express permission from the Asylum Operational Policy Unit. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office may be able to help in such circumstances. All cases raising the death penalty should be seen by a Senior Caseworker. The Asylum Operational Policy Unit should be informed of any cases where there is a real risk of the death penalty being enforced.

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Article 3 ECHR
General
Article 3 states that: No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Article 3 is an absolute right, i.e. it cannot be balanced against competing interests like some of the other ECHR rights and it applies even in times of war or other public emergency. The absolute nature of Article 3 has led to a high threshold and to reach the Article 3 threshold, ill treatment must attain a minimum level of severity and involve actual bodily injury or intense physical or mental suffering. Where treatment humiliates or debases an individual, it may be characterised as degrading and also fall within the prohibition of Article 3. The same threshold will apply in Humanitarian Protection cases. The UKs obligations under Article 3 apply irrespective of any reprehensible/criminal conduct on the part of the applicant. The applicants conduct may affect the type of leave granted or whether Humanitarian Protection is granted (see paragraph 339D of the Immigration Rules and section 8 of the AI on Humanitarian Protection ). As set out above, all asylum claims should be treated as a Humanitarian Protection and/or implied Article 3 foreign case and if the asylum claim is refused, consideration should be given to whether return would expose the applicant to serious harm or treatment that would otherwise be contrary to Article 3. Decision makers will therefore need to consider and address Humanitarian Protection and Article 3 explicitly in the Reasons for Refusal Letter.

Consideration
A persons return from the United Kingdom to a country where there are substantial reasons for believing that they face a real risk of serious harm or other treatment contrary to Article 3 would constitute a breach of Article 3 by the United Kingdom and also a breach of the Immigration Rules in Humanitarian Protection cases. Examples of treatment contrary to Article 3 (For discussion of the related definition of serious harm under paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules, see the AI on Humanitarian Protection.)

Torture
Consists of deliberate inhuman treatment, causing very serious suffering (physical and/or mental). Torture implies deliberately inflicted suffering of particular intensity and cruelty.

Inhuman treatment or punishment


The threshold is high but the treatment does not have to be deliberately inflicted. Whether the treatment attains the required minimum level of severity will depend on the individual circumstances of the case and will be influenced by factors such as age, sex, vulnerability and health of the victim and duration of the treatment or punishment. Uncontrolled if printed 17

Provided that a threat of torture is sufficiently real and immediate, it may generate enough mental suffering to constitute inhuman treatment under some circumstances.

Degrading treatment or punishment


Treatment or punishment may be degrading if it arouses in the victim feelings of fear, anguish or inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing him and possibly breaking his physical and moral resistance. Severe discrimination based on race, sex or other grounds is capable of constituting degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 where the minimum level of severity is attained. Whether the treatment of punishment is degrading will depend on whether a reasonable person of the same age, sex, health, etc, would have felt degraded.

Treatment by the state


This is where the state is directly responsible for the ill treatment, e.g. the ill treatment is contained within legislation or the state sanctions or condones the ill treatment, or the ill treatment arises where the armed forces are obeying orders. The state in this context includes both the government and the machinery of government, e.g. the civil service, the armed forces, the security forces and the police forces (agents of the state). It also includes any party or organisation controlling the state or a substantial part of the territory of the state (Regulation 3(b) of The Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006). Note that a person is not a refugee if effective protection is provided by such a body (Regulation 4).

Treatment by Rogue state agents Although they may be agents of the state, unlike state agents, rogue state agents are not acting in a manner authorised or tolerated by the state but are officials who are acting outside the authorised scope of their duty. An example of a rogue state agent would be a police officer or a security agent who beats a suspect out of malice and not as part of any state sanctioned policy. Where the treatment emanates from rogue state officials it should not be seen as ill treatment by the state, but the standard of sufficiency of protection required is higher than it is where the treatment is inflicted by non state agents.

Treatment by non state agents


Ill treatment that is not inflicted by the state may nevertheless fall within the Humanitarian Protection or Article 3 criteria where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that the state will prove unwilling or unable to provide protection against a threat of harm posed by a non-state agent. Decision makers should first consider whether there is a real risk of such treatment. Consideration should then be given to whether, in addition to the risk of harm inflicted by non-state agents, there is also a real risk that the state will fail to provide reasonable protection against that harm (Bagdanavicius (FC) and others [2005] UKHL 38) An applicant should avail himself of state protection where it is available before seeking international protection. Further information on sufficiency of protection is provided in the AI on Considering the Asylum claim . Uncontrolled if printed 18

Internal Relocation
See the AI on Internal Relocation and paragraph 339O of the Immigration Rules.

Medical claims
See IDI on Medical Claims. Applicants may claim that they suffer from a serious medical condition and that their return and the consequent withdrawal of medical treatment being received in the UK would amount to inhuman or degrading treatment contrary to Article 3. Medical claims will only reach the threshold for Article 3 in rare and extreme circumstances. The general principle is that a person cannot avoid return on the basis that they should continue to benefit from medical, social or other form of assistance provided in the UK. An improvement in an applicants medical condition resulting from the interim treatment together with a prospect of serious or fatal relapse on expulsion will not render expulsion inhuman treatment contrary to Article 3. Where an applicants suffering on return will not result from deliberately inflicted harm, the threshold set by Article 3 is particularly high. To meet the Article 3 threshold, an applicant will need to show exceptional circumstances that prevent return, namely that there are compelling humanitarian considerations such as the applicant being in the final stages of a terminal illness without prospect of medical care or family support on return. The test is whether the applicants illness has reached such a critical stage (i.e. he is dying) that it would be inhuman treatment to deprive him of the care which he is currently receiving and send him home to an early death unless there is care available there to enable him to meet that fate with dignity (from the case of N (FC) v SSHD [2005] UKHL 31).

Article 8 medical claims


Article 8 private life may also be raised in the context of a medical claim. The issue in an Article 8 foreign case is whether return will result in a real risk of a flagrant denial of an applicants Article 8 rights in the country of return, usually in respect of the applicants right to physical and moral integrity. In most cases, Article 8 will add little to Article 3 as the House of Lords said in Razgar, it is not easy to think of a foreign health care case which would fail under Article 3 but succeed under Article 8. When considering whether return would give rise to a real risk of a flagrant breach of Article 8 (see the AI on Article 8), decision makers should take into account similar factors as for an Article 3 medical claim.

Suicide
Where an applicant claims that return will cause him to self harm or commit suicide in breach of Article 3 or 8, decision makers should refer to the Chapter 1 Section 10 of the IDIs for the UK Border Agency policy on suicide threats. This section should be read in light of that policy. Uncontrolled if printed 19

the risk of a human rights violation must be considered in relation to three stages: - (i) when the applicant is informed in the UK of a final decision to remove (domestic case); - (ii)during removal, i.e. when the applicant is physically removed (domestic case), or en route in the case of a voluntary return; and - (iii) after arrival in the country of return (foreign case) the test in domestic cases is whether there are substantial grounds for believing that the person faces a real risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment when required to leave, when informed of a final decision to remove or during return the test in foreign cases is whether there are substantial grounds for believing that the person, if returned, faces a real risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment when applying the test in foreign cases, caseworkers should consider the following: (1) An assessment should be made of the severity of the treatment which it is said that the applicant would suffer if removed. It must attain a minimum level of severity and must necessarily be serious such that it is an affront to humanitarian principles to remove an individual to a country where he is at risk of serious ill treatment (2) There must be a causal link between the act or threatened act of return or expulsion and the inhuman treatment relied on as violating the applicants Article 3 rights. Where there is already a risk of suicide in the UK, it must be shown that the proposed return will significantly increase the already present suicide risk (3) the Article 3 threshold is particularly high in a foreign case and it is even higher where the alleged inhuman treatment is not the direct or indirect responsibility of the public authorities of the receiving state, but results from some naturally occurring illness, whether physical or mental (4) an Article 3 claim can in principle succeed in a suicide case (5) A question of importance in deciding whether there is a real risk of a breach of Article 3 is whether the applicants fear of ill treatment in the receiving state upon which the risk of suicide is said to be based is objectively well founded. If the fear is not well founded, that will tend to weigh against there being a real risk that the return will result in serious harm or other treatment contrary to Article 3 (6) A question of considerable relevance is whether the UK and/or the receiving state have effective mechanisms to reduce the risk of suicide. If there are effective mechanisms that too will weigh heavily against a claim that removal will violate Article 3. when considering point (6) above, decision makers should take into account the steps to be taken to minimise the risk of suicide or self harm. The above factors, except for (3), are equally applicable in domestic cases and the sixth factor is of particular significance. Although someone who is sufficiently determined to do so may commit suicide, the fact that such mechanisms exist is an important, and often decisive, factor when assessing whether there is a real risk of a breach of Article 3 For further guidance on whether a suicide claim reaches the Article 3 or 8 threshold, contact the Social Policy Unit via a senior caseworker.

Prison conditions
Poor prison conditions may reach the threshold for Article 3 where they reach a minimum level of severity. Decision makers should consider:

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1. whether there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that the applicant will be imprisoned on return; 2. if so, whether the conditions of detention the applicant will face are likely to reach the Article 3 threshold. Whether the Article 3 threshold is met is fact specific, depending on the conditions of the relevant detention facility. Relevant considerations will include the following, several of which should be present for a significant duration in order for the suffering to reach the minimum level of severity: Levels of overcrowding Solitary confinement (segregation and isolation) Sleep deprivation, e.g. by constant lighting, lack of adequate sleeping facilities Complete absence of exercise Absence of sanitation Absence of ventilation Continuous surveillance Absence of medical treatment Malnourishment Vermin infestations Absence of natural light The Article 3 threshold in these cases is high and the IAT has acknowledged that recognition has to be had to the situation in individual countries and to the standards that are accepted, and expected, in those countries (SF (Article 3 Prison Conditions) Iran CG [2002] UKIAT 00973). Therefore, prison conditions which are far from ideal and may not measure up to UK standards will not necessarily reach the Article 3 threshold. Every Operational Guidance Note has a section on prison conditions and whether or not they are likely to be such as to engage Article 3. Guidance on prison conditions in individual cases may be sought, via senior caseworkers, from the Country of Origin Information (COI) Service. Where a decision maker thinks that prison conditions breach Article 3, guidance should always be sought from the Country Specific Asylum Policy Team.

Other severe humanitarian conditions meeting the Article 3 threshold


There may be some cases (although any such cases are likely to be rare) where the general conditions in the country for example, absence of water, food or basic shelter are so poor that removal in itself could, in extreme cases, constitute ill treatment under Article 3. Decision makers will still need to consider how those conditions would impact upon the individual if removed. Any such cases, if granted, would qualify for Discretionary Leave rather than Humanitarian Protection (because they are not protection-related cases), but leave should not be granted without reference to a senior caseworker. See the AIs on Discretionary Leave and Humanitarian Protection. For guidance on the appropriate grant of leave in an Article 3 case, decision makers should refer to the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave.

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Article 8 ECHR
Article 8 (1) states that: "1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others." Unlike Article 3, Article 8 is a qualified right, which means that interference with the rights set out in Article 8(1) may be permissible in certain circumstances. For a discussion of the issues surrounding the right to private and family life, see the AI on Article 8.

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Article 14
General
Article 14 states that an individual's rights under the ECHR must be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status. Article 14 does not create a freestanding right not to be discriminated against, but one linked to the enjoyment of the Convention rights.

Consideration
Article 14 provides protection from discrimination in the exercise of another Convention right. It ensures equal access to the other Convention rights. Article 14 does not give a general right to protection from differential treatment. Therefore, Article 14 only applies where the subject matter of another Convention right has been activated. NB it isnt necessary for the other Convention right to be breached in order for Article 14 to apply. Any allegation that return will be a breach of Article 14 must be reviewed by a Senior Caseworker. Decision makers should approach Article 14 allegations in the following way: 1. Is the alleged discrimination (i.e. the alleged differential treatment) in relation to a Convention right? 2. Is the alleged discrimination on a ground covered by Article 14? 3. If the answers to 1 and 2 are yes: a. Is there an obvious and relevant difference between the applicant and those with whom he seeks to compare himself such that their situations cant be regarded as analogous? b. If not, is the differentiation in treatment justified, having a legitimate aim and not disproportionate in its adverse impact?

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Other Incorporated Articles


Applicants may raise human rights claims based on Articles other than those considered above. Claims based on other Convention Articles most commonly raise issues under Articles 5, 6, 9 and 10. (The text of these articles is set out in full in Annex A). Decision makers should consider whether an applicant has demonstrated that the alleged treatment in the country of return would be so serious as to amount to a flagrant violation or a flagrant denial of the protected right. The rights contained in Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 6 (right to a fair trial) are limited rights. Decision makers may seek further advice on claims in respect of other incorporated Articles from Asylum Operational Policy Unit via a senior caseworker.

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Duration of Grants of Leave


Humanitarian Protection
The length of time that leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom should be granted on the basis of Humanitarian Protection is set out in the AI on Humanitarian Protection. This will normally be for a period of 5 years, unless there exists at the time a separate instruction to the contrary.

Discretionary Leave
The length of time that leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom should be granted on the basis of Discretionary Leave is set out in the AI on Discretionary Leave. The standard grant period is three years but a shorter period may be granted depending upon the circumstances of the individual case.

Conditions of stay
Grants of Humanitarian Protection in accordance with paragraph 339C of the Immigration Rules or Discretionary Leave outside the Rules and whatever the period of leave granted should be given Code 1A as a condition of stay. Code 1A denotes leave to enter/remain for a specified period and allows the recipient to work and have access to public funds.

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Recording the Consideration on the Minute


When a decision has been made to grant leave, a minute giving a brief summary of the consideration of the claim should be prepared and placed on the left-hand side of the file. This is needed in all cases whether Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave has been granted. The minute should set out the decision makers consideration and the conclusion that has been reached. This written record will assist the consideration of any applications that may be made at a later date by the applicant, such as Active Review. See Minute Writing for further guidance.

General principles for recording the consideration on the minute


The minute should include the following: Applicants details Summary of the basis of claim including why the claim has been accepted and why either Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave is being granted The length of the leave that is to be granted Human Rights articles raised Decision makers consideration Decision Applicants details Applicant Caseworkers should begin the minute with the applicants details, including full name (surname in capitals), date of birth and nationality.

Basis of the claim against the Asylum Policy Instructions on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave
Decision makers should compile a brief summary of the claim against the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave. Any relevant information already set out in the consideration of the asylum claim does not need to be repeated and should merely be referred to in this section of the minute.

Human Rights Articles


Decision makers should specify which articles they have considered and whether they were cited implicitly or explicitly.

Consideration of the Human Rights Articles


The reasons for refusing the claim and for granting either Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave must be set out briefly in the minute. The file minute should also specify the length of the leave that is to be granted. Further Advice: See also the AIs on Humanitarian Protection, Discretionary Leave, Article 8, Appeals-One-Stop Procedure, Further Representations and Fresh Claims, Family Reunion, and Considering the Asylum Claim. See also the IDI on Medical Claims. Uncontrolled if printed 26

Annex A: (Articles Incorporated into UK Law by the Human Rights Act)


Article 2 - Right to Life
1. Everyones right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary: a. in defence of any person from unlawful violence; b. in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained; c. in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.

2.

Article 3 Prohibition of Torture


No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery and Forced Labour


1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude 2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour 3. For the purpose of this Article the term forced or compulsory labour shall not include: a. any work to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention; b. any service of a military character or, in the case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service; c. any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community; d. any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Article 5 Right to liberty and security


1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law: a. the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court; b. the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non-compliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law; c. the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;

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d. the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority; e. the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound minds, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants; f. the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his affecting an unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition. 2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him. 3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1(c) of this article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial. 4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful. 5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

Article 6 Right to a fair trial


1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice. 2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. 3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights: a. to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. b. to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence; c. to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require. d. to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him; e. to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.

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Article 7 No punishment without law


1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed. 2. This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognised by civilized nations.

Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life


1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion


1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest ones religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 10 Freedom of expression


1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises. 2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

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Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association


1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. 2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals of for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

Article 12 Right to marry


Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.

Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination


The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

Article 16 Restrictions on political activity of aliens


Nothing in Articles 10, 11 and 14 shall be regarded as preventing the High Contracting Parties from imposing restrictions on the political activity of aliens.

Article 17 Prohibition of abuse of rights


Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the Convention.

Article 18 Limitations on use of restrictions on rights


The restrictions permitted under this Convention to the said rights and freedoms shall not be applied for any purpose other than those for which they have been prescribed.

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THE FIRST PROTOCOL


Article 1 Protection of property
Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.

Article 2 Right to education


No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

Article 3 Right to free elections


The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.

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THE THIRTEENTH PROTOCOL


Article 1 Abolition of the death penalty
The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed.

Article 2 Death penalty in time of war


A State may make provision in its law for the death penalty in respect of acts committed in time of war or of imminent threat of war; such penalty shall be applied only in the instances laid down in the law and in accordance with its provisions. The State shall communicate to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe the relevant provisions of that law.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 Authors MO UU/SL S Betts JL Date 03/03/07 12/11/07 30/10/08 27/10/09 Change Reference New web style implemented Procedures Directive Update branding only Childrens Duty paragraph added

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CONSIDERING THE ASYLUM CLAIM


Table of Contents

Summary Refugee Status and Granting of Asylum General Considerations Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Points to Consider on Initial Receipt of the Asylum Case File Cases Which Raise Security Issues Other Security Issues Checklist of Points to Consider When Assessing an Asylum Claim Refoulement and Third Country Cases Refoulement Third country cases Gathering evidence and preparing for an interview Where the applicant cannot be interviewed because of mental or physical condition Inclusion in the Convention Country of Nationality Dual nationality Stateless persons Refugees sur place Well-Founded Fear Consideration of applications Factors to take into account in assessing a claim Establishing the Facts Karanakaran Credibility Objectivity "Reasonable likelihood" Persecution Definition of persecution Prosecution Actors (previously known as agents) of persecution State persecution Rogue State Actors Persecution by clans, parties or organisations controlling the State Non-State actors Sufficiency of protection Internal Relocation Convention Reasons Gender Economic motives Imputed Convention grounds Race Religion Religious conversion Nationality Membership of a particular social group Definition of a particular social group

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Innate/Immutable Characteristics Societal Recognition Does the social group exist independently of the persecution? Persecution for reasons of an applicants membership of a PSG Political opinion Imputed Political Opinion Actions which imply a political opinion Expression of political opinion in the UK Future expression of opinion Persecution for non-convention reasons The Exclusion Clauses Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave Deciding the Claim Types of Decision Concurrent Asylum and non-asylum applications Recording the Asylum Consideration Recording Of the Consideration of a Claim Where Asylum Is To Be Granted Applicants details Basis of asylum claim Recording the consideration of the claim and the decision made Signing the consideration minute Recording of the Consideration of a Claim where Asylum is to be Refused Annex A - Points to Consider on Initial Receipt of the Asylum Case File War criminality screening If the applicant is an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC) Third Country Cases Certification under Section 94 of the NIA Act 2002 (Non Suspensive Appeal (NSA) Cases) Multiple Applications European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals Where the Applicant has other immigration applications outstanding Detained Cases Ministers Cases (CRD) Ministers Cases (regional asylum teams) Where the Applicant has been Convicted of Criminal Charges and/or has a Deportation Order Cases Which Raise Security Issues Other Security Issues

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Summary
This instruction gives guidance to asylum decision makers on how to apply the Geneva Convention and the procedures to be followed when considering and determining asylum claims. It takes account of relevant primary legislation, the Immigration Rules, the provisions implementing the European Council Directive (2004/83/EC) of 29 April 2004 on the Minimum Standards for the Qualification of Third Country Nationals or Stateless Persons as Refugees or as Persons who Otherwise Need International Protection and the Content of the Protection Granted (The Qualification Directive), Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on Minimum Standards on Procedures in Member States for Granting and Withdrawing Refugee Status (The Procedures Directive) and UK caselaw. It also takes account of the UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status. Every decision maker should be familiar with the UNHCR Handbook. This instruction must be read in conjunction with separate Asylum Instructions (AI) on Assessing Credibility in Asylum and Human Rights Claims, Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim, Internal Relocation, and Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Decision makers should have the knowledge with respect to relevant standards applicable in the field of asylum and refugee law and should not attempt to decide an asylum application until they have read and understood these instructions. Decision makers are to assess an asylum claim, eligibility for a grant of humanitarian protection or a human rights claim on an individual, objective and impartial basis. This instruction deals only with assessing asylum claims. Separate guidance on assessing eligibility for a grant of humanitarian protection and human rights claims can be found in the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave and in the AI on Considering Human Rights Claims. Guidance on Article 8 claims is provided in the AI on Article 8.

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Refugee Status and Granting of Asylum


General Considerations
An asylum applicant as defined in paragraph 327 of the Immigration Rules is a person who makes a request to be recognised as a refugee under the Geneva Convention on the basis that it would be contrary to the UKs obligations under the Geneva Convention for him to be removed from or required to leave the UK. Any application for international protection shall be presumed to be an application for asylum. All asylum claims should be considered without prejudice on their individual merits in accordance with the UK's obligations under the Geneva Convention. A person who fulfils the criteria set out in the Geneva Convention is a refugee. The UK in granting asylum is recognising the refugee's status and extending the protection required under its international obligations. The Qualification Directive lays down provisions and criteria for interpreting the Refugee Convention to be adopted across the European Union. It has been transposed into UK law through The Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations, 2006 and the Immigration Rules. The Procedures Directive sets minimum standards for Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status and has been transposed into the Asylum (Procedures) Regulations 2007 and the Immigration Rules. The Rules and Regulations can be viewed on the UKBAs website at: http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/. Unless the applicant can be returned to a safe third country, including to an EU Member State, Iceland or Norway under the Dublin arrangements (see Third Country cases below) asylum should be granted when the applicant meets the requirements of paragraph 334 of the Immigration Rules. Paragraph 334 states that: An asylum applicant will be granted asylum in the United Kingdom if the Secretary of State is satisfied that: I. he is in the United Kingdom or has arrived at a port of entry in the United Kingdom; and II. he is a refugee, as defined in regulation 2 of the Refugee or Person in need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006; and [Note: Regulation 2 defines a refugee as a person who falls within Article 1A of the Geneva Convention (see Inclusion in the Convention below) but who does not fall within the exclusion clauses (see the Exclusion Clauses below)]

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III. there are no reasonable grounds for regarding him as a danger to the security of the United Kingdom (see the AI on Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention); and IV. if he has been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, he does not constitute a danger to the community of the United Kingdom (see the AI on Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention); and V. refusing his application would result in him being required to go (whether immediately or after the time limited by an existing leave to enter or remain) in breach of the Geneva Convention, to a country in which his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. In order to assess whether an applicant is a refugee, as defined in the Article 1A of the Geneva Convention, decision-makers should follow the checklists of points in Points to Consider on Initial Receipt of the Asylum Case File and Checklist of Points to Consider when assessing an Asylum Claim below. If it is decided to refuse an asylum claim, consideration must be given to eligibility for a grant of Humanitarian Protection status under the Immigration Rules or Discretionary Leave. For further guidance see the section on Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave below and the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children


Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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This instruction includes requirements for the treatment of children in interviews which are intended to meet UKBAs statutory duty. Processing Asylum Applications from Children. It also makes consideration of the setting of removal directions. Consideration must be made of the Code Of Practices statement that there must always be a presumption in favour of not detaining a family and each familys case must be considered on its individual merits. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/consultati ons/closedconsultations/keepingchildrensafe/

If guidance is needed on how to handle the dependants of an asylum seeker, decision-makers should contact the Asylum Complex Advice Team via a senior caseworker.

Points to Consider on Initial Receipt of the Asylum Case File


On receipt of a case for consideration of an asylum claim but before consideration of the claim itself, decision-makers should thoroughly read through the file and check data on CID to identify whether any of the issues set out below apply: Whether there is information on file relating to war crimes The applicant is an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC) The applicant is the subject of third country action under the Dublin II regulations Whether certification under section 94 of the NIA Act 2002 (Non Suspensive Appeal (NSA) Cases) is appropriate If the case is a multiple application (has the applicant made an application for asylum in at least one different identity) Is the applicant a national of the European Economic Area (EEA)? EEA nationals may apply for asylum but if they are not refugees, there is a requirement to certify these claims (unless the decision-maker is satisfied that the case is not clearly unfounded) The applicant has other Immigration Applications outstanding Detained cases (which follow a different implementation process from other cases and have short deadlines) Cases of interest to ministers in some cases an undertaking is given to ministers to consider the claim within a certain timescale Whether the applicant has a criminal conviction/deportation order. Cases where the applicant has been convicted of criminal charges and/or has a deportation order against them should be sent to the Criminal Casework Directorate If any of the above issues are identified this may affect how the file is processed. For more detail on the above issues and how to process cases where these issues arise decision makers should see Annex A below. Uncontrolled if printed

Checklist of Points to Consider When Assessing an Asylum Claim


Decision makers should read the whole of this instruction and the AIs on Assessing Credibility in Asylum and Human Rights Claims, Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim, Internal Relocation and Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention before starting to decide asylum claims, but the following is a checklist of important points to be considered and advice on where to get further information. Having read through all the information available on the claim and conducted initial checks of the file, decision makers will need to gather and collate any additional evidence that is necessary to undertake an assessment. This will include conducting an asylum interview, where appropriate. Once this has been done, decision makers will be in a position to assess whether an asylum applicant is a refugee. In doing so, they will need to consider the following: a) What is the applicants basis of claim? b) Which of the applicants claims about past events can be accepted? Are the applicant's claims as to his/her past experiences consistent with objective country of origin information relating to the relevant period, including generally known facts? See the relevant Country of Origin Report produced by the Country of Origin Information Service (COIS) and any relevant Operational Guidance Note (OGN) produced by the Country Specific Asylum Policy Team (CSAPT). Are the applicant's claims consistent with other evidence submitted (e.g. the evidence of other witnesses, family members or documents specifically referring to the applicant)? Are any of the applicant's claims about his/her past experiences not able to be corroborated by reference to country of origin information or other evidence? If so, can the benefit of the doubt be given to any of these claims? If not, why not? After due consideration of the principle of the benefit of the doubt, which of the applicants material claims can be accepted, and which can be rejected? See Consideration of applications and Establishing the facts below for further guidance on considering applications and establishing the facts of a claim. See also the AI on Assessing Credibility in Asylum and Human Rights Claims. c) Taking into account the applicants statements and behaviour, does the applicant have a subjective fear of persecution?

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Decision makers should note that asylum seekers might not be familiar with the terms asylum or refugee. As long as they have expressed a fear of return to their home country or a need for international protection, this is sufficient to constitute an asylum claim see also the AI on Handling Claims d) Objectively, are there reasonable grounds for believing that the harm feared might in fact occur in the applicant's country of origin? Who are the actors of persecution? Do the authorities of the home country conduct the persecution or support persecution committed by others? See Actors (previously known as agents) of persecution below How far is the State or organisations controlling the State (including international organisations) able to provide protection from persecution caused by others? What laws are in place and are they enforced effectively? See Sufficiency of Protection below Has the applicant sought the protection of the authorities? If so, what was the outcome? If not, why not? Considering the objective country of origin information, the past experiences of the applicant and the attitude of the State authorities, is there a reasonable likelihood that the applicant would experience harm if returned? See Reasonable Likelihood below e) Can the applicant return to a part of the country in which he/she would not be subject to the harm feared? Is it reasonable to expect the applicant to live in that part of the country, taking into account the personal circumstances of the applicant and the general conditions prevailing in that part of the country? See Internal Relocation below and the AI on Internal Relocation for further guidance f) Is the harm feared a form of persecution? Is the harm of sufficient gravity to constitute persecution or is it something less serious? See Definition of persecution below Does the cumulative effect of lesser prejudicial actions or threats amount to persecution? If the applicant has a fear of prosecution or punishment for an offence, is the punishment discriminatory or disproportionate? Does this give rise to a fear of persecution? See Prosecution below If the fear of prosecution is due to draft evasion or desertion special considerations may apply. See the AI on Military Service and Conscientious Objection g) If the harm feared is serious enough to constitute persecution, would it be inflicted for one or more of the reasons set out in the Refugee Convention (i.e race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion)? - See Convention Reasons below h) In the light of (a) (g) above, does the the applicant meet the inclusion critera of the Geneva Convention?

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i) Should the applicant be excluded from international protection by operation of the exclusion clauses of the Convention? Is there any indication that the applicant may have been involved in acts that could bring him within the application of the exclusion clauses in Articles 1F(a), (b) or (c) of the Geneva Convention? See The Exclusion Clauses below and for more detailed guidance see the AI on Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The aim of the asylum process is to identify the genuine refugee as quickly as possible. Having followed the above checklist, the decision maker should be in a position to determine whether the applicant qualifies for refugee status. If, after a full and careful assessment, an applicant fails to qualify for asylum, decision makers should consider whether to grant Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. See Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave below and the AIs on Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave. On reaching a decision on the asylum claim, decision makers will need to record this on CID (see Recording the Asylum Consideration below).

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Refoulement and Third Country Cases


Refoulement
Refoulement is a term used to describe the return of a refugee to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Article 33(1) of the Convention prohibits refoulement and is one of the fundamental principles of refugee protection. However, Article 33(2) states that this provision will not apply to a refugee who is regarded as a danger to the security of the country where they have sought protection, or a danger to the community as a result of having been convicted of a particularly serious crime. The definition of a particularly serious crime for the purposes of Article 33(2) has been set out in domestic legislation. For further guidance on Article 33(2) see the AI on Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Third country cases


In certain circumstances, it may be possible to transfer an asylum seeker to a third country without giving full (or substantive) consideration to his or her claim. In particular, responsibility for the claim may fall to another Member State of the European Union or Norway / Iceland under the Dublin arrangements. Third country considerations must always be carried out by the Third Country Unit (TCU).

Further advice on operational issues in third country cases can be sought from TCU and on policy issues from the European Asylum Policy Unit (EAPU) via a senior caseworker.

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Gathering evidence and preparing for an interview


Asylum applicants often cannot substantiate their statements by independent documentary or other evidence, so submissions presented in writing and at asylum interviews will often be the only primary evidence in support of their claims. Decision makers will receive a case file following the screening interview or in some cases after a substantive interview has been arranged. Having undertaken initial checks of the information on file and CID, decision makers should gather, collate and read through all the available information. Most applicants will be interviewed and reading through the evidence on file will assist in preparing for the asylum interview. Such evidence may include: Screening interview records Statement of Evidence Forms Other written evidence submitted by the applicant in support of his claim, e.g. written statements, newspaper or internet articles, letters from friends or family, police and medical reports Any other documents on file, e.g. passports, political party membership cards, birth certificates, applications for leave to remain in the UK Country reports and other information relating to the applicant's fear of persecution may be available. Where decision makers require further country information they should seek the advice of a senior caseworker. Decision makers are advised to make notes of any salient points for their own reference and make an initial assessment about further information and questions relating to the claim for asylum which will need to be pursued during the interview. The decision maker should also assess whether more information is needed about the applicant's arrival in the United Kingdom in order to determine his immigration status, as this affects the method of notification of the decision and the applicants right of appeal should the case fall for refusal (for guidance on determining immigration status at interview see the AI on Conducting the Asylum Interview. If after conducting the interview and reviewing all the available evidence, there is still insufficient material to make a balanced and well-informed decision, it may be necessary to obtain further information through a written questionnaire or a further interview. Such action should only be taken with the agreement of a senior caseworker, and minuted on the file. Where an interview is required, the minute should record the further information required. Where a decision maker receives a file after a substantive interview has already been conducted, they should review all the evidence available, including the substantive interview record, and make a decision on the information available. If there is insufficient evidence to make a decision, it may be necessary to undertake further research or re-interview.

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Where the applicant cannot be interviewed because of mental or physical condition Where it is clear from information on file that the applicant is affected by a mental or physical condition and that it may not be possible, or appropriate, to interview him, the decision maker should write to the applicants legal representatives asking for a specialist medical report, if one has not already been submitted (see Where it has been Decided to Delay Consideration of a Case Pending Receipt of a Medical Report). In the case of a mental condition, the report should be completed by a [consultant] psychiatrist rather than a psychologist (because psychologists are not medically qualified). Decision makers should maintain regular contact with the applicant and, if appropriate, case owners should consider options such as pastoral visits to ensure that contact is maintained. The Case Management Plan should be updated regularly. Decision makers should consider the medical report in order to assess how best to obtain the necessary information about the asylum claim to make a sound decision. Where the medical report suggests that the applicant's condition is temporary, it may be appropriate to arrange an interview for a later date. However, where the report confirms that it would be inappropriate to interview the applicant, the decision maker should write to the applicant's legal representative to ask for specific information from the applicant and from relatives, carers or guardians as appropriate in order to consider the claim. On the basis of the information received, the claim should then be assessed in the usual way. Decision makers should seek advice from a senior caseworker in such cases. For guidance on the procedure to follow where the cancellation of an interview has been requested on these grounds see Cancelling Interview in the AI on Conducting the Asylum Interview.

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Inclusion in the Convention


Article 1A of the Geneva Convention provides that a person will [subject to the exclusion clauses covered later] qualify for refugee status if he/she: ".... owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence....., is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it." Therefore, unless an applicant is stateless (see Stateless persons), he will qualify for refugee status under the terms of the Geneva Convention if he meets all the following criteria: he is outside his country of nationality ... and he is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country owing to ... a well-founded fear of ... persecution for reasons of ... race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Guidance is given below on the terms: country of nationality; well-founded fear; persecution; and the Convention reasons of: race; religion; nationality; membership of a particular social group; and political opinion

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Country of Nationality
Under the Geneva Convention, a person must be outside their country of nationality (or country of former habitual residence if they are stateless) and be unable or, owing to a fear of persecution, unwilling to return to it before they can qualify for international protection as a refugee. When the applicants claimed country of nationality is doubted or disputed, the case owner should refer to the AI on Cases where there is an issue relating to the applicants nationality.

Dual nationality
A person who has more than one nationality and who has a well-founded fear of persecution in one of their countries of nationality will not be a refugee if they are able to seek protection of another one of their countries of nationality. In this case the application should be refused under paragraph 336 of the Immigration Rules on the ground that the applicant would not be required to return to a country in which they face a danger of persecution and does not, therefore, meet the criteria set out in paragraph 334. If the applicant has a well-founded fear of persecution in both countries of which he is a national, then he/she may qualify for asylum.

Stateless persons
If an asylum seeker has no nationality he must be outside the country of his former habitual residence before he can be recognised as a refugee and his fears must be in that country, not in the country of which he was once a national. Sometimes asylum seekers who are stateless might claim that they will not be re-admitted to their previous country of residence and therefore should be granted asylum in the UK. However, issues of statelessness and whether or not an individual is returnable should not affect the decision maker's decision on whether to grant asylum, as they are not relevant factors in the refugee determination process.

Refugees sur place


Paragraph 339P of the Immigration Rules states: A person may have a well founded fear of being persecuted or a real risk of suffering serious harm based on events which have taken place since the person left the country of origin or country of return and/or activities which have been engaged in by a person since he left the country of origin or country of return, in particular where it is established that the activities relied upon constitute the expression and

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continuation of convictions or orientations held in the country origin or the country of return. Hence, a "refugee sur place" is someone who falls within the Convention definition of a refugee some time after they left their home country. This means, for instance, a person already outside their country of origin when a change of circumstances occurs in their home country which gives rise to a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason. People may also become refugees "sur place" as a result of activities they have engaged in since leaving their country of origin, such as associating with people who have already been recognised as refugees or expressing their political views in their new country of residence. Decision makers should carefully examine the circumstances and decide whether their actions give rise to valid claims to refugee status. Applications from people already in the UK should be considered in the usual way in accordance with these instructions (see also paragraphs 94-100 of the UNHCR Handbook).

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Well-Founded Fear
In order to qualify as a refugee an applicant must demonstrate that they have a "well-founded fear" of persecution. In assessing whether an applicant's fear is well-founded, the decision maker must be satisfied both that: a) the applicant has manifested a subjective fear of persecution or an apprehension of some future harm, and b) objectively there are reasonable grounds for believing that the persecution feared may in fact occur in the applicant's country of origin.

Consideration of applications
Paragraph 339I of the Immigration Rules states that: When the Secretary of State considers a persons asylum claim, eligibility for a grant of humanitarian protection or human rights claim it is the duty of the person to submit to the Secretary of State as soon as possible all material factors needed to substantiate the asylum claim or establish that he is a person eligible for humanitarian protection or substantiate the human rights claim, which the Secretary of State shall assess in cooperation with the person. The material factors include: i) the persons statement on the reasons for making an asylum claim or eligibility for a grant of humanitarian protection or for making a human rights claim; all documentation at the persons disposal regarding the persons age, background (including background details of relevant relatives, identity, nationality(ies), country(ies), and place(s) of previous residence, previous asylum applications, travel routes; and identity and travel documents.

ii)

iii)

Where the applicant notifies the Secretary of State that an interpreter is required for communication between the applicant and the Secretary of State, an interpreter shall be provided at public expense. However in practice the duty to ascertain and evaluate evidence to establish a claim is shared between the applicant and the decision maker, and it is for the decision maker to draw out and test all the available evidence. Paragraph 339IA of the Immigration Rules states that: i) information provided in support of an application and the fact that an application has been made shall not be disclosed to the alleged actor(s) of persecution of the applicant, and

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ii)

information shall not be obtained from the alleged actor(s) of persecution that would result in their being directly informed that an application for asylum has been made by the applicant in question and would jeopardise the physical integrity of the applicant and his dependants, or the liberty and security of his family members still living in the country of origin.

Factors to take into account in assessing a claim


When assessing whether an asylum claim is well founded, decision makers will need to consider the following points, as set out in Paragraph 339J of the Immigration Rules: i) all relevant facts as they relate to the country of origin or country of return at the time of taking a decision on the grant; including laws and regulations of the country of origin or country of return and the manner in which they are applied; ii) relevant statements and documentation presented by the person including information on whether the person has been or may be subject to persecution or serious harm; iii) the individual position and personal circumstances of the person, including factors such as background, gender and age, so as to assess whether, on the basis of the person's personal circumstances, the acts to which the person has been or could be exposed would amount to persecution or serious harm; iv) whether the person's activities since leaving the country of origin or country of return were engaged in for the sole or main purpose of creating the necessary conditions for making an asylum claim or establishing that he is a person eligible for humanitarian protection or a human rights claim, so as to assess whether these activities will expose the person to persecution or serious harm if he returned to that country; and v) whether the person could reasonably be expected to avail himself of the protection of another country where he could assert citizenship.

Establishing the Facts


If an applicant has already been subjected to persecution or serious harm, or to direct threats of such persecution or such harm, paragraph 339K of the Immigration Rules makes it clear that decision makers should regard this as a serious indication of the persons well founded fear of persecution or real risk of suffering serious harm, unless there are good reasons, to suggest that such ill-treatment will not be repeated. Such reasons might include, for example, a significant and enduring improvement in country conditions.

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Considering past events is therefore an important aspect of assessing any asylum claim.

Karanakaran The Court of Appeal in the case of Karanakaran ([2000] (ImmAR 271) outlined an approach to assessing evidence of past and present events in asylum claims. The Court considered that the proper approach to looking at evidence of past and present events is not to look at these events in terms of standard of proof (so decision makers should not assess whether there is a reasonable degree of likelihood that a past event happened). Instead decision makers must assess whether a past or present event occurred, taking into account all available evidence, and come to a clear conclusion on each material fact. The Court held that decision makers should not exclude any past events from consideration when assessing future risk unless those events can safely be discarded i.e. because the decision maker is satisfied that they did not happen. Hence, a past event cannot be completely excluded from the balancing process simply because decision makers believe or have a suspicion it did not occur - they must be in no real doubt. Decision makers should consider each material fact of an applicants account. If the application falls to be refused, they should state in the Reasons for Refusal Letter (RFRL) which elements are accepted or not accepted and why, and what the overall effect of this is on the assessment of a future risk of persecution. There might be some instances for example, where there is a lack of objective country information - where the decision maker cannot be certain if a past or present event described by the applicant occurred as claimed. In such cases the uncertainty should be stated in the RFRL to show that this aspect of the applicants account has been considered. If the applicant has made a genuine effort to substantiate the claim and their statements are coherent and plausible and do not run counter to other evidence, decision makers should accept that the event may have happened and include this in the balance when assessing the likelihood of future risk.

Credibility
As stated above, in determining whether an applicant is a refugee decision makers are required to consider which aspects of the applicants account they accept and which they reject. By doing this, decision makers are assessing the credibility of an applicants claim about past events. It is for the applicant to furnish the details of his claim and for the decision maker to draw out and assess this evidence, establishing which facts are material to the claim. Material facts are those that go to the core of the claim

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and will be central to the decision. The applicant does not have to prove each material fact with documentary or other evidence applicants often rely on evidence that cannot be verified and the absence of proof in itself is no reason to refuse an application. Nor do they have to convince the decision maker that they are telling the truth. It is possible to establish a credible claim even where the applicant is unable to provide any independent, corroborative evidence to support his claims about past and present events as long as he can provide a coherent, consistent and plausible account of his past and present experiences. Decision makers should consider the credibility of a claim in the light of all the available evidence relating to the claim. They should consider whether the account is internally coherent, and consistent with claims made by witnesses/dependants and any documentary evidence. Where there is reason to doubt the claims credibility, applicants should be told of this and given an opportunity to explain the reasons behind their actions (usually during the substantive asylum interview). There may be a number of reasons why an applicant is incoherent or inconsistent, for example mental or emotional trauma, or fear/distrust of authority. Decision makers should examine all documentary evidence submitted by the applicant. Passports should be checked for entry/exit stamps, visas, evidence of return to country of origin etc, both in order to confirm the applicant's immigration status and immigration history, and to compare this with his account of events. Where decision makers are not satisfied about the authenticity of documents such as birth certificates, police reports and newspaper articles, official sources such as Operational Guidance Notes (OGNs), Country Reports, Bulletins and any other information produced by the Country of Origin Information Service (COIS) should be consulted. These often contain guidance and advice about the prevalence and accessibility of forged documents in countries. Decision makers should be wary of placing too much emphasis on documents such as birth certificates that may be forged or readily available from illegal sources. Where the authenticity of documents submitted by the applicant is in doubt, guidance should be sought from the senior caseworker, who may wish to seek advice from the relevant country officer in the Country of Origin Information Service, or an immigration officer who has received specialist training

Decision makers should also consider if a claim is consistent with background objective evidence. Where objective country information supports the applicants account of a past or present event, the claimed fact may be accepted. Where objective country information contradicts the evidence provided by the applicant it is likely to result in a negative credibility finding. However where there is no objective information available decision makers will need to consider whether to give the benefit of the doubt to the applicant. Paragraph 339L of the Immigration Rules states that Where aspects of the applicants statements are not supported by documentary or other evidence, Uncontrolled if printed

those aspects will not need confirmation when all of the following conditions are met: the person has made a genuine effort to substantiate his asylum claim; all material factors at the persons disposal have been submitted, and a satisfactory explanation regarding any lack of material has been given; the persons statements are found to be coherent and plausible and do not run counter to available specific and general information relevant to the persons case; the person has made an asylum claim at the earliest possible time, unless the person can demonstrate good reason for not having done so; and the general credibility of the person has been established In accordance with Paragraph 339N of the Immigration Rules, decision makers should note that in determining whether the general credibility of an applicant has been established they must have regard to the provisions covered by Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004. Section 8 of the 2004 Act came into force on 1 January 2005. It provides a framework for the consideration of credibility issues in asylum and human rights claims and imposes an obligation on all deciding authorities to regard certain behaviours on the part of an applicant adversely when they assess the applicants general credibility. However the fact that section 8 considerations have the force of law does not mean they are to be given more weight than other factors which impact on credibility. The Act does not relieve decision makers of their obligation to give due weight to all the facts of the case, including any background information that is available and relevant. Decision makers should refer to the AI on Assessing Credibility in Asylum and Human Rights claims for more detailed guidance on assessing credibility.

Objectivity
Once the decision maker has established the facts of the claim, he/she needs to assess objectively whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the applicant would, if returned to the country from which they seek refuge, face persecution for a Convention reason (i.e. due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion). In making this assessment decision makers should not be influenced by subjective factors, for example if the applicant appears nervous or fearful at the interview, or entirely calm and rational, but they should, however, be sensitive to the gender and cultural norms which may affect a applicant's demeanour. See the AI on Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim for further guidance.

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"Reasonable likelihood"
The decision maker will seldom be able to say with certainty whether or not an applicant will be persecuted if returned to their country of origin. The appropriate test for a decision maker to apply is to consider whether, at the date when they are making their decision, there is a reasonable degree of likelihood of the applicant being persecuted in their country of origin. The courts have said that a reasonable degree of likelihood has the same meaning as the term real risk, which is the test used by decision makers when assessing whether an applicant will be subjected on return to treatment which violates Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. See the AI on Considering Human Rights Claims. This does not require the decision maker to be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the applicant is more likely than not to suffer persecution for a Convention reason in their country of origin. Where the objective country evidence, applied to the applicant's case, suggests that there is a continuing reasonable likelihood that the applicant would face persecution in their country of origin, the applicant should normally be granted refugee status.

Decision makers should bear in mind that however well-founded an applicant's original/historic reasons for fleeing their country of origin, they are only entitled to a grant of asylum where at the date of decision they continue to have a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason. However, as stated in Establishing the facts above, if an applicant has already been subjected to, or threatened with, persecution or serious harm, this could be a serious indication that persecution or harm might happen again.

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Persecution
Definition of persecution
The decision maker must always assess whether the harm an asylum seeker claims to fear would amount to persecution. Regulation 5(1) of the Qualification Regulations states that: In deciding whether a person is a refugee an act of persecution must be: a) sufficiently serious by its nature and repetition as to constitute a severe violation of a basic human right, in particular a right from which derogation cannot be made under Article 15 of the [European] Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [the ECHR]; b) or an accumulation of various measures, including a violation of a human right which is sufficiently severe as to affect an individual in a similar manner as specified in (a). The basic human rights from which derogation cannot be made under the ECHR include Article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), Article 4(1) (prohibition of slavery), and Article 7 (no punishment without law). Article 2 (right to life) also falls within this category, except that derogation is permitted in one limited area - deaths resulting from lawful acts of war. Nor is any derogation permitted from Protocol 13 (abolition of the death penalty). See the AI on Considering Human Rights Claims for further guidance.

Regulation 5(2) of the Qualification Regulations states that an act of persecution may, for example, take the form of: a) an act of physical or mental violence, including an act of sexual violence; b) a legal, administrative, police, and/or judicial measure which in itself is discriminatory or which is implemented in a discriminatory manner; c) prosecution or punishment, which is disproportionate or discriminatory; d) denial of judicial redress resulting in a disproportionate or discriminatory punishment; e) prosecution or punishment for refusal to perform military service in a conflict, where performing military service would include crimes or acts falling under the exclusion clauses. See the AI on Military Service and Conscientious Objection This is not an exhaustive list and other forms of mistreatment which on their own or in accumulation with lesser prejudicial actions, severely violate the basic human rights listed above will also constitute persecution. Decision makers should bear in mind that the official authorities of a country may need to take measures that restrict the exercise of certain freedoms (e.g. restrictions placed on citizens of a country during a time of war). Such

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restrictions may not in themselves constitute persecution. However, if they are applied in a discriminatory manner and have sufficiently serious consequences, they may amount to persecution. Measures may be directed against a certain section of the population that includes the applicant. Such measures can be relied upon by an applicant in advancing their claim they need not have personally suffered the persecution to have a well founded fear of it.

If an applicant demonstrates there is a reasonable likelihood of persecution, this does not necessarily mean that the asylum applicant will qualify for a grant of asylum under the Geneva Convention. The applicant would still need to show persecution would be committed for one of the Convention reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion (see Convention Reasons below), and that their own State authorities or the organisation controlling the State would be unable or unwilling to provide effective protection (see Sufficiency of Protection below). If no Convention reason can be identified but there is a reasonable likelihood of persecution, decision makers should consider granting Humanitarian Protection see the AI on Humanitarian Protection for further guidance.

Prosecution
Persons fleeing from prosecution or punishment for an offence are not normally refugees. A refugee is a victim - or potential victim - of injustice, not a fugitive from justice (UNHCR Handbook paragraph 56). Prosecution, however, can be considered persecution if it involves victimisation in its application by the authorities, e.g. if it is the vehicle for the persecution of an individual or if only certain ethnic groups are prosecuted for a particular offence, and the consequences are sufficiently severe. Punishment which is cruel, inhuman or degrading (including punishment which is out of all proportion to the offence committed) may also constitute persecution. (See also paragraphs 56-61 of the UNHCR Handbook.)

Actors (previously known as agents) of persecution


Regulation 3 of the Qualification Regulations states that persecution or serious harm can be committed by a) the State [or by rogue state officials abusing their position of authority Although the Regulations do not refer to rogue state officials, as a matter of policy decision makers may regard them as potential actors of persecution]. See State Persecution and Rogue State Actors below for further guidance. b) any party or organisation controlling the State or a substantial part of the territory of the State. See Persecution by clans, parties or organisations controlling the state below for further guidance.

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c) any non-State actor, if it can be demonstrated that the State authorities, or the organisation (including international organisations) controlling the State, are unable or unwilling to provide protection against persecution or serious harm. See Non-State actors below for further guidance.

State persecution In this context, the word 'State' refers to the apparatus of governance or the means by which the government gives effect to its will. The State apparatus includes central government (the executive, legislature, and judiciary), but also the machinery of central government (e.g. the civil service, armed forces and security and police forces).

State persecution can occur where the State legislates to discriminate or persecute a certain group (e.g. laws are passed which discriminate against women or homosexuals) or where State actors (e.g. the police or the army) act in accordance with a sanctioned persecutory scheme. For example, members of the armed forces or security forces which obey orders to persecute a certain group would be carrying out state persecution as 'actors of the state'.

Rogue State Actors There is a distinction between abuse which is authorised or tolerated by the State and abuse by rogue officials which has not been sanctioned by the authorities. For example, a policeman who rapes a woman for his own sexual gratification may not be acting in accordance with government policy. Nevertheless, the State must take responsibility for the behaviour of its officials. A failure or reluctance to protect citizens from rogue officials or to punish misdemeanours may in itself amount to State persecution. In the case of Svazas [2002] the Court of Appeal found that "while the State cannot be asked to do more than its best to keep private individuals from persecuting others, it is responsible for what its own actors do unless it acts promptly and effectively to stop them." The Court found that the standard of sufficiency of protection will be higher where the actors of the state wear official uniforms. For example, the more senior the police officers who are involved in the persecution, the more it is necessary for the State to demonstrate that their disciplinary procedures are adequate and enforced as possible. The more serious the ill treatment in terms of duration, repetition and brutality the more incumbent it is on the state to demonstrate it can provide adequate protection.

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Persecution by clans, parties or organisations controlling the State Not every country will have an effective central government and in some countries powerful clans, tribes or other organisations might control large parts of the country. These dominant groups can inflict persecution on minority groups or individuals living within the same area, often through the use of armed militia or private armies. Non-State actors Persecution is often related to action by the authorities or dominant organisations running a country. However, it may also emanate from sections of the population that do not respect the standards established by the laws of the country concerned. An example of non-state persecution may be religious intolerance that amounts to persecution in a country that is otherwise secular, but where sizeable sections of the population do not respect the religious beliefs of their neighbours. Decision makers must therefore assess the extent to which the State authorities can provide protection against their actions. It is generally accepted that no Government can offer a guarantee of absolute protection. No country is perfect and certain levels of ill treatment may still occur even if Government has taken steps to prevent it.

However, where seriously discriminatory or other offensive acts are committed by the local populace they may constitute persecution if they are knowingly tolerated by the authorities, or if the authorities refuse, or prove unable, to offer effective protection.

Sufficiency of protection
To qualify for asylum, an individual not only needs to have a fear of persecution for a Convention reason, they must also be able to demonstrate that their fear of persecution is well founded and that they are unable, or unwilling because of their fear, to avail themselves of the protection of their home country. Regulation 4(1) of the Qualification Regulations states that: In deciding whether a person is a refugee, protection from persecution or serious harm can be provided by: a) the State; or b) any party or organisation, including any international organisation, controlling the State or a substantial part of the territory of the State. [Note: for the purposes of 4(1)(b) a substantial part of the territory of the State means a region or a larger area within the territory of the State].

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Regulation 4(2) provides that: Protection shall be regarded as generally provided when the actors mentioned [above] take reasonable steps to prevent the persecution or suffering of serious harm by operating an effective legal system for the detection, prosecution and punishment of acts constituting persecution or serious harm and [the applicant] has access to such protection. The standard of protection to be applied is not therefore one that eliminates all risk to its citizens because no Government or organisation controlling all or a substantial part of the State could guarantee to provide that level of protection. It is sufficient that a country has a system of criminal law which makes attacks by non-State actors punishable and that there is a reasonable willingness to enforce the law. A country which relies for its law and order functions on drug barons or armed militias may be less able to provide effective protection than one which can rely on those functions being performed by properly trained, properly resourced and accountable police or army personnel whose standards of human conduct are exemplary. But variations of this type simply go to the factual question, "Is protection afforded? Decision makers should consider whether protection afforded by the authorities or organisations controlling all or a substantial part of the State is available to an individual regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, class, age, gender, occupation or any other aspect of their identity. They should also take into account whether or not the applicant has sought the protection of the authorities or the organisation controlling all or a substantial part of the State, any outcome of doing so or the reason for not doing so.

The concept of sufficiency of protection does not apply where the state or an organisation controlling the state is the actor of persecution. In these circumstances, the applicant cannot be expected to go to the state authorities for protection.

Internal Relocation
Paragraph 339O of the Immigration Rules provides that: the Secretary of State will not make a grant of asylum if in part of the country of origin a person would not have a well founded fear of being persecuted, and the person can reasonably be expected to stay in that part of the country When making his decision [the Secretary of State] will have regard to the general circumstances prevailing in that part of the country and to the personal circumstances of the person [This] applies notwithstanding technical obstacles to return to the country of origin

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Decision makers should note that internal relocation can be relevant in both cases of State and non-State actors of persecution, but in the main it is likely to be most relevant in the context of acts of persecution by localised nonState actors. Decision makers should consider two main points when assessing the possibility of internal relocation: Is there a part of the country in which the applicant would not have a well-founded fear of persecution? Is it reasonable to expect the applicant to stay in that part of the country? Decision makers should refer to the AI on Internal Relocation for further guidance on the circumstances in which internal relocation would be a reasonable option.

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Convention Reasons
Only a person with a well-founded fear of persecution on account of one of the five Convention reasons (i.e. race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion) should be recognised as a refugee. It is well established that the Refugee Convention is not concerned with all cases of danger or harm arising out of civil war, famine or other natural disaster. Nor is it concerned with all cases of human rights breaches or of a need for humanitarian protection. It affords protection in limited circumstances where a person faces a real risk of serious ill treatment on a discriminatory basis. Hence, a state of civil war where law and order has broken down does not of itself give rise to a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason unless the applicant is at risk of adverse treatment over and above the risk to life and liberty which occurs during civil war. Merely belonging to a particular race, religion, nationality, or social group, or holding certain political opinions is not usually enough to substantiate a claim to refugee status, as the applicant must also show a well-founded fear of persecution on account of that Convention reason.

Gender
When considering an asylum application, the decision maker should consider whether issues arising from an applicant's gender may be relevant to the assessment of the claim. The decision maker should be aware that the experiences of women in their countries of origin may sometimes differ from those of men, and that protest, activism and resistance may manifest themselves in different ways. Certain types of persecution and ill-treatment will be specific to and more commonly affect women. Social and cultural norms may affect the ability of an applicant to obtain effective protection and could also result in a reluctance to disclose relevant information. This may be particularly relevant when considering applications from women. Even where gender does not appear to be a central issue, giving consideration to gender related aspects will ensure that all aspects of an asylum claim are fully and fairly considered. Decision makers should refer to the AIs on Conducting the Asylum Interview and Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim for further guidance.

Economic motives
An applicant may have economic motives for coming to the UK - and may well be economically better off if removed from persecution. This does not affect

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the claim for asylum, which should be considered solely on whether the applicant would be persecuted for a Convention reason if returned to their home country. If the decision maker is satisfied that the applicant does have a well-founded fear of persecution the fact that they may also be better off economically by travelling to the UK is not relevant to the assessment of the claim.

Imputed Convention grounds


It is also important to recognise that an individual may face persecution because of a Convention ground which is imputed to them by actors of persecution. Regulation 6(2) of the Qualification Regulations states: When assessing if an applicant has a well-founded fear of being persecuted it is immaterial whether he actually possesses the racial, religious, national, social or political characteristic which attracts the persecution, provided that such a characteristic is attributed to the applicant by the actor of persecution.

Race
Decision makers should understand the term race in its broadest sense to include all kinds of ethnic groups that are referred to as races. Regulation 6(1)(a) of the Qualification Regulations states that The concept of race shall include, for example, considerations of colour, descent or membership of a particular ethnic group Discrimination on racial grounds will amount to persecution if a persons human dignity is affected to such an extent as to be incompatible with the most elementary and inalienable human rights. The mere fact of belonging to a certain racial group will normally not be enough to substantiate a claim to refugee status. There may, however, be situations where due to particular circumstances affecting the group, such membership will in itself be sufficient ground to fear persecution.

Religion
Regulation 6(1)(b) of the Qualification Regulations states that: The concept of religion shall include, for example, the holding of theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, the participation in, or abstention from, formal worship in public or private, either alone or in community with others, other religious acts or expressions of view, or forms of personal or communal conduct based on or mandated by any religious belief. Persecution for reasons of religion may take various forms e.g. prohibition of membership of a religious community, prohibition of worship in private or public, prohibition of religious instruction, or serious measures of Uncontrolled if printed

discrimination imposed on persons because they practise their religion or belong to a particular religious community. Mere membership of a particular religious community will normally not be enough to substantiate a claim to refugee status. Exceptions to this do occur and decision makers should consider the individual circumstances of each case in the context of the country information.

Religious conversion Some asylum applicants base their claim on an alleged conversion to a different religion. While the Country of Origin Reports recognises there are countries where conversion from one religion to another is viewed with disapproval, this will not lead to persecution of the convert in every case. Whether or not a convert will be persecuted is entirely dependent on the individual circumstances of the case and the attitude of society/authorities in the country concerned. If decision makers consider they need to test whether the conversion is genuine, they must ensure that any questions asked during the asylum interview are carefully prepared, are tailored to the individual case and do not expect an unrealistic level of specialist knowledge. For instance, just because somebody claims to have recently converted to Christianity, this does not mean they will be able to remember how many books there are in the Bible or to list Jesus twelve disciples. If somebody claims to have attended a Pentecostal or Evangelical Church, this does not mean they will be familiar with Catholic traditions and ceremonies. Decision makers should also be aware that some Biblical terms (e.g. Trinity, Pentecost, disciple) which have been translated into English from Greek will not always have a direct translation in the languages of some Muslim countries. Decision makers should check with interpreters before the start of the interview that questions they have prepared can be translated accurately. If decision makers are in any doubt about the appropriateness of certain questions for testing the genuineness of religious conversion, they should consult a senior caseworker. In addition, the AI on Conducting the Asylum Interview provides further guidance on good interviewing technique.

Nationality
Regulation 6(1)(c) of the Qualification Regulations states that: The concept of nationality shall not be confined to citizenship but shall include, for example, membership of a group determined by its cultural, ethnic or linguistic identity, common geographical or political origins, or its relationship with the population of another state. As a result the term nationality may occasionally overlap with the term race.

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Persecution for reasons of nationality may consist of adverse actions and measures against a national (ethnic or linguistic) minority and in certain circumstances the fact of belonging to such a minority may in itself give rise to a well-founded fear of persecution. The co-existence within the boundaries of a State of two or more national (ethnic, linguistic) groups may create situations of conflict and also situations of persecution or danger of persecution. Decision makers might not always find it easy to distinguish between persecution for reasons of nationality and persecution for reasons of political opinion when a conflict between national groups is combined with political movements, particularly where a political movement is identified with a specific nationality. However, in such a situation a grant of asylum might be appropriate on one or both Convention grounds. A persecuted nationality does not necessarily have to be a minority. There might be cases where a person belonging to a majority group fears persecution by a dominant minority.

Membership of a particular social group


A claim for asylum based on membership of a particular social group (PSG) may overlap with a claim based on other grounds. The question of whether a particular social group exists and the extent to which members of the group are discriminated against depends on the factual situation in the country in question. What constitutes a particular social group in one country may not in another and therefore it is essential that decision makers refer to the relevant Operational Guidance Note (OGN) and Country of Origin Reports published by the Country of Origin Information Service. If there is any doubt as to whether the group in question constitutes a particular social group then a senior caseworker should be consulted.

Definition of a particular social group Regulation 6(1)(d) of the Qualification Regulations states that: A group shall be considered to form a particular social group where in particular: a) members of that group share an innate characteristic, or a common background that cannot be changed, or share a characteristic or belief that is so fundamental to identity or conscience that a person should not be forced to renounce it, and b) that group has a distinct identity in the relevant country because it is perceived as being different by the surrounding society. The Regulations set out an approach to identifying the existence of a social group which is similar (but not identical) to the one taken by the UK courts over the years, most significantly in the House of Lords judgment in the case of Shah and Islam [1999] UKHL 20. Since then it has commonly been accepted that members of a particular social group share an immutable (or

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innate) charcteristic and that recognition of the group by the surrounding society might help to identify it as a distinct entity.

Although the Qualification Regulations require decision makers to look for evidence of a common immutable charcteristic and recognition of the group by surrounding society, in general this will not mean it is harder for an applicant to establish he/she is a member of a particular social group. Groups which have a common immutable charcteristic which is externally obvious (e.g. being male/female) will often have a distinct identity within their home societies. Even if an immutable characteristic shared by a group is not externally obvious (e.g. being gay), the group will quickly become recognised as a distinct group within society if, for example, the State authorities take steps to ban homosexual activity. See also the example of left-handed men in the section Does the social group exist independently of the persecution? Decision makers should consider the following principles, which emerge from the House of Lords judgments in Shah and Islam [1999] UKHL 20 and in K and Fornah [2006] UKHL46, court judgments in the Court of Appeal (including Ivanauskiene [2001] EWCA Civ 1271, Skenderaj [2002] EWCA Civ 567 and Montoya [2002] EWCA Civ 620) and the Qualification Regulations, 2006 when deciding whether a particular social group exists in a particular country: a) Members of the group must possess a common immutable/innate characteristic that cannot be changed or a characteristic that is so fundamental to human identity that they should not be required to change it (see Innate/Immutable Characteristics) below for further guidance);

b) Cohesiveness is not a requirement for the existence of the group. Members of the group do not have to know each other, work or live together or have anything in common other than an immutable characteristic which distinguishes them from the rest of society. Social groups can therefore be fairly broad, e.g. women or gay men/lesbians in a particular country; c) It is not necessary to show that all members of the PSG are persecuted. That would be the same as saying, for instance, that every Christian in a particular country would have to be persecuted before asylum could be granted on grounds of religion - which of course is not the case; d) The group should have a distinct identity within the relevant country because it is perceived as being different by the surrounding society (see Societal Recognition for further guidance); e) The group must exist independently of the persecution it suffers i.e. persecution cannot be the only factor which defines the group (see Does the social group exist independently of the persecution for further guidance).

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Innate/Immutable Characteristics In Shah and Islam the House of Lords approved the definition of an immutable characteristic as: A characteristic that is either beyond the power of the individual to change or is so fundamental to individual identity or conscience that it ought not be required to be changed.
Characteristics which are beyond the power of an individual to change could include, for instance, gender, sexual orientation, family membership, linguistic background or association with a particular group in the past (e.g. membership of a previous government). However, decision makers should note that Regulation 6(1)(e) of the Qualification Regulations explicitly states that sexual orientation cannot be understood to include acts which are considered to be criminal in accordance with national law of the UK [e.g. paedophilia]. Characteristics that are so fundamental to individual identity or conscience that they ought not be required to be changed are less easy to define. Each case will need to be considered on its individual merits and will be dependent on the nature of the group and the context in which it is based. Membership of a religious order has been recognised as sufficient to constitute an immutable characteristic, but a persons employment or financial status is less likely to be considered immutable.

Societal Recognition In addition to a common immutable characteristic, the Qualification Regulations require a particular social group to have a distinct entity in the relevant country because it is perceived as being different by surrounding society. Whether or not a group is perceived as being different by the surrounding society will require judgement in every case and decision makers should refer to the relevant Country of Origin Report and Operational Guidance Note. The case of Shah and Islam illuminated the extent to which women were discriminated against by male-dominated society. Women in that society were viewed as a very distinct and inferior group. These attitudes were so entrenched that even when husbands beat or threatened to kill their wives, the state authorities were unwilling to intervene. If decision makers are in doubt about whether a particular group has a distinct identity with a particular society, they should consult a senior caseworker.

Does the social group exist independently of the persecution?


A particular social group must exist independently of the persecution some of its members suffer. If the only thing that united a random collection of individuals was a shared experience of persecution, then everybody who was persecuted could qualify for asylum on grounds of their membership of a particular social group.

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Decision makers must consider whether a particular group of people would have a distinct identity within their home societies if the threat of persecution was taken out of the equation. In some cases they might, but the answer will depend on the individual circumstances of the case and the specific conditions in the country concerned. Although a particular social group cannot be defined solely by persecution, persecution may help to identify the group and may even result in the creation of a particular social group. An example cited by the House of Lords in Shah and Islam is as follows: Left-handed men are not a social group. But, if they were persecuted because they were left-handed, they would no doubt quickly become recognisable in their society as a particular social group. Their persecution for being left-handed would create a public perception that they were a particular social group. But it would be the attribute of being left-handed and not the persecutory acts that would identify them as a particular social group.

Persecution for reasons of an applicants membership of a PSG


Decision makers should accept that asylum seekers who fit the criteria outlined in Definition of a particular social group above are members of particular social groups. Often the more crucial question for decision makers to consider is not whether a particular social group exists, but whether members of the group who are persecuted are truly targeted for reasons of their membership of that group (i.e. are persecuted on a discriminatory basis). If the State singles out a particular group for persecution, (for instance, banning homosexuality and rounding up and flogging anyone who is suspected of being gay) there can be little doubt that persecution is for reasons of membership of a particular social group. Where non-State actors are concerned, persecution would still be for reasons of membership of a particular social group if it could be shown that the actors of persecution were targetting a specific group of people because they were perceived as somehow being different from surrounding society and thus deserving of ill treatment. For instance, in a society where traditional, male attitudes are deeply entrenched, there might be social rules governing the behaviour of women but not men (e.g. the clothes they wear, where they go, the jobs they do and who they associate with, etc.). If women in such a society were beaten up or killed every time they broke the rules, and State protection was unavailable, the underlying reason for the persecution would be the gender of the victims and a grant of asylum would be appropriate. See also the AI on Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim.

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Persecution by non-state actors will not always be discriminatory. A gang of yobs might attack anybody who lives in their neigbourhood, i.e the attacks are indiscriminate. In these circumstances, the victims of such attacks would have difficulty in showing they were persecuted for reasons of their membership of a social group, unless they could demonstrate that the State authorities discriminated against them in the protection they afforded i.e. they refused to protect certain groups within the neighbourhood from yobs, but were prepared to intervene to assist other more favoured groups. In Shah and Islam the House of Lords recognised that the appellants, both women from Pakistan who were at risk of ill-treatment at the hands of violent husbands, were refugees for reasons of their membership of a particular social group (i.e. they were persecuted because they were women in Pakistan). The Lords held that women in Pakistan shared a common immutable characteristic of gender, they were discriminated against in matters of fundamental human rights (thus marking them out as a distinct group within society) and the State refused to protect them because they were perceived as not being entitled to the same human rights as men. The Lords pointed out that the distinctive feature of this case is that women in Pakistan are unprotected by the State

Political opinion
Regulation 6(1)(f) of the Qualification Regulations 2006 states that: The concept of political opinion shall include the holding of an opinion, thought or belief on a matter related to the potential actors of persecution and to their policies or methods, whether or not that opinion, thought or belief has been acted upon [by the applicant]. A mere expression of a political opinion which is contrary to that of the Government will not usually be enough to engage the protection of the Convention. A person must be able to establish that they have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of their political opinion. This will often involve an openly expressed opinion which is directed against and is not tolerated by the authorities of the country in question. However, it is not necessary for a political opinion to be openly expressed. It is possible that a person with no real interest in politics could be considered to hold a political opinion which is imputed or attributed to them by the persecutor, perhaps because of their racial origin, social background or associations. Also a persons actions may imply that they hold a political opinion even if they do not openly express one.

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Imputed Political Opinion An example of this would be in a totalitarian or one party state where any individual or group, which is perceived by the State as a threat, may be imputed a political agenda. For instance, Falun Gong in China is not a political group, but the authorities consider Falun Gong to be a threat and have imputed a political agenda to them. President Jiang Zemim announced that the campaign against the Falun Gong was one of the "three major political struggles" of 1999. (Decision makers should note that this does NOT mean that all Falun Gong members are at risk of persecution today due to an imputed political opinion this is simply an example of how a political opinion can be imputed to someone who does not necessarily hold one.)

Persecution from non-state actors can also involve an imputed political opinion. An example would be a rebel group which opposes the government in a particular country and imputes a political opinion to individuals who work for the government. In some circumstances a persons neutrality might even lead to them having a political opinion imputed to them. For example, the rebel group might perceive anyone who does not support them to be against them. A rebel groups motives for targeting certain individuals might be political, but there might be other non-political motives as well. For example, a rebel group might attack individuals who do not support them because they perceive them to be supporters of the Government, but if during the attack they extort money from their victim to buy weapons, then there is clearly also an economic motive. Just because motives are mixed, this does not mean the Convention cannot be engaged. As long as there is some evidence to suggest that the persecutors have imputed a political opinion to their victim and this is one of the reasons for attacking them, asylum should still be granted if the State authorities are unable or unwilling to offer effective protection.

Decision makers must consider each case on its individual merits. Even if a rebel group has a broad political aim (e.g. overthrowing the Government), individual attacks on particular individuals might simply be retaliatory or criminal and not necessarily linked to an overriding political aim. In the case of Gomez v SSHD [2000] TH02257, the appellant, a law student from Colombia, provided legal advice to a local farmer who was the victim of extortion by a group of armed men (believed to be members of FARC). As a result of her actions, the appellant received threatening phone calls and was chased by armed men. The appellant claimed this was because the rebel group perceived her to be an opponent of its political aims. In dismissing the appeal, the rebel group would impute a because they knew she was the investigations into the Tribunal found that it was highly unlikely that the political opinion to the actions of the appellant only a law student who had become involved in extortion racket on an adhoc basis. By the

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appellant's own admission those who threatened her never at any stage said anything to her to convey that they viewed her as a political threat. The IAT concluded that the attacks were motivated by a desire by the rebels to protect the control they exerted over local farmers and were nothing more than criminal or retaliatory.

Actions which imply a political opinion Even if a person does not openly voice a political opinion, their actions can sometimes suggest that they hold one. The person concerned might have strongly held political opinions and the action can be the manifestation of these beliefs. However, it can equally apply where a person has not formulated a specific political opinion in their own mind but their actions suggest that they hold one. In these cases the nature of the act and the impression it gives to the persecutor are often more important than the true motivation of the individual. Decision makers must consider the context in which the act was committed. If a person commits an act which implies a political opinion but which is illegal in the country in question and is then prosecuted in accordance with the law, then it is unlikely that they would be able to establish a well-founded fear of persecution unless the punishment is arbitrary or excessive or the law itself discriminates against the person due to a Convention reason. Furthermore, although a person who commits a violent terrorist act may claim to have done so for political reasons, he is unlikely to qualify for the protection extended by Article 1A of the Convention. This is because he might face exclusion from the Convention under Article 1F. For further guidance on the exclusion clauses, see The Exclusion Clauses and the AI on Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Expression of political opinion in the UK An applicant who claims to fear persecution because of a political opinion does not need to show that the authorities of his country of origin knew of his opinions before he left the country. He might have concealed his political opinion in his home country because he was aware of the dangers of expressing it openly. If he fled to the safety of the UK, where he expressed previously concealed political opinions, the decision maker would have to assess the consequences the applicant would have to face if he were returned home. If the consequences of an applicants actions in the UK give rise to a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason, then asylum should be granted. For further guidance see the section on Refugees sur place. Each case, however, must be assessed on its individual merits and consideration given to whether the actors of persecution in the country of origin are likely to find out or take an adverse interest in the applicants political activities in the UK. A person who attends a demonstration in London,

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for example, which is attended by thousands of other protesters, may not necessarily come to the attention of the actors of persecution in the applicants country of origin. Alternatively, the actors of persecution may be aware of the protests but may not be concerned about such low-level protests in a foreign country.

Future expression of opinion Where it can reasonably be assumed that due to the strength of his/her conviction a person's opinions will sooner or later find expression, or they may carry out political acts which are likely to bring them into conflict with the state and where there is a reasonable likelihood that this will result in persecution then the individual may be able to establish a claim to refugee status. For such a claim to succeed the applicant would need to display a high degree of credibility.

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Persecution for non-convention reasons


Decision makers should bear in mind that, even where the harm feared appears to amount to persecution, an individual cannot be recognised as a refugee unless they demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that the fear of harm is well-founded and relates to a Convention reason. Where there is a wellfounded fear of persecution for a non-Convention reason, decision makers should consider granting Humanitarian Protection. For further guidance, see section on Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave and the AI on Humanitarian Protection.

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The Exclusion Clauses


Regulation 7(1) of the Qualification Regulations states that a person is not a refugee, if he falls within the scope of Article 1D, 1E or 1F of the [1951] Geneva Convention: D: Those persons already receiving protection or assistance from United Nations bodies other than UNHCR. See the AI on UNRWA-assisted Palestinians for more information on Article 1D E: Those persons considered not to be in need of international protection because they have taken residence in a country in which the authorities recognise them as having the rights and obligations of nationals of that country F: Those persons considered not to be deserving of international protection because there are serious reasons for considering that they: a) have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity; b) have committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to admission into that country; c) are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Regulation 7(2) of the Qualification Regulations interprets the meaning of Article 1F(b) of the Geneva Convention. Regulation 7(2)(a) provides that: The reference to serious non-political crime includes a particularly cruel action, even if it is committed with an allegedly political objective And 7(2)(b) provides that: The reference to the crime being committed outside the country of refuge prior to his admission as a refugee shall mean the time up to and including the day on which a residence permit is issued.

Section 54 of the Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 interprets the meaning of Article 1F(c). It provides that acts of committing, preparing or instigating terrorism, or encouraging or inducing others to do so, are included within the meaning of what constitute acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Where an individual is excluded from refugee status under Article 1F he is also likely to fall under the criteria which exclude him from Humanitarian Protection - see AI on Humanitarian Protection for further details. Any decision to refuse asylum on grounds of the exclusion clauses should only be taken after consulting a senior caseworker.

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Decision makers should refer to the AI on Articles 1F and 33(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention for more detailed guidance on the interpretation and application of these exclusion clauses.

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Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave


If an applicant does not qualify for asylum, the decision maker must consider whether they should be granted Humanitarian Protection. For further guidance on the circumstances in which Humanitarian Protection should be granted see the AI on Humanitarian Protection. If an applicant does not qualify for asylum or Humanitarian Protection, the decision-maker must consider whether they should be granted Discretionary Leave. Discretionary Leave should only be granted where the case falls within the limited categories set out in the AI on Discretionary Leave. All Reasons for Refusal Letters must include a reference to the decision to grant/refuse leave to remain on grounds of human rights. For further guidance on Human Rights issues see the AI on Considering Human Rights Claims. Further guidance on Article 8 can be found in the AI on Article 8.

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Deciding the Claim


Types of Decision
One of these decisions will always be taken on each application for asylum: a) Grant of asylum: asylum will normally be granted for a period of five years in the first instance. Please also refer to the AIs on Refugee Leave (including the application of Article 20 of the Qualification Directive) and Implementing Substantive Decisions for further guidance, including how to implement the decision and draft the RFRL. Although an applicant is not formally notified of the reasons they were recognised as a refugee the file consideration minute should set out clearly the decision makers reasons for granting asylum. b) Refusal of asylum, grant of Humanitarian Protection: leave will normally be granted for a period of five years in the first instance. Please also refer to the AIs on Humanitarian Protection (including the application of Article 20 of the Qualification Directive) and Implementing Substantive Decisions for further guidance, including how to implement the decision and draft an RFRL. A Reasons for Refusal Letter (RFRL) must be drafted to explain why asylum was not granted. c) Refusal of asylum, refusal of Humanitarian Protection, grant of Discretionary Leave: leave will be granted for a period of no longer than three years in the first instance outside the Immigration Rules. An RFRL must be drafted to explain why neither asylum nor HP was granted. See the AIs on Discretionary Leave and Implementing Substantive Decisions for further guidance including how to implement the decision and draft an RFRL.. d) Refusal of asylum, refusal of Humanitarian Protection and refusal of Discretionary Leave: a RFRL should be drafted detailing the reasons for refusal of asylum and explaining why the applicants return to his home country will not violate his human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. For guidance on how to draft an RFRL see the AIs on The Reasons for Refusal Letter and Considering Human Rights Claims.

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Concurrent Asylum and non-asylum applications


If an asylum seeker has an application for leave to remain under another category outstanding at the same time as an asylum application is under consideration both applications will have to be considered. The asylum and non-asylum application should normally be considered together, and an immigration decision taken simultaneously. If it is decided to refuse both applications, both should be refused at the same time. See the AI on Processing Hybrid Applications for further guidance. All asylum applications remain outstanding until finally determined or withdrawn. It is normally appropriate to invite the applicant to withdraw any outstanding asylum applications if they have been granted a period of leave in a category leading to settlement, as long as it is unlikely that the applicant will be required to leave the country in the near future. If the applicant does not wish to withdraw his asylum application it should be considered and determined.

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Recording the Asylum Consideration


Recording Of the Consideration of a Claim Where Asylum Is To Be Granted
Following their consideration and determination of the claim, decision makers should record their consideration in a minute on the left-hand side of the file in all cases where asylum has been granted. The minute should set out in full the decision makers consideration and the conclusion that has been reached. The minute should include the following: Applicants details Brief immigration history Summary of the basis of claim/any ECHR articles raised Decision makers consideration Decision

Applicants details
Decision makers should begin the minute with the applicants personal details, i.e. full name, date of birth and nationality.

Basis of asylum claim


Decision makers should briefly set out the basis of the asylum claim. This should include: why the applicant alleges he is being persecuted; whom he fears; what he fears will happen if returned to his country of origin; brief details of any alleged ill-treatment a brief summary of the applicants immigration history, including his journey to the United Kingdom.

Recording the consideration of the claim and the decision made


The minute should record the decision makers consideration of the case. The reasons for the decision to grant asylum should be set out.

Signing the consideration minute


The minute should be signed and dated by the decision maker, and the decision makers name, unit/team, and telephone number should be recorded.

Recording of the Consideration of a Claim where Asylum is to be Refused

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If a decision maker is refusing asylum outright a consideration minute is not generally required as the reasons for refusal are explained in the reasons for refusal letter, a copy of which is on file. Where the decision maker has decided to grant humanitarian protection or discretionary leave, a consideration minute should always be prepared explaining in detail the reasons for granting such leave and length of leave being granted. See asylum instructions on Considering Human Rights Claims, (Humanitarian Protection and Discretionary Leave) and Minute writing.

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Annex A - Points to Consider on Initial Receipt of the Asylum Case File


On receipt of a case file for consideration of an asylum claim but before consideration of the claim itself, decision makers should thoroughly read through the file and check data on CID to identify whether any of the issues set out below apply:

War criminality screening


Decision makers should check whether there is any information relating to involvement in war crimes. For further guidance, refer to the AI on War Crimes.

If the applicant is an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC)


An UASC is a person who at the time of making the claim is under 18 years of age or who in the absence of any documentary evidence appears to be under 18 and is i) claiming asylum in their own right; and ii) is separated from both parents and is not being cared for by an adult who by law or custom has responsibility to do so. Asylum claims made by UASCs follow a different process from claims made by adults. For further guidance on handling and processing claims from UASCs see AI on Processing Asylum Applications from Children.

Third Country Cases


Decision makers should ascertain whether the applicant is the subject of third country action under the Dublin II regulations. This will usually be clear from CID and by a sheet and/or minute attached to the file stating that the file is subject to third country action. Third Country Unit action should be completed before the asylum application is considered. If in doubt, decision makers should liaise with the Third Country Unit before considering the claim.

Certification under Section 94 of the NIA Act 2002 (Non Suspensive Appeal (NSA) Cases)
Section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (NIA Act 2002) contains a power to certify an asylum or human rights claim as clearly unfounded. It is primarily used to certify asylum or human rights claims from persons entitled to reside in one of the States designated under section 94(4). Additionally, section 94 may also be used to certify a clearly unfounded asylum or human rights claim from a person not entitled to reside in one of the designated States.

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Where an asylum or human rights claim is refused and is clearly unfounded, decision makers should ascertain whether the applicant was, at the time the application was made, entitled to reside in a country listed in section 94, or whether the asylum claim is suitable for case-by-case certification. For guidance see AI on Certification under section 94 of the NIA Act 2002.

Multiple Applications
Where the decision maker concludes from information on file and/or CID that the applicant previously claimed asylum in another identity, if it is a New Asylum Model case, the case owner will deal with the case themselves. For other cases, the file should be minuted explaining why it is suspected the applicant has made a multiple application and forwarded to the unit handling multiple applications. See the AI on Multiple Applications for further guidance.

European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals


Nationals of countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) can apply for asylum but if they do not qualify for asylum there is a requirement to certify the asylum claim as clearly unfounded, unless the decision maker is satisfied that it is not clearly unfounded [The Immigration (European Economic Area)(Amendment No.2) Regulations 2003 (33(1C)]. If the claim is certified, there is no right of appeal. If the asylum claim is considered clearly not unfounded, and not certified, the applicant has a right of appeal against refusal according to Regulation 33(1B). Decision makers should refer claims from EEA nationals to a senior officer, where applicable. See the AI on Claims from EU nationals for further guidance.

Where the Applicant has other immigration applications outstanding


Decision makers should check that the applicant has no other applications outstanding that are being considered in other areas of UK Border Agency (such as a marriage application). This will be apparent either from information on the file or on CID. See the AI on Processing Hybrid Applications for guidance on handling outstanding applications or where during the course of consideration of his asylum claim, the applicant asks to make such an application.

Detained Cases
Decision makers should ascertain whether the applicant is currently detained. Asylum claims made by applicants who are detained follow a different Uncontrolled if printed

implementation process and should only be considered by trained officers. Detained cases often have very short deadlines, which need to be met save in the most exceptional circumstances. Where an applicant is detained because he has been convicted of a criminal offence, the file may have a yellow Convicted Criminal sticker on the front. Decision makers should ensure that when considering an asylum claim from a person, who is detained, they follow the procedure detailed in Handling applications from convicted criminals, persons on remand and detained cases(document under review).

Ministers Cases (CRD)


Decision makers should ascertain whether an undertaking has been given to Ministers that the claim will be considered within a certain timescale. A Minister's case can be identified by a dark green A4 size sheet attached to the front of the file, and a dark green 'MP's interest' sticker on the spine of the file. These are placed on file by Ministerial Correspondence Unit (MCU) staff before the case is allocated to a team. There will often be a separate sub file containing correspondence relating to the MP's enquiry. This sub file will be buff in colour, with a green border. The green file sheet will record the deadline date by which the MP has been informed that action will be taken, the name and extension number of the contact in MCU, and includes a reply slip. Such cases have very strict deadlines and decision makers should ensure that these are met and that any undertakings given in letters to MPs are complied with. Decision makers should ensure that they keep MCU informed of progress on the case and in particular alert their team leader to any unavoidable delay in consideration, so that MCU can notify the MP. When the required action is completed decision makers should hand the green file cover sheet to their team leader to complete the reply slip and return it to MCU.

Ministers Cases (regional asylum teams)


Case Owners should refer to the AI on Ministerial Correspondence.

Where the Applicant has been Convicted of Criminal Charges and/or has a Deportation Order
Cases where an applicant has been convicted of criminal charges and/or has a deportation order should be sent to the Criminal Casework Team prior to any grants of leave being issued. For further guidance see Handling applications from convicted criminals, persons on remand and detained cases (document under review).

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 Authors MO UU/SL JW JL JL Date 07/03/07 12/11/07 11/08/08 30/10/08 27/10/09 Change Reference Reformatted Procedures Directive Qualification Directive Update branding only Childrens Duty Paragraph added

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HANDLING APPLICATIONS FOR PERMISSION TO TAKE EMPLOYMENT


Table of Contents Introduction Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Permission to Take Employment - Paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules Delay Applications granted before 9 September 2010 Applications received before, but outstanding on, 9 September 2010 Applications from asylum seekers with extant visas at the time of permission to work application Shortage Occupation List Asylum applicants and individuals undergoing an active review Unpaid Employment Dealing with Enquiries from Employers Travel costs Failed Asylum Seekers Unpaid Employment Dealing with Enquiries from Employers Travel costs Submitting copy of Further Submissions Processing applications for permission to work Who decides the application for permission to work? In the asylum teams in the Regions In the Case Resolution Directorate Dependants Granting Permission to Work Refusing Permission to Work Revoking permission to work Applications for Extensions of Permission to Work from those with leave in the UK Annex A - Paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules from 5 February 2005 to 8 September 2010 Document Control

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Introduction
This instruction provides guidance on handling requests for permission to take employment from asylum applicants, failed asylum seekers, and those undergoing an active review. It does not provide guidance on handling requests for permission to take employment from those undergoing an active review at the age of 17 and a half, when granted Discretionary Leave (DL) under the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children DL policy.

Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Case Owners must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to Section 55 of the 2009 Act. The UK Border Agency instruction Arrangements to Safeguard and Promote Childrens Welfare in the United Kingdom Border Agency sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

N.B. children under the age of 16 should never be given permission to take employment. Primarily, the impact on a child of a decision made in line with this instruction, will need to be borne in mind where: the decision is regarding an adults permission to work application, which may have an impact on a child; or the child is aged between 16 and 18 and has made a permission to work application.

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Permission to Take Employment - Paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules


As part of the implementation of the EU Reception Conditions Directive, paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules was amended to reflect that from 5 February 2005 asylum applicants who have been waiting for a year for an initial decision may apply for permission to work. Paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules was further amended on 9 September 2010, in order to: provide for failed asylum seekers obtaining permission to work in certain circumstances, following the Supreme Court judgment in ZO (Somalia); and restrict the type of employment asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers can take up (see Shortage Occupation List). Paragraph 360 as amended says that:

only asylum seekers who have not received an initial decision on their claim within 12 months and failed asylum seekers who have made further submissions on asylum grounds but who have not received a decision on those further submissions after 12 months can apply for permission to work; they will not be eligible for permission to work if the delay was their fault; those granted permission to work will be subject to the following restrictions: o they may only take up a job which is included on the shortage occupation list (at the time an offer of employment is accepted); o they may not take up employment in a self-employed capacity; and o they may not set up a business. permission to work will come to an end: o for asylum seekers: once the asylum application has been finally determined (that is, once appeal rights are exhausted), o for failed asylum seekers: once a negative decision has been taken on a further submission or, in the event that appeal rights are granted, those appeals are exhausted.

An application for permission to work will only be granted if the delay in reaching a decision on the initial asylum decision or on the asylum-based further submissions cannot be attributed to the asylum applicant or failed asylum seeker, and instead is attributed elsewhere, for example to the actions of UKBA. If the delay has been caused by the asylum applicant or failed asylum seeker, the application should be refused.

Delay The Immigration Rules require the UK Border Agency to consider applications if delay cannot, in the Secretary of States opinion, be attributed to the applicant. Where some of the delay has been the fault of the applicant, Case Owners should consider the case on its merits, and use their discretion in deciding whether to grant permission to work or not.

Applications granted before 9 September 2010 Any asylum seeker who has already been granted permission to work will continue to have permission to work, without any change to the conditions, until their asylum claim has been Uncontrolled if printed

decided and their appeal rights exhausted. It is not necessary to review the conditions of their permission to work or to restrict these to the shortage occupation list.

Applications received before, but outstanding on, 9 September 2010 If Case Owners are asked to deal with an application for permission to work from an asylum seeker (not a failed asylum seeker with further submissions outstanding) that was made before the new rule came into effect, they should consider it under the old Rule 360 (see Annex A). All applications made after the new rule comes into effect will be considered in line with the new rule. All permission to work applications from failed asylum seekers should be considered under the new rule.

Applications from asylum seekers with extant visas at the time of permission to work application When considering permission to work applications from asylum seekers, Case Owners must be aware of the individuals current immigration status. Where permission to work is issued to an individual with an extant visa, this is not issued under paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules. The permission to work should be subject to the conditions of their leave (for example, restricted to a certain number of hours for students), rather than subject to the restrictions of Rule 360 (for example, the Shortage Occupation List). This is regardless of whether the application is made before or after 9 September 2010, and the introduction of the new paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules.

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Shortage Occupation List


If an asylum seeker or failed asylum seeker is granted permission to take employment (subject to the exceptions listed above in Permission to Take Employment - Paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules), this will be restricted to jobs on the shortage occupation list, which can be found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/workingintheuk/shortageoccupationlis t.pdf The UK Border Agency will not review applicants qualifications and experience when considering permission to work applications to determine whether they have the necessary skills to obtain employment in a shortage occupation. It will be the responsibility of the applicant and their potential employer to ensure the job is one which is included on the list of shortage occupations published by the UK Border Agency. Employers should consult UKBA guidance before employing a foreign national who is not settled in the United Kingdom to establish whether that person is entitled to work and whether there are any restrictions or conditions on the type of employment the person is entitled to take. The Government sets the shortage occupation list following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee. The Migration Advisory Committee was tasked to assess whether jobs are skilled, in shortage, and whether it is sensible to fill that shortage via migration from outside the European Economic Area. Use of the list by asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers is not taken into account when deciding which occupations should be on this list.

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Asylum applicants and individuals undergoing an active review


Unpaid Employment There is no objection to an asylum applicant undertaking unpaid voluntary work at any point in which an application is being determined on behalf of a registered charity or voluntary organisation, as a purposeful activity and as an opportunity to participate in the life of the community whilst awaiting the final determination of the asylum claim. This is the same for an individual undergoing an active review (not UASC), whilst awaiting the outcome of the application for further leave. However, any voluntary activity undertaken should not amount to either employment or job substitution. UK Border Agency has published guidelines for volunteers, to distinguish volunteer work from unpaid employment. These state that: there should be no payment, other than reasonable travel and meals expenditure actually incurred (not an allowance for the same); there should be no contractual obligations on the volunteer; the volunteer is providing a service for a registered voluntary or charitable organisation (or organisation that raises funds for either); the service is not a substitute for employment (i.e. fulfilling a role that a salaried worker would normally fulfil). Asylum seekers, individuals undergoing an active review and employers who need further information should be encouraged to read the Preventing Illegal Working pages on the UK Border Agency website at the following address: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/preventingillegalworking/

Dealing with Enquiries from Employers Case Owners must be aware that under no circumstances must they reply directly to enquiries by employers on a particular case without first seeking the permission of the asylum or active review applicant, as this may contravene the principles of the Data Protection Act. Further advice for employers can be found on the UK Border Agency website and by telephoning the Sponsorship and Employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Travel costs For information regarding travel costs for asylum seekers to travel to an ARC issuing site, see 22A.3 of the Enforcement Instruction and Guidance.

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Failed Asylum Seekers


Unpaid Employment Failed asylum seekers are not permitted to take up voluntary work of any kind at any point, including those with asylum-based further submissions outstanding.

Dealing with Enquiries from Employers Case Owners must be aware that under no circumstances must they reply directly to enquiries by employers on a particular case without first seeking the permission of the failed asylum seeker, as this may contravene the principles of the Data Protection Act. Further advice for employers can be found on the UK Border Agency website and by telephoning the Sponsorship and Employers helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Travel costs Failed asylum seekers should not be given a travel ticket, or money to pay for travel, in order to travel to an ARC issuing centre.

Submitting copy of Further Submissions To assist in timely processing of applications, where Case Owners have contact with failed asylum seekers applying before they apply for permission to work, they should be encouraged to provide a copy of the asylum-based further submission which has been outstanding for over 12 months, along with their application for permission to work.

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Processing applications for permission to work


Who decides the application for permission to work? In the asylum teams in the Regions Requests for permission to work should be dealt with by Case Owners, no matter at which stage of the process they are made. If the request is made at a Reporting Centre, staff at the Reporting Centre should advise the applicant to contact his/her Case Owner and a decision to grant permission must not, under any circumstances, be taken independently (i.e. not without a Case Owner making a referral to a Senior Caseworker. In the Case Resolution Directorate A dedicated team will process applications for Permission to Work within the Case Resolution Directorate (CRD). Applications for permission to work from individuals whose case is being dealt with by CRD should be sent to: Permission to Work Team CRD Customer Service Unit 13th Floor East Block C Whitgift Centre Croydon CR9 1AT

Dependants Dependants of asylum applicants, active review applicants, or failed asylum seekers should never be granted permission to work. There is no power within paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules to grant a dependant of these individuals permission to work.

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Granting Permission to Work


Case Owners should use stock letter ASL.4264 and choose Option 1 when granting permission to work to asylum applicants or failed asylum seekers. This informs the individual of the conditions of their permission to work, and advises them to contact Jobcentre Plus (JCP) to be issued with a national insurance number. It also informs the individual of the conditions of their permission to work, and advises them to contact the Central Events Booking Unit (CEBU) in order to have their Application Registration Card (ARC) amended to reflect their permission to work. The ASL.4264 should be retained by applicants as proof of permission to work for JCP and future employers. Case Owners should note that ASL.4264 Option 1 informs the individual to have their ARC amended and provide employment details when available, in order that a review of their eligibility and level of asylum support (if any) can be conducted; failure to do so would result in the discontinuation of their support. Case Owners should also ensure that a review of support is conducted when employment details are received. For further guidance see Eligibility and Assessment of Asylum Support.

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Refusing Permission to Work


If refusing the asylum applicant or failed asylum seeker permission to work, Case Owners should use ASL.4264 and select Option 2. Reasons for refusing permission to work might include the following: Asylum application or further submissions have not been outstanding for 12 months; The delay is entirely the result of the applicants actions or inaction; The delay is partly the result of the applicants actions or inaction and it is inappropriate to exercise discretion in the applicants favour; Further submissions are not asylum-based, but are based on Article 3 medical grounds, or Article 8 grounds.

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Revoking permission to work


Case Owners must remember that if granted permission to work, this will come to an end: for asylum seekers: once the asylum application has been finally determined (that is, once appeal rights are exhausted); and for failed asylum seekers: once a negative decision has been taken on a further submission or, in the event that appeal rights are granted, those appeals are exhausted. Case Owners should monitor their caseload and, once the asylum application has been finally determined, or the further submissions have been concluded, should clearly note CID to reflect that the individuals permission to work has ceased. The ARC will then need to be amended as soon as possible to reflect the fact the permission to work is once again prohibited.

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Applications for Extensions of Permission to Work from those with leave in the UK
Applicants who have been granted limited leave, which permits working legally, may enquire whether they can still work beyond the date on which their leave expires. This will depend on whether they applied for further leave to remain before their leave expired. Case Owners are reminded that this instruction does not provide guidance on handling requests for permission to take employment from those undergoing an active review at the age of 17 and a half, when granted Discretionary Leave (DL) under the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children DL policy. If an application for further leave was made in time, and the type of leave granted did not prohibit work, the applicant is eligible to work under continuing 3C leave. Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 (as amended) automatically extends the leave of a person who has made an application for further leave to remain during a period of extant leave, provided the applicant has existing leave to enter or remain at the time when the application is made. The applicant should be informed of this. If, however, an application for further leave is made out-of-time then there is no continuing 3C leave and thus all conditions attached to that leave, including permission to work, cease from when leave expires. If the applicant has not lodged an application for active review, or if the application was lodged after the leave expired, asylum officers should refuse permission to work unless paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules applies. Where the applicant has the continuing right to work following an application for further leave to remain (Active Review), Case Owners should use the letter ASL.4043 and select Option 1 In time option. When the applicant does not have continuing permission to work, Case Owners should select Option 2 Out of time option.

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Annex A - Paragraph 360 of the Immigration Rules from 5 February 2005 to 8 September 2010
Paragraphs 360 and 360A of the Immigration Rules, as extant 5 February 2005 to 8 September 2010, are below. These are for use in dealing with applications for permission to take employment received from asylum seekers (not failed asylum seekers who have made further submissions) before, but decided after, 9 September 2010. Right to request permission to take up employment Paragraph 360: An asylum applicant may apply to the Secretary of State for permission to take up employment which shall not include permission to become self employed or to engage in a business or professional activity if a decision at first instance has not been taken on the applicant's asylum application within one year of the date on which it was recorded. The Secretary of State shall only consider such an application if, in his opinion, any delay in reaching a decision at first instance cannot be attributed to the applicant. Paragraph 360A: If an asylum applicant is granted permission to take up employment under rule 360 this shall only be until such time as his asylum application has been finally determined.

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Document Control
Change Record
Version Authors Date Change Reference

1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0

RB SK CC CC CC

21/02/2007 23/02/2009 14/01/2010 28/07/2010 08/09/2010

New web style implemented Acknowledgment for Permission to work application Failed Asylum Seekers litigation strategy Supreme Court ZO (Somalia) Rule 360 change

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LANGUAGE ANALYSIS
Table of Contents 1 Introduction 1.1 Audience & Purpose 1.2 Background 1.3 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and Those with Children 2 Suitability Criteria for Language Analysis 2.1 Language Analysis Targeted By Nationality 2.2 Language Analysis on a Case by Case Basis 2.3 Children 2.3.1 Children with Eurodac Matches 3 Authorisation to Test 3.1 Preliminary Considerations 3.1.1 Initial Checks 3.1.2 Timing of Language Analysis and Asylum Interviews 3.2 Authorisation for Language Analysis 4. Compliance and Consent 4.1 Applicant Compliance with the Language Analysis Process 4.1.1 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Responsible Adults 4.1.2 Applicant Refuses to Conduct or Complete a Language Analysis Interview 4.1.3 Medical Grounds and/or Disability Grounds Raised for Not Completing the Language Analysis Interview 4.2 LA Team Update Form 5 Language Analysis Interview 5.1 Booking the Language Analysis Interview 5.2 Conducting the Language Analysis Interview 6 Language Analysis Preliminary Results 6.1 Preliminary Results - Outcomes 6.2 Updating UKBA Records 6.2.1 CID 6.2.2 HO File 6.2.3 LA Team Records 6.3 Preliminary Result Disputes Claimed Nationality (Screening Stage Action Only) 7 Language Analysis Full Report 7.1 Report Receipt, Administration and Forwarding the Report (LA Team Only) 7.2 Full Report Outcomes 7.2.1 Report Outcomes 7.3 Quality of Language Analysis Reports 8 The Substantive Asylum Interview (Asylum Teams Only) 8.1 Preparation 8.2 Interview 8.2.1 Re-Documentation Uncontrolled if printed

8.2.2 Notification of Language Analysis Findings and Subsequent Questioning 9 Decisions and Appeals in Language Analysis Cases 9.1 General Considerations 9.2 Granting Asylum/Humanitarian Protection 9.3 Refusing the Claim 9.3.1 Serving Asylum Refusals 9.4 Post-Refusal Actions Glossary Annex A: Process Summary Annex B1: Standard Wording for the Substantive Interview Annex B2: Standard Wording for any RFRL Annex C: Language Analysis Contractor and Process

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1 Introduction
1.1 Audience & Purpose This instruction is intended for the sight of officers involved in asylum screening and substantive asylum casework and appeals. This instruction is intended to set out: Which cases may be appropriate for language analysis (also known as direct analysis); How mandatory authority to test may be obtained from the Language Analysis Team; How testing must be arranged and documented; and How to handle language analysis issues during substantive asylum interviews, refusal letters and any appeal.

Provision of language analysis testing is dependent on adherence to this instruction. This instruction must be read alongside Nationality: Doubtful, Disputed and Other Cases.
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1.2 Background UKBAs language analysis capability is provided by a private company, presently Sprakab. The process involves language experts talking and listening to individuals, and then coming to a reasoned view as to their likely place of origin. The purpose of language analysis in UKBA is to: Assist in identifying an asylum applicants true place of origin where it is in doubt; Deter fraudulent claims based on false claims of origin for actual or perceived benefit.

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1.3 Application of this Instruction in Respect of Children and Those with Children Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions, or override existing functions. Officers must not apply the actions set out in this instruction either to children or to those with children without having due regard to the UK Border Agency statutory guidance, Every Child Matters, which sets out the key principles to take into account in all Agency activities involving children. Our statutory duty to children includes the need to demonstrate: Fair treatment which meets the same standard a British child would receive; The childs interests being made a primary, although not the only consideration; No discrimination of any kind; Asylum applications are dealt with in a timely fashion; Identification of those that might be at risk from harm.

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2 Suitability Criteria for Language Analysis


2.1 Language Analysis Targeted By Nationality Language analysis may only be applied on the basis of an individuals claimed place of origin in strictly authorised circumstances. At the present time, targeting is permitted for: No countries or specific groups can currently be targeted.

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2.2 Language Analysis on a Case by Case Basis Except where targeted testing is permitted, language analysis may be carried out only if it is strongly suspected the applicant has provided false information regarding their place of origin, and if there is no Eurodac match (see Third Country Cases - Referring and Handling). The reason(s) for doubting nationality must be documented when seeking authority to test (see authorisation process). Examples of when an applicants claimed nationality might provoke strong suspicions are: Where the applicant is unable to speak to an adequate level the primary language expected of their claimed country or region of origin; Where there is a strong indication that the applicants dialect or accent is inconsistent with their claimed country or region of origin; Where the applicant discloses contradictory statements or other unreliable evidence regarding their country/region of origin; Where the applicant has a lack of knowledge about their claimed place of origin which is inconsistent with their level of education, profession, and what they might reasonably be expected to know (e.g. unable to name landmarks or villages near their home, etc.); Where the applicant presents unreliable documentation regarding their country/region of origin, such as to cast doubt on their being entitled to hold such identity documentation.

This list is not exhaustive - other bases for doubting claimed place of origin may apply.
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2.3 Children Language analysis testing is capable of assisting nationality resolution decisions in cases involving children. However, testing is presently restricted to those aged twelve or over, and only then after receiving explicit email authority to test, as part of the authorisation process. The testing of unaccompanied asylum seeking children must be done in the presence of a responsible adult (see the instruction Processing Asylum Applications from Children). It is important that officers take all reasonable measures to ensure comprehension of the process by all children or young adults to whom language analysis applies. See 4.1.1 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Responsible Adults 2.3.1 Children with Eurodac Matches Unaccompanied children whose fingerprints are matched under category 2 of the Eurodac system may, subject to the other suitability criteria being met, be suitable for language Uncontrolled if printed

analysis, because they cannot generally be removed under the Dublin Regulation unless they have claimed asylum in one of the Member States (a category 1 Eurodac match).
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3 Authorisation to Test
3.1 Preliminary Considerations 3.1.1 Initial Checks Before considering language analysis, officers must ensure that key actions and checks have been undertaken. In particular: Ensure that standard actions have been taken in respect of recording identity, taking fingerprints, conducting security checks, CID actions, screening, file creation, etc.; If at this point information comes to light indicating that other action is appropriate to conclude or advance the application (for instance, evidence of a Eurodac hit or of multiple applications where the other identity is concrete), take appropriate action, discussing with a senior caseworker or CIO in any case of doubt;

3.1.2 Timing of Language Analysis and Asylum Interviews Language analysis should be arranged at the earliest point that the testing criteria are engaged. This may be at screening, the First Reporting Event (FRE) or before the substantive interview. However, reasons for testing may arise only during or even after the substantive interview. Such cases may require a further asylum interview to be conducted, in order to put any issues arising to the applicant.
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3.2 Authorisation for Language Analysis Language analysis testing may be undertaken only where clear email authorisation is given by the Language Analysis Team with regards to a specific case. The process for officers obtaining authorisation is: Ensure that the Suitability Criteria for Language Analysis are met; Discuss and agree the language analysis proposition with an appropriate senior officer within the unit (for the ASU, this will mean a CIO; for LITs, this will mean an SEO SCW); Establish the case for testing by reference to the facts of the case giving rise to doubts as to claimed place of origin and the benefit expected from LA testing; Request authorisation to test, by full completion of the LA Form #1 (LA Authorisation Request), sent to the Language Analysis Team; Testing may proceed only where the Language Analysis Team responds to the request with explicit email confirmation of authorisation. It is expected that testing will proceed no later than a week after authorisation is given; If authorisation is agreed, copy the authorisation email to file, and transpose the reasons for testing from LA Form #1 to CID Notes, with a brief explanation; If authorisation is declined, it is possible to discuss the matter further with the Language Analysis Team, and to resubmit a revised request if appropriate.
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4. Compliance and Consent


4.1 Applicant Compliance with the Language Analysis Process Before booking the language analysis interview with the provider, officers must gather basic information to inform language analysis and establish compliance with the process, by taking the following actions: Fully complete LA Form #2 (LA Test Details Form), which collects relevant information about the applicants language and country/region of origin. Most information should be available from the screening interview. Copy the completed form to the HO file; Read the explanation contained on LA Form #3 (Direct Analysis Form, ASL.3384), which explains the process and requests consent and participation in the process) through a HO interpreter to the applicant; Answer any questions regarding the process where reasonable and necessary; If the applicant has a legal representative (either present or available via telephone), give the applicant an opportunity to discuss the matter in private with them; Regardless of whether and why an applicant does or does not consent to LA testing, place one copy of LA Form #3 on the HO file (for a clear record of events, and to inform any later asylum interview and decision), and hand another copy to the applicant.

4.1.1 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children Responsible Adults Additional compliance and safeguarding measures must be taken in respect of applying language analysis to unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASCs): If the applicant is an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC), ensure that a responsible adult is present. Inform the responsible adult that they may remain present throughout the whole process; Give the child the opportunity to speak to the responsible adult, subject to the responsible adult being told that their role is not to offer advice to the child in respect of consenting/not consenting to language analysis, or in respect of any other legal matter; At this and at every other encounter throughout the end to end process record (on the file minute and CID Notes) the name and claimed relationship of the responsible adult present (for example: uncle, social worker, etc.). If the relationship is unclear, or if there are significant changes of responsible adult throughout the life of the claim such that concerns arise, it may be appropriate to refer the child to social services or even the police (taking advice from a senior caseworker if appropriate). For further information, please see Processing Asylum Applications from Children. See also 1.1 Application of this instruction in respect of children and those with children.

4.1.2 Applicant Refuses to Conduct or Complete a Language Analysis Interview Failure to comply with language analysis by applicants may constitute behaviour which is designed or likely to conceal information or obstruct the handling or resolution of the claim, under section 8(1) of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004. However, applicants must be afforded an opportunity to explain their behaviour. If the applicant refuses to undertake the language analysis interview, fails to complete the interview or fails to respond to questions asked by the analyst and does not have a reasonable explanation for doing so, the following actions must be taken: Document the refusal to comply with the language analysis process on Part B (Applicants Acknowledgement) of the LA Form #3 (ASL.3384); Uncontrolled if printed

Ask the applicant to sign the form confirming that they do not wish to participate. If the applicant refuses to sign the LA Form #3 (ASL.3384), their reasons for not doing so must be recorded on the form. This information should then be considered at the substantive interview and the RFRL, if the case falls for refusal; Update CID to show the refusal to consent: o In Person/Case search, enter HO reference in the Search Criteria box; o Click Special Conditions on vertical menu; o Select Language Analysis Test from the static data; o Enter the day of the test for the Lodged Date. Leave the Closed Date blank, to clearly indicate that no test was completed; o Update the Additional Information field with the capitalised word NONCOMPLETION, and a short summary of any reasons given for refused consent; o Click Save/Exit. Complete LA Form #4 (LA Team Update Form) and send it to the LA Team.

4.1.3 Medical Grounds and/or Disability Grounds Raised for Not Completing the Language Analysis Interview Medical and/or disability grounds will only be regarded as a valid reason for failing to participate in language analysis if they impinge on the applicants ability to interact with the process, to use the telephony equipment effectively, and to talk clearly (which may include learning difficulties or mental health issues which have the capacity to influence a persons speech). If an applicant raises medical and/or disability grounds for being unable to participate, the decision on how to proceed must be taken by a Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) (in the ASU) or Senior Caseworker (SCW) (in other locations): If the CIO or SCW decides that the circumstances do not warrant the cancellation of the language analysis interview, this should be explained to the applicant. If the applicant does not wish to proceed then they should be asked their reasons, which should be recorded, with their signature, on the LA Form 3 (ASL.3384), as per the guidance at 4.1.2 Applicant Refuses to Conduct or Complete a Language Analysis Interview; If the CIO or SCW accepts the explanation for the applicants failure/inability to participate, this should be noted clearly on LA Form #3 (ASL.3384). Complete LA Form #4 (LA Team Update Form) and send it to the LA Team.

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4.2 LA Team Update Form The LA Team maintains and tracks records for all LA cases, to measure costs and benefits, and to reconcile invoices. LA Form #4 (LA Team Update Form) provides some of this information. The pro forma must be completed and sent to the LA Team either when the applicant refuses to consent to testing, or when preliminary test results are received (around 30 minutes after the LA test interview). It must usually be sent via email, although by special arrangement, for ASU cases it may be sent in hard copy batches at agreed intervals. This is a mandatory action, and will be regularly audited for strict compliance.
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5 Language Analysis Interview


5.1 Booking the Language Analysis Interview Language analysis is booked directly with Sprakab, who need to know details about the case in order for the analyst to prepare for interview. It will usually be possible for an interview to take place within an hour, in some circumstances even sooner. Ensure an interview room is available for the intended time of the prospective interview. Handset telephones give better quality reception to the Sprakab analyst than speakerphones, and may affect the quality and feasibility of LA testing. However, in the choice of handset, accessibility is an important consideration see 4.1.3 Medical Grounds and/or Disability Grounds Raised for Not Completing the Language Analysis Interview Telephone Sprakab (see contact list, annexed) and arrange a language analysis interview for a suitable date/time (note that non-notified and very late cancellations incur a financial penalty to UKBA); Relay the information relevant to the testing, already recorded on LA Form #2 (LA Test Details Form). Sprakab will direct your call to the most appropriate analyst there is no need to ask for a particular Sprakab operative. Inform Sprakab that an email will follow confirming the agreed details; Transmit to Sprakab by email LA Form #2 (LA Test Details Form), and place a printed copy of the sent email on file.

See Annex H: Contacts for updated telephone numbers and email addresses.
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5.2 Conducting the Language Analysis Interview Escort the applicant to the interview room. If required, an interpreter should be present to interpret for the screening officer and the applicant during the language analysis and after the language analysis; Telephone Sprakab at the agreed language analysis interview time; Allow the applicant to speak directly to the analyst. The analyst will explain that the purpose of the conversation is only to analyse the applicants language and that the applicant should not state his/her name; The interview will ordinarily last for 20-30 minutes.
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6 Language Analysis Preliminary Results


Where the analysis is straightforward, Sprakab will telephone and email the preliminary results to the referring officer, normally within approximately 15 minutes of the interview. Sprakab will then analyse the recorded conversation and produce a full written report, which will be sent to UKBA within 72 hours of the interview taking place. 6.1 Preliminary Results - Outcomes The preliminary result will have one of the following outcomes: a) Applicant speaks language X found with certainty not in the country/area from which they claim to come; b) Applicant speaks language X found with certainty in country/area; c) Applicant speaks language X but uncertain as to where it is found.
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6.2 Updating UKBA Records Following the language analysis interview, UKBA records must be updated. 6.2.1 CID In Person/Case search, enter HO reference in the Search Criteria box; Click Special Conditions on vertical menu; Select Language Analysis Test from the static data; Enter the day of the test for the Lodged Date and Closed Date; Update details of the preliminary results if known in the Additional Information field; Click Save/Exit. 6.2.2 HO File Place a copy of the Sprakab email to the HO file, and clearly minute the file accordingly; Attach a flag in a bold typeface to the case file, stating LANGUAGE ANALYSIS. 6.2.3 LA Team Records Complete and return LA Form #4 (LA Team Update Form) to the LA Team.
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6.3 Preliminary Result Disputes Claimed Nationality (Screening Stage Action Only) Where the preliminary result clearly indicates that the applicant is not from the country/region of origin claimed, screening officers must take the following action: Inform the applicant about the language analysis findings and invite their comments; Question the applicant and attempt to ascertain their true place of origin; If there are time constraints, make a note on CID and minute the file in order for the officer to address the issue of place of origin further at the substantive interview; Consider the implications of any suggested alternate nationality (e.g., alternate details may be relevant to Detained Fast Track routing see Detained Fast Track Processes).

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7 Language Analysis Full Report


7.1 Report Receipt, Administration and Forwarding the Report (LA Team Only) The Language Analysis Team will take the following action: Check the Language Analysis mailbox throughout the day for reports received; Upon receipt of report, use the reference number to identify the officer on CID; Immediately forward the report by email to the officer; Post by recorded delivery the signed report to the officer (which includes the analyst/linguists credentials), the Sprakab company brief, and 3 x CDs of the interview.

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7.2 Full Report Outcomes There are 5 possible outcomes from the report on the applicants linguistic background: a) Applicant speaks language X found with certainty not in the country/area they claim to be from; b) Applicant speaks language X found with certainty in country/area; c) Applicant speaks language X found most likely in country/area; d) Applicant speaks language X found likely in country/area; e) Applicant speaks language X found possibly in country/area. The detailed report is sent to case owners usually within 72 hours. For ASU cases, the LA Team will receive the report, locate the case owner, and forward. On receipt of the detailed report, officers must update CID with initial result confirmed or initial result not confirmed as appropriate. 7.2.1 Report Outcomes The conclusions that can be drawn from the report will depend upon the outcome indicated, which may in some cases combine outcomes. For example: To conclude that there is strong evidence to suggest the applicant is of the nationality claimed - the applicants linguistic background must be outcome b (see above). To conclude that there is strong evidence to suggest the applicant is not of the nationality claimed - the applicants linguistic background must be outcome a along with either b, c, d or e, above.

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7.3 Quality of Language Analysis Reports If the quality of any language analysis product or service (availability for analysis, quality of report, transliteration, etc.) falls below the standard officers should reasonably expect, officers should email the Language Analysis Team inbox, briefly outlining the concerns, with sufficient detail to enable action by the Language Analysis Team, if appropriate.
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8 The Substantive Asylum Interview (Asylum Teams Only)


8.1 Preparation Where language analysis reports are available ahead of the substantive asylum interview, officers must prepare questions to investigate the evidence of nationality thoroughly at interview, as well as prepare questions relating to the basis of claim. The reports findings relating to country knowledge may indicate appropriate lines of questioning for the asylum interview (although reliance must not be placed on these findings of themselves). If officers have questions relating to the findings of the report, they must contact the relevant Sprakab analyst/linguist by email.
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8.2 Interview 8.2.1 Re-Documentation Officers must as far as possible fully complete the bio data form at the substantive interview as this assists in redocumentation of the applicant, should the claim fall for refusal. 8.2.2 Notification of Language Analysis Findings and Subsequent Questioning Read out the standard interview procedural statements; Record and read to the applicant the appropriate standard wording according to the findings of the language analysis, or if applicable, the wording relevant to refusing to undertake language analysis. See Annex A Standard Wording for the Substantive Interview); Ask the questions tailored to the language analysis findings; Proceed with the interview, ensuring that the applicants basis of claim is fully and robustly explored, including issues relating to their claimed nationality.
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9 Decisions and Appeals in Language Analysis Cases


9.1 General Considerations A decision must not rely solely on the language analysis report or on an applicants failure or refusal to undergo language analysis. The nationality of an applicant must be assessed by weighing all of the available evidence, including their interview evidence and any written statement submitted (especially relating to the country knowledge appropriate to their background), documentary evidence, any expert reports and the language analysis report. The weight to apply to a language analysis report will vary, according to the certainty of the outcome (see 9.2 Full Report Outcomes). For example, where a language analysis report states that the applicant speaks a language/dialect found with certainty not in their claimed country/territory of origin and with certainty found in another country/territory, and where the applicants knowledge of their claimed country/territory of origin is poor, this combination would provide very strong evidence of the applicants claimed nationality being untrue and of their being of a specified alternate nationality. Reliance must not be placed on any indication of country knowledge disclosed by the detailed language analysis report. However, such indications may direct lines of investigation in the substantive asylum interview, information from which may be relied upon. For further guidance refer to the instructions Considering the Asylum Claim and Implementing Substantive Decisions.
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9.2 Granting Asylum/Humanitarian Protection If the language analysis report provides strong evidence that the applicant is of the nationality claimed, and if the applicant establishes a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of origin, leave must then be granted accordingly.
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9.3 Refusing the Claim RFRLs placing reliance on language analysis must contain the appropriate standard wording immediately after the introductory consideration paragraph at part C of the RFRL. See Annex B2 Standard Wording for the RFRL. Where nationality is doubted or disputed, the RFRL must properly address this, with the decision notice showing the appropriate proposed removal country/countries. See the instruction Nationality: Doubtful, Disputed and Other Cases. Where officers are unsure of how to address the nationality issue in the RFRL they should seek advice from an SCW. The Country of Origin Service (COIS) should also be contacted with any country specific queries (but only after reading the appropriate country reports). Uncontrolled if printed

9.3.1 Serving Asylum Refusals Officers should serve any refusals according to usual practice. In addition, officers must serve the following documents to the applicant at decision service: Signed language analysis report; Sprakab company profile; Credentials of analyst/linguist; LA Form #3 (Direct Analysis Form, ASL.3384); A copy of the language analysis CD.

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9.4 Post-Refusal Actions A transliteration (transcript of the interview) is provided by Sprakab on request, within a maximum of 10 days. This transcript will usually be required for any appeal hearing. Requests for a transliteration should be directed to the Language Analysis Team inbox as soon as it is known an appeal has been lodged. The request should ask for an estimated time for the full response, and the reply should be documented in CID Notes. The appeals bundle must include the transliteration and the documents listed above at 9.3.1 Serving Asylum Refusals. A copy of the recording of the language analysis interview on CD should be provided if the court requests it. If necessary, officers should request (via email to the LA Team) further statements from the analyst/linguist in Sprakab who wrote the report, to support the case at appeal.
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Glossary
Term ASL.3384 Meaning Direct Analysis Form CID Doc Gen letter providing an explanation of the LA process and requesting consent/agreement to test Asylum Screening Unit Compact Disc Chief Immigration Officer LA Form #3 (Direct Analysis Form, ASL.3384) Alternate name for Language Analysis (also known as Direct Language Analysis) Detained Fast-Track First Reporting Event Language Analysis Document sent to LA Team, to request authorisation to test Document used to record information relevant to testing, sent to Sprakab to confirm key testing details Consent form. See ASL.3384, above. Document used to inform LA Team of key case data, sent when preliminary results are received, or when applicant refuses to consent to testing. The role undertaken by officer/s with responsibility for LA administration, oversight, and maintenance and production of management information Reasons for Refusal Letter Senior Caseworker

ASU CD CIO DAF Direct Analysis DFT FRE LA LA Form #1 (LA Authorisation Request) LA Form #2 (LA Test Details) LA Form #3 (Direct Analysis Form, ASL.3384) LA Form #4 (LA Team Update Form) Language Analysis Team

RFRL SCW
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Annex A: Process Summary


The following information is summary information only. Officers must ensure that they read and understand the full instruction. References to case owner may be read as references to screening officers. Applicants claimed country or region of origin is doubted, to the degree that LA testing is considered appropriate; LA Form #1 (LA Authorisation Request) is emailed by the case owner to the LA Team, requesting authorisation to test. Authorisation is given/refused; LA Form #2 (LA Test Details Form) is completed by the case owner, to obtain applicants details relevant to LA testing; LA Form #3 (Direct Analysis Form, ASL.3384) explained to applicant by case owner, and applicant invited to sign to consent to test. Applicant consents/refuses to consent; Case owner telephones Sprakab to book the LA interview. To confirm these details, the LA Form #2 (Test Details Form) is then emailed to Sprakab. Language analysis interview takes place. This is recorded by Sprakab, and usually lasts 20-30 minutes; The applicant is asked a variety of questions by the Sprakab interviewer (who will speak the language to be analysed at mother-tongue level). The questions are limited to obtaining information appropriate for the language analysis; Preliminary results will be communicated to the case owner around 15 minutes after the end of the interview if the case is straightforward; CID Special Conditions and CID Notes are updated by case owner, who then emails the LA Form #4 (LA Team Update Form), fully completed, to the LA Team; The Sprakab analyst reviews the interview recording, taking fully into account phonological, morphological and lexical phenomena; A language analysis report will be produced by a linguist working alongside the analyst. The report, (translated into English), will include details of the analyst/linguists credentials and three CD copies of the interview. An electronic copy of the report is usually sent by Sprakab to the case owner within 72 hours of the language analysis interview, but the hard copy and CDs may take longer to arrive; Decisions must not be based solely on language analysis outcomes, but should take full account of the detailed findings and certainty levels in the LA report; Any refusal decision must be served with relevant LA documents (e.g., report, CD, etc.); Transliterations (verbatim transcriptions of the interview) may be required for any appeal. They are obtained by making a request to the Language Analysis Team.

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Annex B1: Standard Wording for the Substantive Interview


Refer in the first instance to 10 The Substantive Asylum Interview (Asylum Teams Only).

1. Applicant participated, completed the interview and the results of the language analysis provided strong evidence that they are of the nationality they claim to be. You were asked to participate in a direct analysis interview; you agreed to take part and completed the interview. The results of the analysis are that (please refer to the report): You spoke language insert language and the report found that with certainty in insert country/area. Now read the Summary of Findings supporting the conclusion.

2. Applicant participated, completed the interview and the results of the language analysis provides strong evidence that they are not of nationality they claim to be. You were asked to participate in a direct analysis interview; you agreed to take part and completed the interview. The results of the analysis are that (please refer to the report): You spoke insert language and the report found that Choose appropriate sentence from below: With certainty not in the insert country/area you claim to be; With certainty in insert country/area; Most likely in insert country/area; Likely in insert country/area; Possibly in insert country/area.

Now read the Summary of Findings supporting the conclusion.

3. Applicant agreed to take part but did not complete the language analysis interview. You were asked to participate in a direct analysis interview; you agreed to take part but did not complete the interview. The preliminary result showed that: You spoke insert language and it was found that: With certainty not in the insert country/area you claim to be; With certainty in insert country/area; Most likely in insert country/area; Likely in insert country/area; Possibly in insert country/area.

Now read the Summary of Findings supporting the conclusion. Uncontrolled if printed

4. Applicant refused to participate in the language analysis interview. You did not agree to take part in the direct analysis interview. You gave no satisfactory explanation nor raised any disability or medical reason for not taking part / the reason you gave for failing to participate is not accepted as satisfactory.
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Annex B2: Standard Wording for any RFRL


1. The results of the analysis provide strong evidence that the applicant is of the nationality as claimed You were asked to take part in a direct analysis interview at the Asylum Screening Unit to ascertain your country/area/clan of origin. You claimed to come from X and be of X nationality. The results of the direct analysis provide strong evidence that you are (officers should employ the terminology used in the reports summary of findings) from the country/area/clan as claimed. Taken together with all the other evidence, it is therefore accepted that you come from country/area/clan. 2. The results of the analysis provide strong evidence that the applicant is of another nationality as stated in the report You were asked to take part in a direct analysis interview at the Asylum Screening Unit to ascertain your country/area/clan of origin. You claimed to be of X nationality. The results of the direct analysis are (officers should employ the terminology used in the reports summary of findings). This provides strong evidence that you are NOT from the country/area/clan as claimed and also strong evidence that you are from insert country. Taken together with all the other evidence, it is therefore not accepted that you come from country/area/clan.

3. The applicant agreed to take part but did not complete the language analysis interview When you attended the Asylum Screening Unit, you were asked to take part in a direct analysis interview to ascertain your country/area/clan of origin. It is noted that although you initially agreed to take part in the direct analysis interview, you refused to co-operate once the interview had begun/despite getting some way into the interview, you subsequently refused to co-operate/you subsequently refused to talk. (Officer should insert any explanation given as to why the applicant did not complete the direct analysis interview, by referring to screening officer comments on Direct Analysis Form.) Use where satisfactory reason has been given It is considered that you gave a satisfactory reason for failing to complete the direct analysis interview. Use where no reason has been given or satisfactory reason has not been given for failing to complete the language analysis interview You did not give a satisfactory reason for failing to complete the interview. It is considered that someone in genuine need of international protection would assist the authorities of a safe country in establishing the validity of his/her application for asylum. Your failure to participate fully in the direct analysis interview undermines your claim to be a refugee.

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4. The applicant did not take part in the language analysis interview When you attended the Asylum Screening Unit, you were asked to take part in a direct analysis interview to ascertain your country/area/clan of origin. It is noted that you refused to take part in the interview. (Officers should insert explanation given as to why the applicant did not take part in the direct analysis interview by referring to screening officer comments on Direct Analysis Form.) Use where satisfactory reason has been given It is considered that you gave a satisfactory reason for failing to participate in the direct analysis interview. Use where no reason has been given or satisfactory reason has not been given for not agreeing to take part in the language analysis interview You did not give a satisfactory reason for failing to participate in the direct analysis interview. It is considered that a person in genuine need of international protection would assist the authorities of a safe country in establishing the validity of his/her application for asylum. Your failure to do so undermines your claim to be a refugee.
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Annex C: Language Analysis Contractor and Process


The present language analysis contract is held by Sprakab, a privately owned external contractor based in Sweden. Sprakabs process involves an analyst conducting the language analysis interview, who will then work with a linguist to arrive at a final conclusion. Sprakab analysts have linguistics backgrounds and experience in dialectology. They are tested prior to joining Sprakab and routine spot checks are conducted to assure quality. Linguists working at Sprakab have the equivalent of a masters degree in either linguistics or phonetics. Some linguists and phoneticians have doctorates in semantics and forensic phonetics. Sprakabs phoneticians belong to the international Association of Forensic Linguists. Language analysis reports will contain information relating to the credentials of the analyst/linguist involved in its production. For security reasons however, a number code rather than their name will be provided. Similarly, their voices will be altered on the CD recording. Recordings of the language analysis interviews are stored by Sprakab for 5 years and then destroyed.
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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 Authors SL/KR SL SL/RH EG/GL BN BN MK/GL Date 08/06/07 06/08/07 12/02/08 20/10/08 14/01/09 28/01/09 28/07/09 Change Reference New. Updated links. Roll-out of LA. Maintaining records of LA cases. Change to style and to those nationalities that can be routinely language assessed. Slight revision to process for case owners arranging LA. No change to policy. Restructured/reordered instruction. Revision of procedures to ensure clarity and understanding of childrens duty. New LA request form. Further update To Childrens Duty. Update to Sprakab request form and minor process updates. Reflect that there is now only one ASU. Pause in testing. Interim resumption in testing. Minor process revisions to reflect RRA expiry and changes to practical arrangements and restrictions to testing. Clarified LA Team authority for LIT testing. Restructured.

8.0 9.0

GL GL

27/10/09 02/02/10

10.0 11.0

GL MK

29/03/10 26/09/11

12.0 13

MK MK

31/10/11 04/01/12

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MEDICAL FOUNDATION CASES


Table of Contents

Introduction The Medical Foundation Background Information Referrals to the Medical Foundation Children Pre-assessment Assessment Content of Reports Written by the Medical Foundation Dealing With Applications Involving Medical Foundation Correspondence Implications for Decision Timescales Evidence of Contact with the Medical Foundation Acknowledgement letter from the Medical FoundationPre-assessment and full assessment letters from the Medical Foundation Caseworker action: Obtaining Information from Applicants who are being Treated by the Medical Foundation Post pre-assessment Where the Medical Foundation agree to provide full assessment/report Where the Medical Foundation do not agree to provide full assessment Case Handling at the Substantive Interview Representations about Medical Foundation Referrals Received after the Interview Medical Foundation Reports Submitted Following the Refusal of Asylum Preparing Case Files for Appeal Detained Fast Track Processes and the Medical Foundation Oakington Immigration Reception Centre Harmondsworth and Yarls Wood Removal Centres Interviewing Survivors of Torture Assessing Claims Assessing Claims Where a Report from the Medical Foundation has been Submitted Assessing claims where a report from the Medical Foundation has been sought but not submitted Difficulties with the Medical Foundation Uncontrolled if printed

Further Guidance Address and fax number of Medical Foundation

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Introduction
This section contains guidance on handling asylum and human rights claims where an applicant has stated that they have approached the Medical Foundation, and on how to request information on a particular case from an applicants representative. It also contains information on how to consider claims when a Medical Foundation report has been submitted. This section should be read in conjunction with the Asylum Instruction on the Medical Foundation Policy. Cases involving the Medical Foundation should be dealt with by: New Asylum Model - the Case Owner handling the case Asylum Casework Directorate - designated unit/s

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The Medical Foundation


Background Information The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (the Medical Foundation) is a registered charity providing treatment and support to survivors of torture. In addition to medical care, the Medical Foundation offers access to psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, and complementary therapies. Care is provided not only to asylum seekers but also to British citizens in need of specialised help, such as survivors of Far East prisoner of war camps and victims of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. The Medical Foundation has their own website: www.torturecare.org.uk

Referrals to the Medical Foundation Applicants are usually referred to the Medical Foundation. For applicants who allege torture, this referral usually comes via applicants' legal representatives, but it can also be made by GPs, or other health professionals, frontline refugee agencies such as the Refugee Council, or, in the case of children, teachers or social workers. This second type of referral can also lead to an internal referral for a medico-legal report.

Children The Medical Foundation will accept the referral of cases involving unaccompanied and accompanied children. Claims from children who have provided evidence that they are awaiting an appointment with the Medical Foundation must be dealt with in the same way as those from adults.

Pre-assessment Once the applicant has been referred, from whatever source for a medico-legal report, the referral documentation is assessed by the Medical Foundation and, on the basis of the information contained in it, a decision will be made either to reject the request without an appointment, or to invite the applicant in for pre-assessment.

Approximately thirty per cent of applications are accepted for pre-assessment. The decision not to invite an applicant in for an assessment does not necessarily impinge upon the individual's credibility. This decision may be taken on a number of grounds, including instances where there is nothing to document physically or where the injuries have already been documented. Applicants and their legal representatives who are not recommended for an appointment with a doctor will be immediately informed of the reason.

Assessment Within ten working days of the pre-assessment taking place, the applicant will be notified of whether or not they have been accepted for a 'full assessment'. Approximately half of those cases accepted for a pre-assessment are taken forward for full assessment. Those applicants who are accepted for full assessment will then receive an appointment with a Uncontrolled if printed

doctor (usually within 4-6 weeks). The Medical Foundation generally see an applicant at least twice (and in cases where applicants have psychological problems, it may be more) before writing a report. Case Owners should also take into account the implications that any future appointments or ongoing treatment with the Medical Foundation could have on their ability to fulfil a stringent reporting regime (e.g. Daily or Weekly Reporting) and amend this accordingly. This should then be reflected in the Case Management Plan.

Content of Reports Written by the Medical Foundation Medical Foundation staff write approximately 900 reports a year that are intended to document and interpret the injuries of survivors of torture. All the doctors at the Medical Foundation are objective and unbiased. If they cannot match the testimony to the injury, then they will refuse to write a report. So, for example, they may decline to write reports for applicants where nationality is in dispute, or where there is no apparent physical scarring to document. However, some methods of torture do not produce scarring and the absence of scarring does not mean that the torture did not take place, merely that there is nothing physical to document. Where torture is not in dispute or is sufficiently well documented by others of appropriate expertise* the Medical Foundation may decline to write a report. *Agencies other than the Medical Foundation prepare medico-legal reports, and on occasion the Medical Foundation will refer the legal representatives to those other agencies. This may be because of geographical location or particular expertise, a preexisting relationship with the client/patient, or a temporary lack of resource in a particular field.

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Dealing With Applications Involving Medical Foundation Correspondence


Implications for Decision Timescales Where there is evidence on file that the Medical Foundation have been approached and they have agreed to provide an appointment, asylum claims must not be considered until the report has been received (or a letter from the applicant's representative explaining why a report has not been produced). This will mean that for NAM the projected decision date for the case is missed or for ACD the '2' target will be missed in some cases. For further guidance see Assessing claims where a report from the Medical Foundation has been submitted. All cases that have been accepted for pre-assessment by the Medical Foundation are to be placed on hold pending the outcome of the pre-assessment. Following pre-assessment, applicants and their legal representatives will know whether a doctor has recommended them for assessment. They will be given an appointment date at that time.

Evidence of Contact with the Medical Foundation Before a file is placed on hold pending receipt of a Medical Foundation report, it is essential that the applicant or representative submit a letter confirming an appointment at the Medical Foundation. Officers should process the case as normal in the absence of this evidence in writing. Whether applicants are accepted for, or refused, a pre- or full assessment, they will always receive a letter from the Medical Foundation giving their decision and the reasons for it. NAM Case Owners should use the regular reporting events to request the correspondence that the applicant has received from the Medical Foundation. ACD Acknowledgement letter from the Medical FoundationIf there is evidence on file from the Medical Foundation in the form of an acknowledgement letter to show that the applicant has contacted them in regards to being treated by them, then the caseworker should write to the legal representatives (ASL.2937) stating that they have ten working days from receipt of letter to provide a letter from the Medical Foundation stating whether their client has been accepted for pre-assessment by the Medical Foundation. If no letter is forthcoming a decision will be taken. If a letter is not forthcoming then a decision should be made on the claim. Pre-assessment and full assessment letters from the Medical Foundation If the applicant provides a letter from the Medical Foundation that they have been accepted for pre-assessment or full assessment, then the no decision should be made on the case at this stage.

Caseworker action: The file should be minuted to the Medical Foundation Enquiry Team stating that the applicant has been accepted for Pre-assessment/ full assessment. The file ladder should be marked to ACU11 and tracked to ACU11. Uncontrolled if printed

Obtaining Information from Applicants who are being Treated by the Medical Foundation Officers should check the case file to see at which stage the Medical Foundation process is at, additionally Case Owners should make enquires as part of the ongoing, regular contact management.

Post pre-assessment Two weeks after the pre-assessment a member of the Medical Foundation Enquiry Team should contact the applicants representative to ask about the outcome of the pre-assessment using stock letter ASL.2937 (Request for confirmation of pre assessment), available from Doc Gen. Update CID records. Place case on hold pending receipt of response (usually 3 weeks after the preassessment). Action in accordance with scenarios outlined below.

Where the Medical Foundation agree to provide full assessment/report The Medical Foundation state that almost all cases accepted for an appointment with a Doctor, will eventually receive a Medical Report. Legal representatives should be asked to submit a letter confirming details of future appointments with the Medical Foundation and the timescale for completing the report. Files of applicants who have been accepted for further assessment by a doctor at the Medical Foundation should continue to be kept on hold. Officers should: Prepare and send ASL.2938 (request for any continuing evidence) Update CID records. Place file on hold pending receipt of further information/evidence (for two months) Case Owners should make continual updates to the Case Management Plan to indicate the progress.

Where the Medical Foundation do not agree to provide full assessment If the Medical Foundation do not agree to provide a full assessment/report, they will issue a letter to advise of the reasons why. Following receipt of this letter: ACD Officers should minute the file and send the case file to the ACU to reallocate the case file for consideration.

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NAM Case Owners should update the Case Management Plan and proceed with making a decision on the asylum and / or human rights application. Where no Evidence from the Medical Foundation is Submitted If, after two months, no evidence has been received, prepare and issue ASL.2938 (using the second 'chaser' option and insert deadline for 3 weeks hence) place file back on hold pending response. If no response is received by the deadline:

ACD minute the case file and send to the ACU to reallocate the case file for consideration. Or NAM Case Owners should update the Case Management Plan and proceed with making a decision on the asylum and / or human rights application.

Where Evidence from The Medical Foundation is Submitted Where evidence from the Medical Foundation is submitted the case can be considered in the usual way. For further guidance see Assessing claims where a report from the Medical Foundation has been submitted.

Case Handling at the Substantive Interview If, during a substantive interview, an applicant indicates that he has approached the Medical Foundation, the officer should ask him for a letter of confirmation from the Medical Foundation during the interview. If the letter cannot be produced at the interview: ACD - the caseworker should advise the applicant to send in a copy of the letter within ten working days. The caseworker should give the applicant a self-adhesive address label with their name, unit and ACD office address written on it for this purpose (where no labels are available the caseworker can write out the office address on a separate piece of paper). The caseworker should also warn the applicant that if a copy of the letter is not received within ten working days, a decision will be made on their application on the basis of the information that has already been provided. Or NAM- Case Owners should request that the letter be produced within ten working days. Depending on the reporting regime, the applicant should be advised to bring the letter to the next reporting event. If this is not possible then it should be sent directly to the Case Owner. The Case Owner should warn the applicant that if a copy of the letter is not received within ten working days, a decision will be made on their application on the basis of the information that has already been provided. Where a credible account of torture is given during the interview, the officer should consider suggesting that the applicant may wish to approach the Medical Foundation for care and treatment. However, it is ultimately for the applicant/representative to decide whether to seek an appointment with the Medical Foundation. Uncontrolled if printed

Applicants who inform the interviewing officer that they intend to seek referral to the Medical Foundation, but have not yet done so, are not entitled to have consideration of their claim suspended pending confirmation that they have actually been referred. In such instances, interviewing officers should advise applicants of this fact, but inform them that, if a letter confirming a Medical Foundation appointment is received before a decision is made on the claim, the Case Owner or caseworker will await any Medical Foundation submission before determining the claim. For further guidance about interviewing alleged victims of torture, see the relevant sections of the Asylum Instruction on Conducting the Asylum Interview.

Representations about Medical Foundation Referrals Received after the Interview Consideration of applications must be suspended if confirmation of an appointment with the Medical Foundation is received from the applicant or the applicant's legal representatives during the period following the substantive interview but before the case is determined. Consideration should not be resumed until the Medical Foundation report is received. For instructions on how to chase up a report from the legal representatives and the Medical Foundation see Obtaining information from applicants who are being treated by the Medical Foundation. For guidance on assessing claims where a report has been submitted see Assessing claims where a report from the Medical Foundation has been submitted.

Medical Foundation Reports Submitted Following the Refusal of Asylum Where a Medical Foundation report is submitted after a claim has been refused, the case should be reviewed before any appeal. Having considered the report it may be appropriate to grant asylum or Humanitarian Protection (see the Asylum Instructions on Considering the Asylum Claim and Humanitarian Protection for more information). If refusal is to be maintained, a further letter to the applicant will be required explaining how the report has been considered and why the Case Owner or caseworker has concluded that the original decision should not be reversed.

Preparing Case Files for Appeal If there is evidence on file that an applicant has been in contact with the Medical Foundation, whenever possible, Case Owners/Presenting Officers should contact applicants' legal representatives to confirm whether a Medical Foundation report has been received by them and, if so, they should request a copy in advance of the appeal hearing in order to review the case. If, however, the representatives confirm that the applicant is still waiting for a report, then the officer should use their discretion on the basis of the information that is already on file, together with any information given by the representative as to the likely timescale for the production of any report, and in the appeal bundle to decide whether or not to take any further action.

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Detained Fast Track Processes and the Medical Foundation


Oakington Immigration Reception Centre Applicants detained at Oakington can be referred to the Medical Foundation by legal representatives in the same way as other applicants who are not detained. If the Medical Foundation agrees to accept an applicant for pre-assessment the applicant is taken out of the Oakington process. The referral is usually accepted within 24 hours. The case file should be minuted to this effect (together with the date of the Medical Foundation appointment) and sent to the Asylum Co-ordination Unit (ACU 1 Team B) until the Medical Foundation report is received. When the report is received, the file should be sent to ACU11 to consider the claim. (NSA cases must be considered by accredited caseworkers.) If, after ten working days, confirmation of the appointment for a pre-assessment has not been received an officer in ACU should make contact with the representative or (in the absence of sufficient information) the Medical Foundation following the procedures set out in Obtaining information from applicants who are being treated by the Medical Foundation.

Harmondsworth and Yarls Wood Removal Centres Applicants subject to Harmondsworth or Yarls Wood fast track processes usually have claims determined on the day following the substantive interview. However a decision would be postponed where a pre-assessment had been confirmed by the Medical Foundation. A decision to take the applicant out of the fast track process will usually be taken by a senior caseworker or by the Immigration Appellate Authorities once the appeal stage has been reached.

Interviewing Survivors of Torture The traumatic nature of torture means that particular care and sensitivity is required when interviewing applicants who claim to be victims of torture. For further guidance on interviewing survivors of torture see the Asylum Instructions on Medical Foundation Policy and Interviewing ('Best practice guide for Interviewing alleged victims of torture'). A booklet entitled "Guidelines for the examination of survivors of torture" is available from the ACD Library on 14th Floor, Lunar House, for officers based in Croydon and is also available from senior caseworkers who are based in Liverpool.

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Assessing Claims
Assessing Claims Where a Report from the Medical Foundation has been Submitted It is important that reports prepared on behalf of the Medical Foundation are understood fully and given appropriate weight in the consideration process. It is important to stress that Case Owners and caseworkers must avoid making clinical judgements about medical evidence. For information and advice on how to assess a claim supported by a report from the Medical Foundation see the Asylum Instruction on Medical Foundation Policy. The existence of a Medical Foundation report in itself may not be corroborative, but, if a Medical Foundation report has been produced in support of a claim and having considered the report, the Case Owner or caseworker is minded to refuse the application the case must be referred to a senior caseworker. NAM Case Owners should refer the case to the SCW attached to their team. To refer a case to the Senior Caseworker Unit (SCWU) caseworkers should: Flag the Medical Foundation report with an orange flag (usually used for annexing). Minute the case file for the attention of the senior caseworker, with details of why it is proposed that the case should be refused. If there is a target deadline, this should be included. The minute should be signed and dated and should include the caseworker's team details and location. Ensure the file destination is clearly marked on the destination ladder on the front cover of the case file. Track out the file on the File Tracking System and, if the case is still within the 2 months' target, ensure that the file is delivered immediately by hand to the SCWU, this also applies for cases within the 4 and 6 month targets. If the '6 deadline has passed, the case file should be sent to the SCWU via the messenger service (for cases considered in Asylum Casework Group (South) or by hand for cases considered in Asylum Casework Group (North) - this is because SCW in ACG(N) is situated within the CMU).

Once the file has been returned to the originating officer, the officer should proceed as directed by the senior caseworker.

Assessing claims where a report from the Medical Foundation has been sought but not submitted Applicants are not compelled to submit a report. Not all reports prepared by the Medical Foundation are favourable to the applicant and Case Owners and caseworkers should be mindful that the applicant or their legal representatives may decide not to submit the report to the Home Office. If a report is not submitted, Case Owners and caseworkers should request a copy. However, if a medical report is still not submitted (and neither has a letter explaining why a report has not been produced), Case Owners and caseworkers cannot demand a copy. If the caseworker has no reason to doubt the account of torture, the absence of a medical report will not be significant. But where there are problems with the credibility of a claim generally, a failure to submit the medical report, or an explanation why one has not been Uncontrolled if printed

submitted, may justify a negative conclusion about the credibility of the applicant's account of torture.

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Difficulties with the Medical Foundation


The Asylum Policy Unit (APU) should be informed of any problems or difficulties that occur when senior caseworkers discuss individual reports with the Medical Foundation. Should a medical report appear to depart considerably from the Foundation's own guidelines, the senior caseworker should also bring it to the attention of APU. If appropriate, APU will bring any general concerns to the attention of the Foundation. In cases where a clinical judgement may be required which the Case Owner or caseworker is not competent to provide, APU will provide guidance on whether it would be appropriate, on a case by case basis, to seek a further expert medical opinion.

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Further Guidance
Asylum Instructions: Interviewing Medical Foundation Policy Book: Guidelines for the examination of survivors of torture available from a senior caseworker or the library on 14th Floor, Lunar House. Address and fax number of Medical Foundation The Legal Officer Medical Foundation 111 Isledon Road London N7 7JW Fax number: 020 7697 7740

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Document Control
Change Record
Version 1.0 Authors SL Date 20/03/2007 Change Reference New web style implemented

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