Some children and young people arrive in the UK and seek asylum. They may be with their family or they may be on their own. Seeking asylum means making an application to stay in the UK because of the risk to them in their country of origin. If their asylum or protection claim is successful, the child or young person will be given a visa as a refugee.
If a child or young person is seeking asylum, it is important that they have legal representation from a lawyer (a regulated adviser or solicitor) they trust. Legal aid is available for asylum claims, so they will not have to pay for the lawyer. To find a legal aid lawyer who does asylum, visit the Ministry of Justice website. Enter your postcode, town or city and under ‘category’, tick ‘immigration or asylum’.
Some children or young people have an asylum or protection claim even when they have lived in the UK for a long time. For example, a teenager may have grown up in the UK. It turns out that they were originally trafficked here when they were a child and they would be at risk if returned to their country of origin. Another example might be where the young person’s sexuality or religion would put them at risk if they were returned to their country of origin. Ask might there be a risk to the child or young person on return? If the answer is yes, they should speak to a lawyer about making an asylum or protection claim. They can make a claim that is based on both risk and on arguments about their life and belonging in the UK.