Over the course of this year the government have announced plans to “streamline” certain asylum cases. This means processing the case without an interview, meaning a decision is made faster than usual. The reason is because the government have made a commitment to make faster decisions and clear the backlog of asylum cases – claims made before the 28th June 2022 – by the end of 2023.
There are different streamlining processes for people depending on their nationality and date of arrival in the UK. This can be confusing. This document is to try to explain these processes. If you don’t see your nationality mentioned, it does not mean your claim won’t be considered in the usual asylum process.
People from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen
If you are from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria or Yemen and:
are over 18,
claimed asylum on or before the 6th March 2023,
have not had a substantive interview about your claim
You are eligible for the Adult Streamlined Asylum Process, sometimes shortened to SAP. This means you will be sent a questionnaire form about your asylum claim. Many people, especially with older asylum claims, will have already received this questionnaire.
Completing the questionnaire
If you receive a questionnaire and you have a lawyer they should be able to advise you what to do next.
If you do not have a lawyer, you can make a referral to GMIAU clearly stating that you have received the questionnaire and the date on the Home Office letter that came with it. We cannot guarantee that we will have capacity to help you with completing the questionnaire.
You have 30 working days to complete and return the questionnaire. The form must be returned to the Home Office by email or post. Other evidence can be submitted with it.
If you don’t respond within 20 working days, you will be sent a reminder by HO. If you don’t respond within 30 working days you will be sent a final intervention letter. This advises that you must return the questionnaire or contact the Home Office within 10 working days to confirm you wish to continue with your asylum claim, and be invited to an interview where they can provide further information regarding their claim. If you don’t respond to that final intervention letter, your asylum claim will be treated as withdrawn.
You can ask for more time if needed. Because the Home Office has said that your asylum claim may be treated as withdrawn if you do not return the questionnaire, if needed, it is important to explain to the Home Office why you cannot complete the form without legal advice so that this does not happen.
You can do this by contacting the Home Office by email: email@example.com
Or post: Home Office, PO Box 7774, Bilston, WV14 4DU.
If you have not received a questionnaire
If you are sure you fit into the above categories and you have not heard from the Home Office about an asylum questionnaire, you do not have to worry: it is still the Home Office’s responsibility to progress your claim. If you want to, you can request a questionnaire, but you might not receive a reply. The Home Office seem to be processing claims in date order so if you claimed asylum more recently – closer to the 6th March 2023 – this may explain why you have not yet received a questionnaire.
If you have not received a decision
From our experiences a lot of people have completed questionnaires but are still waiting for a decision on their asylum claim. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or LiverpoolAsylumAdmin@homeoffice.gov.uk to ask what is happening with your asylum claim.
People from Sudan
If you are from Sudan and:
are over 18
claimed asylum after the 28th June 2022 and on or before the 6th March 2023
You are eligible for the Adult Streamlined Asylum Process, sometimes shortened to SAP. This means you will be sent a questionnaire form about your asylum claim.
Please see the “Completing the questionnaire” section above.
People from Iran and Iraq
If you are from Iran or Iraq and:
claimed asylum on or before 6th March 2023
have not already been interviewed in detail about your asylum claim
claimed when you were 18 or older
are still in the UK
Your asylum claim is also eligible for streamlining, but this will be with an online questionnaire which you will be directed to complete. These may be sent directly to you or to your lawyer if you have one. The form can be completed online and returned to the Home Office online, by email or by post. Other evidence can also be submitted, but the Home Office has requested that original travel and identity documents are sent to them by post.
People from Iran or Iraq who claimed asylum before 28th June 2022 should have been asked to complete a questionnaire already.
People from Iran who claimed asylum after 28th June 2022 and before 6th March 2023 should have been contacted by the Home Office recently, at the end of November or beginning of December 2023, asking them to complete the questionnaire.
Queries about the above can be emailed to email@example.com
Completing the questionnaire
If this applies to you then you should have received a letter from the Home Office. If you have a lawyer they should contact you about this and advise you what to do next. If you do not have a lawyer then you can make a referral to us on our website, but please note that we cannot guarantee to take on your case. There are also links to find other lawyers on our website. You have 30 working days to complete and return the questionnaire. You can ask for more time if needed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Home Office say that they will not withdraw your asylum claim if you do not return the form. If you do not complete the form then the Home Office will need to interview you about the reasons for your asylum claim. The Home Office say that they will need to interview you even if you complete the form, but this interview may be shorter and only ask about certain things based on what you have put in the form. We do not know how long it will take for a decision on your claim if you complete the form or if you don’t, but the Prime Minister has said all of these cases should be decided by the end of 2023. That should not be affected by whether you return the form or not.
Advice from GMIAU
If you are living in an asylum hotel and you would like advice about the questionnaire, you can email email@example.com.