This section explains:
The UK has a proud tradition of providing a place of safety for genuine refugees. However, we are determined to refuse protection to those who do not need it, and will take steps to remove those who are found to have made false claims.
Asylum is protection given by a country to someone who is fleeing persecution in their own country. It is given under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. To be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you have a well-founded fear of persecution.
The UK also adheres to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prevents us sending someone to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
If you do not qualify for asylum but we think there are humanitarian or other reasons why we should allow you to stay in the UK, we may give you temporary permission to remain here.
In 2007, 19 out of every 100 people who applied for asylum were recognised as refugees and given asylum. Another nine out of every 100 who applied for asylum but did not qualify for refugee status were given permission to stay for humanitarian or other reasons. (At the time these figures were published, 17 in every 100 applications had not yet resulted in a final decision.)
For more information about the number of asylum applications we receive and their outcomes, read the asylum statistics in Immigration facts and figures.
See Claiming asylum to find out how to make an application.
We now aim to conclude all new asylum applications within six months. This means that within six months:
More information on this can be found in the Asylum process section.
For the full technical details of the policy and process that our asylum staff follow, see Policy and law.
If you are an organisation that works with asylum applicants (including those who have already been given or refused asylum), you can find out about our projects and other work in this area in our Working with migrants from outside Europe section.