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The asylum process

This section explains our process for considering applications for asylum. It tells you what you can expect while we are considering your application and after we have made our decision.

Since March 2007, every new asylum application is placed with a single person who will deal with every aspect of it from beginning to end. This person is known as a case owner.

The case owner aims to conclude your application within six months. This means that within six months:

  • you will start integration into life in the United Kingdom, if your application is successful; or
  • you will return home, either voluntarily or by enforced removal, if your application is unsuccessful.

We may detain you while we consider your application.

Once you have applied for asylum, there are six stages to the process:

As an asylum applicant, you have certain rights and responsibilities while you are in the United Kingdom.

At any stage of the process, you are free to leave the United Kingdom voluntarily, either by making your own travel arrangements or by applying to the Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme.

For full details of the policy and process that our case owners follow, see Law and policy.