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UKVI decision

This content applies to England

The application process and decisions that UKVI (formerly the UK Border Agency) may make .

Time limit

Although the regulations do not specify a time limit within which a decision must be made, it is intended that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will make a decision within two working days of receiving an application. In practice, the process usually takes longer than two days, and where a decision has not been made within seven days, UKVI is required to write to the applicant, stating the reasons for the delay. It may be possible to challenge any delay by judicial review.

Advisers should direct asylum seekers to specialist advice agencies immediately for help with the application procedure as asylum seekers falling into certain categories can be removed from the country two weeks after submitting their applications.

Support pending application decision

An assistant organisation may arrange temporary section 98 support to an asylum seeker awaiting a decision on her/his application. For more information, please see the pages on Voluntary sector assistance and Type of assistance provided.

Refusal

If UKVI decides that an applicant is not eligible for asylum support, it must send the applicant a refusal letter and a reasons letter, explaining why her/his application for asylum support has been rejected. The applicant must also be given a notice of appeal form, together with an explanatory letter.[1] Failure to follow this procedure will give the applicant a valid ground for requesting an extension of the deadline for submitting an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal (Asylum and Immigration). See the page on Challenging UKVI decisions for more information.

If support is refused or withdrawn and there is no successful appeal or reinstatement of support, it is only possible to reapply for support if there has been a change of circumstances, or if there are exceptional circumstances. See the page on Suspension or withdrawal of support for more information.

Appeal against refusal

An asylum seeker whose application for asylum support has been rejected has a right of appeal to the Asylum Support Adjudicators.[2] However, s/he has no entitlement to any support up until and during the appeal. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, appeals must be lodged within three working days of notification of refusal. See the page on Challenging UKVI decisions for information on appeals.

Successful application

If UKVI decides that an asylum support applicant is eligible for support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, it will write a letter to the applicant telling her/him that the application has been successful. UKVI will also provide details of the level of support that the applicant is to receive, which should be full asylum support. The applicant will also be told where her/his accommodation will be located and any arrangements for travel to a dispersal area.

The support provided by UKVI is subject to conditions, which will be set out in writing. Conditions include, for instance, travelling to the allocated accommodation in a dispersal area and not leaving accommodation without informing UKVI first for a specified period - see the page on Conditions attached to support for details. An asylum applicant who breaches any of the specified conditions may have her/his support suspended or withdrawn - see the page on Suspension or withdrawal of support.

National Health Service prescriptions

Asylum seekers whose applications for support from UKVI have been successful will be issued with an HC2 certificate that will enable them to get free National Health Service prescriptions, dental treatment and sight tests. Successful applicants may also be reimbursed for travel expenses to and from hospital for National Health Service treatment, and for any costs they have already incurred in paying for treatment.

[1] Policy Bulletin 12.

[2] s.102 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

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