Jargon Buster for UASC

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A glossary of words and their meanings that you may come across in your asylum claim


Age-disputed child

An age-disputed child is an asylum applicant whose claimed date of birth is not accepted by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and/or by the local authority who have been approached to provide support. This term is usually used to refer to people who claim to be children, but who are treated as adults by the Home Office and/or the local authority. Whether an individual is treated as an adult or as a child has serious implications for the way in which the person’s claim for asylum is treated, and the support received.

Application registration card (ARC)

ARC is a credit card sized document issued to asylum applicants after screening to show that they have applied for asylum. It is also used as evidence of identity, immigration status and entitlements in the UK. It holds identifying information including fingerprints and reporting arrangements in a microchip within the card.

Article 3 (of ECHR)

Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) states that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. A person can make a claim for protection based directly on Article 3 of ECHR as states are prohibited from returning a person to a country where she/he may suffer a violation of his/her rights under Article 3.

Article 31

Article 31 of the 1951 Refugee Convention prohibits states from penalising a refugee for illegal entry when the purpose of their entry is to claim asylum.

Asylum interview

An asylum interview is a substantive interview about a person’s reasons for claiming asylum in the UK.

Asylum Screening Unit

Asylum screening units are the entry points into the asylum system. It is here that in-country asylum seekers make their initial asylum claims and where immigration officers conduct screening interviews. See 'Screening Interview'.

Asylum seeker

An asylum seeker is someone who has lodged an application for protection on the basis of the Refugee Convention or Article 3 of the ECHR.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

A BRP is a document issued by the Home Office to students (and their partners and children) as evidence of their immigration permission. It is the size of a credit card and will detail your visa information including how long it is valid for and that you are in the UK as a student.

Case owner

The UKBA uses ‘case owner’ to refer to an official within its New Asylum Model who is responsible for an asylum seeker’s case throughout the process, from application to the granting of status or removal. Their roles include deciding whether status should be granted, handling any appeal, dealing with asylum support, integration or removal.

Clearly unfounded claims

When the UKBA believes that the asylum seeker comes from a safe country and would not face a risk of being persecuted, it deems it a ‘clearly unfounded case’.

Discretionary Leave to Remain

Discretionary leave to remain is a form of immigration status granted to a person who the Home Office has decided does not qualify for refugee status or humanitarian protection but where there are other strong reasons why the person needs to stay in the UK temporarily.


Dispersal is the process by which the UKBA moves an asylum seeker to accommodation Kent. They are first moved to initial accommodation while their application for asylum support is processed. Once the application has been processed and approved they are moved to dispersal accommodation elsewhere in the UK.

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The ECHR is an international legal instrument adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe. Its provisions are enforceable in UK law courts.

Fast track procedure

The fast track procedure is used to determine asylum applications from people who the UKBA assesses to be ‘suitable’. Applicants in the detained fast track are held at an Immigration Removal Centre and the initial decision on their case and any appeals happen at a faster pace than in the community. A case is considered suitable for the fast track process where it appears to the UKBA that the asylum claim can be decided ‘quickly’.

First reporting event

Shortly after the screening interview the asylum applicant will be asked to attend a ‘first reporting event’ where they will meet the UKBA case owner who will deal with their case and have the procedures explained to them, in particular the ways in which the UKBA expects the applicant to keep in touch with them during the course of the asylum process.

Further submissions

Further submissions can be made by unsuccessful asylum seekers if their personal circumstances or the circumstances in their home country have changed. Further submissions can only be made in person at Liverpool Further Submissions Unit. Some asylum seekers can make further submissions at a regular reporting event and those who meet the exceptional criteria may be able to send further submissions by post rather than in person.

HC1 form

Application form for help with medical costs.

HC2 certificate

Certificate which allows someone to claim free prescriptions and some dental and optical services.

High Court

The High Court can consider applications against determinations made by the Immigration and Asylum Chamber in England and Wales. This normally takes a form of a statutory review which is a paper-based examination made by a single judge whether the law has been correctly applied.

Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into the UK law.

Humanitarian protection (HP)

Humanitarian protection is a form of immigration status. It is granted by the Home Office to a person who it decides has a need for protection but who does not meet the criteria for refugee status.

Immigration and Asylum Chamber (First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal)

The First-tier Tribunal is a tribunal dealing with appeals against decisions made by the Home Secretary and his officials, in immigration, asylum and nationality matters. Appeals are heard by one or more immigration judges who are sometimes accompanied by non legal members of the Tribunal. Upper Tribunal is a superior court dealing with appeals against decisions made by the First-tier Tribunal. A right of appeal lies to the Upper Tribunal on a point of law arising from certain decisions of the First-tier Tribunal.

Immigration judge

An immigration judge is a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor to decide appeals made to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

Immigration removal centre

Immigration removal centres are detention centres. They are used to detain people under Immigration Act powers, including those at any stage of the asylum process, not as the title might imply, just prior to removal.

Immigration service

The Immigration Service is the UKBA department that regulates entry at UK ports, screens asylum seekers, manages asylum cases and contact with asylum seekers, and enforces removal of people who don’t have permission to remain in the country.

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

ILR is a form of immigration status given by the UK Border Agency. Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is also called ‘permanent residence’ or ‘settled status’ as it gives permission to stay in the UK on a permanent basis.

Judicial review

In the context of asylum claims, judicial review enables the applicant to challenge a decision on the basis that the original decision was based on the incorrect application of law. Judicial reviews cannot be used to challenge the asylum decision itself, this is the role of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

Legal representative

Legal representative is a barrister or a solicitor, solicitor’s employee or other authorised person who acts for an applicant or appellant in relation to a claim.


A NASS 35 is a UKBA document which states that the holder is no longer entitled to support as they have received a positive decision on their asylum application. It is used to demonstrate that they are eligible for welfare benefits.


Naturalisation is the process of becoming a British national.

New Asylum Model (NAM)

The New Asylum Model was introduced by the UKBA for all new asylum claims in April 2007. NAM entails a ‘case owner’ from the UKBA who is responsible for processing the application from beginning to end.

On-suspensive appeals (NSA)

When a claim for asylum falls under the non-suspensive appeals process it means that the applicant only has the right to appeal against a negative UKBA decision once outside of the UK.

One stop appeal

The one stop appeal procedure aims to ensure that all grounds for appeal are dealt at one appeal only.


An overstayer is a person who was allowed into the UK for a limited period but who has remained longer than the time allowed without permission from the Home Office or under the immigration rules.

Port applicant

A person who applies for asylum to the immigration officer at an airport or seaport when she/he first arrives, ie. before passing through immigration control.


A refugee is a person who ‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country…’ (Definition quoted from the 1951 Refugee Convention)

Refugee status

Refugee status is awarded to someone the UKBA recognises as a refugee as described in the Refugee Convention.


Removal is a process whereby immigration officers enforce return from the UK to another country.


Most asylum seekers who are not detained are expected to report to a reporting centre or police station.

Safe country list

A list drawn up by the Home Office of countries where it believes that persecution does not take place. Asylum seekers from these countries are likely to have their asylum application refused and are unlikely to be allowed to stay in the UK for their appeal.

Safe third country

The Home Office deems certain countries to be places where a refugee is safe from persecution: all EU states, Canada, the USA, Switzerland and Norway. If an asylum seeker travels through any of these states en route to the UK, she may be returned there on grounds of having travelled through a safe third country.

Screening interview

Screening interviews are meetings between asylum seekers and immigration officers to establish: identity, route to the UK, liability to return to a third country, eligibility for UKBA support, liability to prosecution, liability to detention and suitability for being dealt with under the fast track procedure. During the interview asylum seekers have their photo and fingerprints taken and are issued with an asylum registration card. See 'Asylum Registration Card'.

Section 10

Section 10 in the Asylum & Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 makes provision of ‘hard case’ (Section 4) support conditional on completion of ‘community activities’.

Section 2

Section 2 of the Asylum & Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 gives the UKBA power to prosecute asylum seekers who fail to provide a valid document which states their name, nationality or citizenship.

Section 4 support

Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 gives the UKBA power to grant support to some destitute asylum seekers whose asylum application and appeals have been rejected. Support granted under Section 4 is also known as ‘hard case’ support.

Section 55

Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 gives the UKBA power to deny support to asylum seekers deemed not to have applied for asylum ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’. See ‘As soon as reasonably practicable’.

Section 57

Section 57 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 states that UKBA support can be withheld if the asylum seeker fails to provide complete or accurate information to the authorities or fails to co-operate with further enquiries.

Section 9

Section 9 of the Asylum & Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 gives the UKBA power to withdraw support from families with children under 18 whose asylum application and appeals have been rejected and who are thought not to be co-operating with efforts to remove them. It also prevents local authorities from providing such support for the whole family although they may have the power to provide support to the child.

Separated children

Separated children are children under 18 years of age who are outside their country of origin and separated from both parents, or previous/legal customary care giver. Separated children are typically asylum seekers, but not in every case.

Statement of evidence form (SEF)

A UKBA form which separated children applying for asylum use to set out their grounds for claiming asylum. The form was previously used for all asylum seekers.

Statutory review

Paper-based examination made by a single judge in the High Court determining whether the law has been correctly applied.

Temporary admission (TA)

Temporary admission is notice of a liability to be detained. It is given to asylum seekers applying for asylum at the port of entry who the UKBA does not put into detention. Those granted temporary admission are issued with an IS96 document.

Unaccompanied children seeking asylum (UASC)

Unaccompanied children seeking asylum are children who have applied for asylum in their own right, who are outside their country of origin and separated from both parents, or previous/legal customary primary care giver.

UASC Leave

This is a type of leave to remain granted to children aged 17 years and under who cannot be removed from the UK by virtue of being an unnaccompanied child, but also have been refused asylum. It is different to Discretionary Leave to Remain.

Voluntary Assisted Return & Reintegration Programme (VAARP)

Voluntary Assisted Return & Reintegration Programme is a UK scheme to help people return permanently to their home country. The scheme is operated by the International Organization for Migration for the UK Border Agency. See 'International Organization for Migration'.

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