Enter the UK

ⓘ Information card

Some people claim asylum immediately on arrival at the airport/port of entry in the UK. If you do this, you will have your screening interview at the airport/port.

Some people who come to the UK to seek asylum use their own passports, but for many this is not possible. It would either put them at risk to apply for a passport in their country, or using a passport in their own name to leave their country would make their presence known to the very authorities they are fleeing.

Article 31 of the Refugee Convention acknowledges the danger for some people of using a real passport in their own name, and states that asylum seekers should not be punished for this if they have a good reason for using false documents.

Some people enter the UK on a visit visa, student visa, or work visa and then claim asylum on arrival in the UK or at a later date.

Not everyone will claim asylum as soon as they arrive, and there can be good reasons for this. However, you should be aware that the Home Office may use this against you in your application for asylum. They may argue that this is evidence that you are not in real danger. They may argue that your visa application was dishonest, or that you are only applying for asylum because it expired.

Read more in the Entering the UK section of the Right to Remain Toolkit.

Now read the problem card below. Discuss with a friend (or have a think if you’re doing this on your own) what you might be able to do in this situation. When you have finished discussing/thinking, click to reveal a suggested action.

⚠️ Problem card

You enter the UK using a false passport (a passport in a name other than your own). The Home Office prosecute you for this, which is a criminal offence.