Information about the ‘Streamlined Asylum Processing’ Questionnaire

Legal Updates | News

The image depicts document on white paper with black printed text, and a black fountain pen

This blog was updated on 24 July 2023 to reflect the inclusion of Iraqi and Iranian claims made before 28 June 2022.

Previous updates

20 June 2023 – to reflect the inclusion of Sudanese claims, and the expansion of dates.

22 May 2023- to include further clarification provided by the Immigration Minister about the completion of the form

31 March 2023- to include information about the children’s streamlining asylum process

22 March 2023- to share new information about the questionnaire, such as Refugee Action’s resources

2 March 2023- originally published

In this Legal Update, you will find information about: 

Adult streamlined asylum process

On 23 February 2023, the Home Office introduced a new ‘streamlined asylum processing’ policy, where some people seeking asylum will have to complete a questionnaire (this means a form) instead of having an interview. 

This policy initially applied to adults from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen who claimed asylum and who have not had an asylum substantive (big) interview.

In May 2023, the policy was expanded to include claims made by Iraqi and Iranian people (over the age of 18) who claimed before 28 June 2022. You can find out more here.

In June 2023, the policy was expanded to include claims made from before 28 June 2022 until 7 March 2023.

It was also expanded to include asylum claims made by Sudanese people on or after 28 June 2022.

To check if you have already had your big interview, read our Toolkit page below.

What do we know about the new policy?

What we know about the policy and questionnaire so far comes from this Home Office guidance document. The document explains the policy to Home Office caseworkers. 

The Migration Justice Project at Law Centre NI have published a very useful and simply presented document answering the key questions we all have about the questionnaire, such as deadlines, what happens after a questionnaire is submitted, and whether you need a lawyer to complete the questionnaire. 

You can access the document by clicking here.

Legal support vs. legal advice

A key issue is whether or not you need a lawyer or immigration advisor to help you fill out the questionnaire. 

There has been a lot of confusion, because the Home Office states in the form that “a friend who does understand English can also assist you to explain why you are claiming asylum, but they must not provide you with immigration advice”. 

However, the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (sometimes called ‘OISC’), which is the UK regulator for immigration advisors released a statement to say that:

While only regulated legal advisers working at Level 2 & above can provide asylum advice to claimants completing the Asylum Claim Questionnaire, you can offer unregulated assistance relating to language issues and technicalities of completing/submitting the forms.

You can read the full statement on OISC’s position here

While someone who is not a lawyer is technically allowed to help with certain parts of filling out the form, this cannot cross over into providing legal advice. This is a tricky balance. If someone who is not qualified to provide legal advice does so anyway, they could face criminal charges. 

At Right to Remain, much of our work is focused upon empowering people to provide legal support, even if they are not legal advisers. This includes providing emotional, moral, and practical support to people who are in the legal system, without providing advice. 

To learn more about the difference between providing legal support and legal advice, read our Toolkit page.

What to do if you or someone you support receives a questionnaire

Refugee Action have published a helpful page to the Streamlined Asylum Processing questionnaire. The page includes:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the questionnaire available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish Karmanji, Kurdish Sorani, Tigrinya
  • Guidance for what non-profit caseworkers can/cannot do to help someone who has received an asylum questionnaire
  • Resources for volunteers working with people seeking asylum
  • A template letter to request an extension of the deadline from the Home Office
  • A template letter to provide evidence of local legal aid capacity which can be attached to the extension request
  • Translations of the questionnaire (for which Refugee Action cannot guarantee accuracy)

Visit the webpage and take a look at all of these resources by clicking below.

Streamlined asylum process for children

On the 16th March 2023, the Home Office announced it would start a new streamlined asylum process for certain groups of children. The process for children is different to the process for adults. 

The streamlined asylum process for children applies to children from the following 5 countries: Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria and Vietnam who claimed asylum before 28 June 2022. The process only applies to those children who have made a first asylum claim. 

**These 5 nationalities are different to those in the adult streamlining process.**

It applies to accompanied (those with family) and unaccompanied (those without a parent or guardian) children. Children who have turned 18 while waiting for an asylum decision will be part of the children’s streamlining process, even though they are now over 18. 

What do we know about the new policy? 

Children who are part of this process will be invited to attend a preliminary information meeting, sometimes shortened to a ‘PIM’. The child’s responsible adult will be informed, and so should their legal representative. 

Children can be called to a PIM after their welfare interview and can be before they have submitted a Statement of Evidence Form. 

Children will only be called for a PIM after they have been in local authority care for two weeks.

What happens at the meeting?

PIMS can take place in person or online. There should be an interpreter present if needed. Children called to attend a PIM can request the gender of the interpreter or Home Office caseworker, and requests should be submitted 3 days before the meeting.

Legal representatives are able to attend these meetings and it is covered by legal aid. 

If the child does not have a legal representative, and attends a PIM, the responsible adult should take notes before, during and after the PIM. These will be useful if the child is not granted asylum and is called for a further interview. 

In the PIM, the decision makers will ask questions about the child’s nationality, the basis of their claim, their family, any evidence submitted, and welfare issues. There should be no issues of credibility raised at the meeting. 

The purpose of the PIM is to see if asylum can be granted without any further interviews. No child will be refused asylum on the basis of a PIM – only a positive asylum decision may be issued. If it is not, the child may then be asked to submit a Statement of Evidence form and attend a substantive interview. 

Clarification from the Immigration Minister

On 1 March 2023, the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) wrote a Joint Letter to the Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, asking for further detail on and making recommendations for a number of issues surrounding the Streamlined Asylum Process and accompanying questionnaire. You can read more about the Joint Letter by clicking here.

On 2 May 2023, the Minister sent a response to their letter. Some of the points he clarified include:

  • Withdrawal of asylum claims: If someone does not respond to the questionnaire and it is through no fault of their own, the Home Office will take into consideration their personal circumstances and will not withdraw their asylum claim. Any explanations for non-return will be considered and asylum claims will not be withdrawn if there is a reasonable explanation.
    • If someone has not received the questionnaire for reasons beyond their control, it will not be held against them.
    • Asylum claims will be withdrawn for people who explicitly tell the Home Office that they no longer wish to pursue their claim, or for people who do not comply or avoid communicating with the Home Office. 
    • If someone’s claim has been (correctly) withdrawn and then they want to engage with the Home Office at a later date, they can submit Further Submissions (see the full letter for details).
  • Language: There does not appear to be any progress in having the questionnaire translated into a language other than English. The Minister argues that all Home Office communications are carried out in English so that staff can understand.
  • Families with children: If a person has children as dependents on their claim and they received a questionnaire, only the main claimant adult will have to fill out one questionnaire for themselves and their dependents. The streamlined asylum processing questionnaire for families in this situation is to be applied with the Family Asylum Claims Policy.  
  • Legal representatives: The Minister wrote that the majority of those who were sent the questionnaire have a legal representative, according to Home Office records. The Minister re-states that there is no need for legal advice or representation to be able to fill out the questionnaire, and that if a person who receives the questionnaire cannot complete it because they do not speak or write English, this will be considered by the Home Office.
  • Update contact details: The Minister urges people to make sure their contact details as recorded by the Home Office are up to date.
  • Credibility: The Minister says that the Home Office staff will make a distinction between minor errors in translation (for people who fill out the form and do not write English natively) and core discrepancies (this means big differences) between someone’s questionnaire and the evidence they submit. Core discrepancies will impact upon someone’s credibility (this means whether the Home Office believes them), but minor errors or differences will not.
  • Interviews: The letter days that if someone’s completed questionnaire does not provide enough information for the Home Office to grant them refugee status, they will be invited for an interview much like the Asylum Substantive Interview.

34 comments on “Information about the ‘Streamlined Asylum Processing’ Questionnaire

  1. Arash on

    Hi Just would like to know is the Irania. Going to be included in this rule or act soon is there any news regarding this

    Reply
    • RtR on

      Hello Hassan. Yes – the questionnaire applies to people who arrived from before 28 June 2022 and are from the specified countries. People who are not from these countries, or who arrived after this date will not receive the questionnaire.

      Reply
  2. Milad on

    Hello, In a part of the text, you wrote, “In June 2023, the policy was expanded to include claims made from before 28 June 2022 until 7 March 2023.” Does this mean that the questionnaires will be sent to people who declared asylum after June 28?

    Reply
  3. Diyari on

    Hello Dear Sir/Madam

    We are iraqi nationality and arrived in August 2022 so I asked solicitor they said you can’t apply that questionnaire they explained that questionnaire just for those people who arrived uk before 28-jun 2022 so now I see u mentioned until march 2023! Which one is right also when you want to apply online in home office website they clearly wrote you must be arrived uk before 28-jun 2022

    If u can give more details about that we appreciate it and thank you very much

    Best regards,

    Reply
    • RtR on

      Hello Diyari, thank you for your comment.

      It is a very confusing policy – your lawyer was correct because when the Streamlined Asylum Processing questionnaire was first introduced (in February 2023), it was only for people from Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Eritrea, and Yemen who had arrived BEFORE 28 June 2022. It is only very recently (as mentioned in the article) that the questionnaire has been extended to nationals of Iraq and Iran, and also extended to people who arrived after June 2022.

      If you fit into this category, the Home Office will likely send the questionnaire to your lawyer.

      Best of luck.

      Reply
    • RtR on

      Hello Arash, unfortunately we are not sure how long it will take to hear from the office. There are major delays, and each case is different. Best of luck to you.

      Reply
      • Mohammad on

        Dear Team,

        First thank you so much for your continued efforts and support for asylum seekers.

        I have claimed asylum on December 12th 2022. I am from Afghanistan. I was wondering when the questionnaires will be sent out to those that are recently included in the list.

        Reply
    • Katie McLaughlin on

      Hi
      Do you have any information about when the questionnaire will be rolled out to people from Iran who arrived after June 28th 2022?
      Thank you

      Reply
  4. EUP on

    Hi RtR team,

    I am not from the above fine countries, and the Home Office sent a letter informing me I don’t need to attend a substantive interview because they can decide my asylum claim based on my evidence. So that means streamlined processing is not just apply for the above 5 countries.

    Reply
    • RtR on

      Hi EUP, we have also recently heard of people receiving the ‘Continuing Your Asylum Process’ letter. The Home Office has yet to publish a policy on this (as far as we can tell). Though it is named something different, you are correct in saying that it’s almost exactly like the Streamlined Process.

      Reply
      • Peter Gunning on

        Hello, I am trying to help a young woman from Eritrea who made a claim for asylum on 11 July 2022. She has not yet received the Streamlined Asylum Processing Questionnaire. Do you know when it is likely that this will happen? From your experience can her MP intervene to help speed this process up?

        Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can offer.

        Reply
  5. Diyari on

    Hello Sir/Madam

    Have u got any idea about that questionnaire form dose is continue for those people who applied their claims after 28-6-2022 ?

    There is some news we hear from people about the questionnaire form will be run and ready for these people who applied cases after 28-jun-2022

    Reply
  6. Karima on

    Hello dear sir/madam,

    I’m from Afghanistan I claimed asylum on October 2022 and on 27 of july 2023 I received a text message from home office that “ Streamlined Asylum Processing: Hi Karima Azam
    We are contacting you from the Home Office about your Asylum claim.
    You will soon receive an email/letter which will enable you to complete an online Asylum questionnaire.
    This may enable us to make a streamlined decision on your case.
    If we do not hold your e-mail address on record we may call you to request it.
    You do not need to do anything until you receive an e-mail/letter or phone call.
    Thank you” .

    I’m still waiting for email or letter but haven’t received anything.
    Would you please advise me what should i do next?

    Looking for your response

    Thanks
    Karima Azam

    Reply
    • RtR on

      Hi Karima, thank you for your message. I’m sorry for the distress you are experiencing as you wait. Given that the Home Office have said you don’t need to do anything until you receive the questionnaire, I don’t think there is much you can do. The only responsibility you have is to ensure that (through Migrant Help) the Home Office has all your most up to date contact details including phone number, email, and address. Best of luck to you.

      Reply
  7. Reza on

    Hello
    Although in the new update, the people who applied for asylum from June 28, 2022 to March 7, 2023 will also receive the questionnaire form, but the questionnaire form has not yet been sent to any of these people, and even by sending an email, the questionnaire will not be sent. It is still only for people before June 28, why is the questionnaire not being sent even though the law has been updated?

    Reply
  8. Mohammed Amin on

    Hello and thank you for your help,

    I completed the questionnaire sent to me and this was 6 month ago and yet I have not received any thing back from HO. Is there anything I can do to check the progress of my application. My friends who completed thier questionnaire have already got the decisions.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  9. Kirran on

    Hello – it seems like some people manage to request the online questionnaire and receive it that way, rather than wait for it – any ideas on that?

    Reply
    • right-to-remain on

      Hi Kirran, I’ve heard that if you are eligible to get Streamlined Asylum Processing questionnaire, and haven’t yet received it, you can email asylumcentralcommunicationshub@homeoffice.gov.uk

      Separately, people are receiving letters to fill in an online questionnaire called the ‘Continuing your Asylum Claim’ form – this seems to be (although the same in substance) a separate initiative to the Streamlined Asylum Process.

      Reply
  10. Catherine Mackle on

    Hi, a friend has received a letter asking him to complete the questionnaire on line. Should he still seek a solicitor to do this for/ with him, and should he send a extension request letter? Catherine

    Reply
    • RtR on

      Hello Has, if you claimed asylum before 7 March 2023, you are eligible. If you claimed asylum after 7 March 2023, you are not.

      Best,
      Right to Remain

      Reply
  11. daniyal on

    hi, i am Iranian and called home office for claiming asylum on 5th of march 2023 but i am interviewed on 4th of April 2023, am i included in new streamline asylum processing for Iranian or not?

    Reply
    • RtR on

      Hi Daniyal, thank you for your message. You should be able to get a Streamlined Asylum Process form, because you claimed asylum before the cut-off point for people from Iran which was 7 March 2023. You can email asylumcentralcommunicationshub@homeoffice.gov.uk to ask for it.

      It is better to send it from your own email address. In your email you should include your full name, date of birth, and your Home Office reference number or Port Reference number.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Please note Right to Remain cannot provide immigration legal advice that is specific to your individual asylum and immigration application.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.