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The UK has a proud tradition of providing a place of safety for genuine refugees.
Asylum is protection given by a country to someone who is fleeing persecution in their own country. It is given under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the status of Refugees. To be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you have a well-founded fear of persecution.
The UK also adheres to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prevents us sending someone to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
If you do not qualify for asylum but we think there are humanitarian or other reasons why we should allow you to stay in the UK, we may give you temporary permission to stay here.
As an asylum applicant in the United Kingdom, you have the right to:
• be treated fairly and lawfully regardless of your race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or any disability;
• practise your own religion, and you are expected to show respect for people of other faiths;
• have your application considered fairly and accurately;
• have access to support and accommodation if you meet the requirements for it;
• have access to free health care from the National Health Service (NHS).
If you are recognised as a refugee, you will be given asylum and a residence permit that allows you to enter and stay in the UK for an initial period of five years. If you have any dependants, they will be given the same permission.
If your asylum application is refused, you will be told what rights you have to appeal against the decision, and the time limits for this.