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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Dear sir, madam, My question is: A friend of mine is

Resolved Question:

Dear sir, madam,

My question is:

A friend of mine is from Sri Lanka. In december 2010 she arrived in the UK to study (on a student visum) together with her husband and 2 children (now around 9 and 12 years old). The idea was that her husband would find a job to provide sufficient income, while she would be studying (a brother of her husband is living in the UK already longer and provided for the neccesary financial aid to help them get settled).

Half a year ago her husband died unexpectedly. Now her late husband's family doesn't want to have anything to do with her anymore. She has no family herself in the UK (and only 2 sisters left in Sri Lanka, with whom she does not have a good contact).

This means now she has 1) to study, 2) to work and 3) take care of her children on her own. It is really difficult to find any job at all, which means she even hardly has anough money to pay for the rent (let alone use the heating at all, or buy (decent) food for her children). She has nobody she can turn to in the UK. And she has no possibility to go back to Sri Lanka (no money to buy 3 tickets, but also no place to stay or any facilities back in Sri Lanka).

Somebody suggested to her to request for asylum in the UK to have a possibility to get out of this hopeless situation.

Can you give an advice if this indeed would be a smart (of: the best) thing to do? If she would apply for asylum, how big a chance there is that it would be granted?

I would be gratefull to hear your comment on this case.

Kind regards,

Annemiek Boer
(The Netherlands)
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. To claim asylum a person must have a well-founded fee of persecution because of their membership of a group (eg. Based on sexuality, political alleigience, social group for example). What would form the basis of her application?
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear sir,


Thank you for your prompt response.


There is no well-founded fee of persecution for her. Her family and her late husbands family hold her responsible for her husbands death, so they won't help her out in any way and won't make her life (an that of her children) easy for her. Besides that her family (and the community she lived in in Sri Lanka) really don't appreciate her to be undertaking and wanting to make something of her live (and better it), because as a woman you're not supposed to be active like that. But there is no real ground for seeking asylum, I think.


I hope I answered the question sufficiently like this.


Kind regards,


Annemiek Boer

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Hi Annemiek

Thanks for your reply.
As I mentioned above in order to claim asylum in the UK you must be able to demonstrate a well founded fear of persecution from your home country because of your:

• race;
• religion;
• nationality;
• political opinion; or
• membership of a particular social group.
Around 19 of every 100 people actually claim asylum in the successfully so you can see it’s very, very difficult. I8f the claim is not genuine then it will be discovered and the claim rejected. The person will then be removed from the UK. If there is no genuine fear that she has, as opposed to the fact that her life is improved by being in the UK, then she would be found out unfortunately. There would also be the issue of why it has taken until now for her to claim asylum to get around which would not be easy, because the mere timing would suggest it is simply convenient for her to claim now rather than necessary to do so.
Therefore, asylum is not an option. She is a visa national she is also not permitted to claim public funds to help her through her difficult time. Really, I cannot see that she has any other options than to persist on her current visa and hope that she can tough it out.
If she decides that she simply cannot cope with her circumstances in the UK then she can ask to be returned to Sri Lanka at the cost of the tax payer by contacting the UKBA.. The difiiculty is that this is claiming public funds and therefore regarded as a breach of the conditions of her visas. This is a general ground for refusal which the UKBA could use to reject future applications that she might choose to make from SL.
IF she decides to return to SL I would suggest that she contacts the SL embassy in London to explain her circumstances and ask if they would be willing to meet the costs of her flight back, If she did this and left without breaching her visa then she would not receive a ban preventing her from applying to enter the Uk again.
I am very sympathetic to her circumstances of course, but as a visa national in the UK her right to help is severely limited unfortunately. I am sorry I could not have better news for you.

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Kind regards,

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