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Asylum and Humanitarian Protection – big changes

We have very recently experienced significant and important changes in the law as it relates to asylum and Humanitarian Protection. 

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 has introduced various new provisions about asylum and asylum claims, and new rules have also been made concerning Humanitarian Protection.

The legally significant difference between refugee status and Humanitarian Protection status is that refugee status is acquired by a migrant on the basis of their having succeeded under the Refugee Convention, whereas HP status is acquired where a migrant has not succeeded under the Refugee Convention but nonetheless they can show that there is a real chance of their being persecuted or harmed if they have to return to their country of origin. 

Humanitarian Protection status is – or more accurately was – a status very similar to refugee status. It was granted for the same period (five years) and offered the possibility of settlement after five years. There were a few differences, and in some ways refugee status was better, but the differences were relatively minor. 

But now things have become a lot more complicated.

Refugee status has been split into two types: “refugee permission to stay” and “temporary refugee permission to stay”. Refugee permission to stay is granted for five years, as previously, but temporary refugee permission to stay is granted for only two and a half years. And it is worse than this: those in the latter category may qualify for settlement after ten years, not five, and they must apply under the standard continuous long residence immigration rules, which contain some extra requirements, e.g. English language/Life in the UK test. 

And Humanitarian Protection has now become “temporary humanitarian permission to stay”, and it has similar rules to temporary refugee permission to stay: the same grant of two and a half years and the same ten-year settlement requirement. 

The cut-off date was 28 June 2022, and in any asylum claims made on or after that date will fall under the new rules – but claims made before that date will be decided under the old rules, however long it takes them to be processed. 

If you want to claim asylum we at GSN Immigration will be able to advise and assist you. 


Oliver Westmoreland

Level 3 Immigration Adviser