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New Asylum questionnaire: OISC’s position

The government has announced that in an attempt to cut the asylum backlog, they will be sending questionnaires to people seeking sanctuary instead of conducting official interviews. These questionnaires will require people to reply in English within 20 working days or risk refusal.

We know that many City of Sanctuary groups and supporting organisations are now scrambling to support people within their communities who may receive a questionnaire. We recommend that you do everything possible to help people find a qualified person to complete it. 

This is the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)’s position:

While only regulated legal advisers working at Level 2 and above can provide asylum advice to claimants completing the Asylum Claim Questionnaire, you can offer assistance if you are not regulated where this help related to language issues and the technicalities of completing and submitting the forms. Requests for time extensions to complete the forms can also be made be an unregulated person, supporting the claimant.

However, this must not stray into giving immigration or asylum advice. You must be regulated to give this advice.

They have more information on what assistance can be provided by an unregulated person on their website.