This page explains what we mean by screening and what you can expect at the screening unit.
Before you are allocated to your case owner, you will have to go to our asylum screening unit in Croydon (near London). For the address of the screening unit, see How to claim asylum. If you claimed asylum at your port of entry, you will go through a screening process similar to this before being allocated to your case owner, but it will take place at the port.
At the unit, you will be interviewed briefly - we call this part of the process 'screening'. You will be expected to produce your passport or travel document to establish your identity and nationality and to support your application. We will retain this while we make a decision on your application.
We will take your fingerprints, photograph, and any other physical identification information we think is required. This helps us to prevent fraud and multiple applications by the same person.
You will be asked some basic questions about your application. If you have children or other dependants, they should come with you so that they can be included in your application.
We will provide an interpreter if you need one. In special cases, we can provide a male or female interpreter if you prefer one of a specific gender.
The asylum screening unit mission statement is as follows:
We will treat everyone who attends the Asylum Screening Unit with respect, dignity and fairness, regardless of their age, disability, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief. We are committed to providing a safe, sensitive and secure environment in which all asylum applicants can register their claim.
If we decide that your application can be dealt with quickly and you are suitable for detention, we may decide to place you into the detained fast track (DFT) process, so that your case can be concluded more quickly. If we make this decision, you will be detained after the screening process is completed. If you are not suitable for the DFT we will allocate your case to a regional asylum decision making team in the area you are , or will be living in.
If you are detained, we will explain the detention processes to you in more detail.
In certain circumstances, if it is decided that the UK is not obliged to decide your application because another country has responsibility for considering your asylum claim, you may also be detained pending removal to that country.
At the screening unit, if you are not detained, you will normally be given an application registration card, often known as an ARC. This shows you have made an application for asylum and contains your personal details and photograph. For more information about this, and why it is important, see Application registration card.
The asylum screening unit is a centre run by the UK Border Agency where a person is registered as an asylum applicant and begins the process of applying for asylum.
Someone who depends on you financially, such as a husband, wife, partner, or child.
Policy & Law
- Sexual orientation issues in the asylum claim
- Gender issues in the aslum claim
- Gender identity issues in the asylum claim
- Victims of trafficking: guidance for frontline staff
- Asylum cases involving gender recognition
- Detained fast track process: guidance for staff
- Third country cases - referring and handling