You should receive a blank Statement of Evidence Form (SEF) at your welfare interview. This is the asylum application form that should be filled in with your lawyer.
The Statement of Evidence form has to be completed in English and must be received by the Home Office within 60 working days (this means days that are not weekends or public holidays) from the date you claimed asylum. This deadline can be extended (you can ask for more time).
If the Home Office does not receive the form within 60 days, they will write to your lawyer to ask why it has not been completed, and when it will be sent. If the Home Office still does not receive your form, the caseworker will speak to your social worker about your lawyer’s work, to make sure they are acting in your best interests.
It is very important that the Home Office receives this form, otherwise your interview will not go ahead.
The form should be filled in with the support of your lawyer. In this form, you and your lawyer will need to explain why you are scared for your life, why you cannot return to your country and so need the UK to protect you. It can be a difficult form to fill out, but it is very important. It will help you to move your case forward.
If you don’t have a lawyer at this time, your foster carer, key worker or social worker will help you find one. Your lawyer will ask you if you have any evidence (proof/ information/letters) to support your story about what would happen to you if you went back to your country.
Give your lawyer as much information as you can. This is confidential – this means your lawyer cannot repeat anything you tell them without your consent (this means your permission).
You are finding it difficult to explain to your lawyer why you cannot go back to your country.
If there is an adult you trust and find it easier to talk to, you could tell them your story about why you need to stay in the UK. They could write it down for you and ...
If there is an adult you trust and find it easier to talk to, you could tell them your story about why you need to stay in the UK. They could write it down for you and ask you questions if some things are not clear. You could then take this written information to your lawyer. You may also find it easier to draw pictures or find pictures on the internet to help explain what you want to say. If you are embarrassed about saying something difficult in front of someone, you might also want to try recording your voice on your phone and sending that to your lawyer. In your appointments with your lawyer, make sure you have an interpreter if you need one – even if you are confident in English. It can be harder to talk about difficult things in a language you are not as comfortable in. Make sure you ask your lawyer to give you time to explain yourself and if you don’t understand what they say, ask them to repeat or to explain it another way. Take your time and take breaks when you need them.