Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Dependent children to be treated as having made their own asylum claim


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

In paragraph 121 of the Supreme Court’s decision in G v G [2021] UKSC 9, decided in March 2021, Lord Stephens held:

a child named as a dependant on the parent’s asylum application and who has not made a separate request for international protection generally can and should be understood to be seeking such protection and therefore treated as an applicant.

The Home Office has decided that this finding makes necessary a change to its asylum operations. A note published on 30 July 2021 introduces the “Family Asylum Claim”. This is intended to reflect the fact that dependent children should, per the Supreme Court, be considered to have made an asylum claim in their own right.

In practice, under a Family Asylum Claim, the starting point is that the parent’s and child’s applications will be dealt with together. But there will be “additional steps to ensure any protection needs of the child are particularised”.

If caseworkers decide that the child does have “separate protection needs” to those of the parent, then their claim will be dealt with separately, under the policy on Processing children’s asylum claims. If the child has no protection needs at all, the policy on Dependants and former dependants kicks in.

This approach applies to both new and pending claims. The note outlines the process to follow in different scenarios: brand new cases, claims with an interview pending, and claims pending a decision. It will be supplemented by more detailed guidance in due course.

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

Relevant articles chosen for you
Picture of CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.