The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Bronwen Jones of Goldsmith Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
While this Practice Note is not limited to unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), this is the group that a practitioner is most likely to come across. Other scenarios that a practitioner might encounter are:
where a child is abandoned but makes no claim for asylum, or
where the age of a dependent child of any asylum seeker is in question
The consequences of making the wrong decision on the age of a young person is serious. Treating a child as an adult will impact on some, if not all, of the following:
the asylum application process
accommodation and support from the relevant local authority (LA) to which the child might be entitled under sections 17 and 20 of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989).
continuing ongoing support from the LA after the age of 18
the substantive immigration decision, in particular, entitlement to discretionary leave to remain and the period of that leave
For further information, please see Practice Note: Local authority duties towards unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
With the coming into force of section 55 of the Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (BCIA 2009), the UK Border Agency (UKBA) reconsidered its policy on how it would handle the claim of an individual whose age is in dispute.
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