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Following on from the interview with No Going Back, we hear Keith’s story.
Finding myself in detention was a difficult situation. I was put on the ‘fast track’ route, which meant my case would be decided quickly, so it became a race against time. It was also very hard to research the particulars of my case while in detention due to the limitations of being there.
My partner (who was on the outside) and I contacted several organisations for any kind of help, but many of them were unable to assist. We contacted No Going Back and I was surprised that they showed a great deal of interest in my case when many other organisations seemed reluctant to get involved.
What i key in cases such as mine is getting the right information and advice. No Going Back were able to advise me on what the whole process was about and what the authorities were looking for. This allowed me to understand my own case. Previously, I was not sure of what I really needed to do. Sometimes solicitors are very busy, or in some cases I knew detainees who met their solicitor on the day of the interview for the first time! While in detention, there is actually little or no support for gay asylum seekers despite having all the ‘gay-friendly’ support staff walking around with rainbow name tags!
The advice from No Going Back was vital for me to prepare for my interview with the Home Office. I was able to understand what the authorities were looking for, and this mentally prepared me to talk about the most relevant parts of my story. I felt comfortable discussing the most personal aspects of my case with the Home Office after my consultation with No Going Back, because they advised me on what kind of evidence was relevant.
I think preparedness, understanding of my evidence, and knowing my options were the keys to my successful asylum application. No Going Back was just fantastic with that help!
Keith – London
Visit their website at nogoingback.org.uk