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Getting legal status for a Syrian war refugee

Law Centre (NI) was contacted by the family of a Syrian man who had fled the war in his country with his family but was having problems getting refugee status.

He had been working as a dentist in Syria where the family had a good life before the war. Then the war broke out and a number of professionals and family members were killed or abducted. The family fled to Turkey in 2012. 

His wife and children, who are British/Irish citizens were able to travel to Northern Ireland to stay with relatives but he had to return to Syria as he had no money and was not a British citizen.

Unfortunately, his life remained at risk in Syria so his wife returned for him in 2013. The family resided together in the Republic of Ireland, before coming up to Northern Ireland where he claimed asylum.

Following representations from the Law Centre, the Home Office has now accepted his claim for asylum and granted him Refugee Status and five years leave to remain.

Although he is a qualified dentist, as an asylum seeker he was unable to work whilst his claim was pending.  Our social security and community care advisers had been able to help the family to access benefits and emergency help while he was going through this process.

The work of our immigration advice unit has ensured that he is now able to stay with his family and practice his profession.

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