The “first country of asylum” concept, as expanded by the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 is defined as a country where
- the claimant’s life and liberty are not threatened in that State by reason of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion,
- the State is one from which a person will not be sent to another State—
- otherwise than in accordance with the Refugee Convention, or
- in contravention of their rights under Article 3 of the Human Rights Convention (freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment), and
- a person may apply to be recognised as a refugee and (if so recognised) receive protection in accordance with the Refugee Convention, in that State.
The guidance reflects the change in rules and advises decision makers to consider of any relevant criteria apply:
- the applicant has been recognised as a refugee in a safe third country and can still avail themselves of that protection; or
- the applicant otherwise enjoys sufficient protection in a safe third country, including benefiting from the principle of non-refoulement; or
- the applicant could enjoy sufficient protection in a safe third country, including benefiting from the principle of non-refoulement because: (a) they have already made an application for protection in that country; or (b) they could have made an application for protection to that country but did not do so and there were no exceptional circumstances preventing such an application being made; or (c) they have a connection to that country, such that it would be reasonable for them to go there to obtain protection.
 Section 80 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 as amended by section 16 of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.