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Family Reunion Guidelines

Grants are available to prisoners of conscience who have the right to family reunion, to pay for related costs involved in bringing close dependants to join them in the UK.

We are aware that the British Red Cross and UNHCR-assisted travel programme came to an end on 31st December 2009.  While we appreciate that many individuals will be searching for funds for this purpose as a result, we can only consider those individuals who would satisfy our remit as a prisoner of conscience (see below for the definition).

Who can apply for a Family Reunion grant?

To be eligible for a Family Reunion grant, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

1. Applicants must be a prisoner of conscience.  The definition of this is those who have suffered persecution for their conscientiously-held beliefs, provided they have not used or advocated violence or supported a violent organisation or have willingly served in the armed forces.  The fact that the applicant is seeking asylum or has been a victim of a civil war is not in itself sufficient.  A degree of personal persecution as a result of a conscientious act has to be established.

2. Applicants must have the right to family reunion and provide evidence of their relevant asylum status in the UK and authority to travel for their family members.

3. Evidence must be provided of flight and related costs requested for the family reunion.

As a small charitable organisation with limited funds, it should also be noted that eligibility does not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome.  The final decision on any grant application will be made by the Trustees of the Fund and will be dependent on sufficient funds being available.

If successful, and depending on funds available, part or full-funding will be offered.  Part-funding is usually only released once the applicant can provide evidence that the balance has been met from elsewhere.

It may take up to four months for a decision to be returned on family reunion cases.  Family Reunion applications are usually considered four times a year in January, April, July and October.  Please submit applications by the last day of the preceding month.  Trustees may consider extremely urgent cases more quickly, but this is at their discretion.

No retrospective funding can be given.

If you would like to apply for a Family Reunion grant, please apply in the normal way by contacting our Grants Officer on grantsofficer@prisonersofconscience.org.