So, I made the decision to apply for refugee status. And, it would seem, the heaviest is already behind, but no. It turned out that being in the country I did not know where to go with my request. I lived in a small village called Moy and visited the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, a couple of times. I never went to the local government agencies and didn’t even know where they are.
You may say, so what’s the problem if you have the internet and you can speak English! And you’d be right. Exactly until you start looking for information about where to go. And you won’t find it. I spent the whole day looking for any information and found nothing but charities, red cross numbers and free legal advice. The nearest Home Office on the map was in Glasgow, Scotland. Naturally, going to Glasgow was far, long, expensive, doubtful. So I spent the next day calling all the numbers. And didn’t achieve anything either 🙈
All the organizations I called gave me new numbers that I had to call again. No one could help me, some advised me to go to Glasgow or to local police station. But I couldn’t believe that there was no organisation in Northern Ireland that handled the cases of asylum-seekers. So I kept calling for the next couple of days. And in one organization, I was given an address where there may be a Home Office, “but not for sure”. Finally I decided to go to Belfast and ended up with these options:
1. Check the address of the Home Office and if it is there, request asylum.
2. Seek help from the Red Cross in Belfast.
3. As a last resort, contact the Belfast police station.
It was incredibly hard for me to leave my home for nowhere and go to Belfast, I felt as if there was nothing left of my life. Fortunately, I found the Home Office in Belfast at the exact address I was given. That was just the beginning of my path..
And you often give up if you do not find information, or continue to search?