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I am 21 years old, living currently in Lahore, Pakistan, born here with the same nationality. I am gay. Pakistan is an Islamic state, and I fear that I cannot live my life as a gay person, or even as a gay person who chooses not to engage in gay relationships, etc. in Pakistan, as being gay is illegal and there are no special rights for LGBT people, like in the UK. Being gay, I would not want to marry a woman and have children in Pakistan.

I tried to move to the UK, but my study visa was rejected due to a non-genuine bank statement. I received an automatic refusal for 10 years.

Having this refusal, it would be extremely hard to move to countries which share information with the UK, such as the US, Canada, Australia, and there are embassy interviews for European countries. I cannot move to the Middle East either.

In this situation, what can I do? I intend to claim asylum in a country that I can go to.

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    @NeanDerThal I have no idea what it means to be persecuted, but I am sure some people are driven to extremes in order to escape it.
    – Peter M
    Jan 8, 2023 at 0:26
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    Ordinarily, I would choose to delete the unkind comment above, but given that its response adds context, I am not going to. But I will ask @Nean Der Thal to be kinder in the future. The OP has ‘fessed up to the faking of the document, and that is tangential to his question. However, the persecution is still real
    – Scott Earle
    Jan 8, 2023 at 13:10
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    You can go to India and claim asylum. Much more closer to you cultrally and being gay is not illegal and if move to one of the big cities like Mumbai, you will be absolutely accepted and find gay bars, clubs, and very easy to connect with others. Mar 4, 2023 at 20:11

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You do not need an immigrant visa in order to claim asylum. You only need a visitor visa. Once you are in a country you can make an asylum claim there. This is not illegal and will not count against you when you make your claim. Many refugees have arrived by this method, and it does not count against them.

If you believe you have a valid claim for asylum (and it certainly looks possible) then you should attempt to get any visa you can for any country you would be OK with living in and then make a claim when you get there.. If you have relatives in a country that is almost certainly the easiest way to go - make an application to visit them. Do not tell any lies or provide false documents during the application. If it is approved then when you get to the country and have been admitted tell the immigration official that you wish to make an asylum claim. I should warn you that normally in an asylum claim you need to provide actual evidence that you are or will be persecuted - not just saying "I'm gay and being gay is not allowed", but evidence that you personally have been persecuted or threated because of your sexual orientation. Here is a link about making a refugee claim in Canada as an example.

I write the above for anyone in this position who has not already received an immigration ban, so that they don't think they need to go down the road of immigrating. However your position will now be more difficult because of the ban. You need to declare it on any application you make if they ask about visa refusals (and they almost all will). Most Western countries will share information and know about your refusal, and that means getting any kind of visa is unlikely. You might try for a country that is not so closely allied with the UK but is still accepting of your lifestyle.

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  • You can of course attempt to enter a country under false premises and then request asylum. As relaxed points out in the comments, lies during the application should not be held against you during the asylum process, yet there are examples of officials who grasp at any reason to deny applications. Most Western countries pretend to uphold refugee conventions while they do their best to keep refugees from coming.
  • You can try to qualify as an immigrant in one of the Western countries. Getting a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree would be a good first step, or possibly medical/nursing training, plus the language (since English-speaking countries are out for you). You mentioned European countries, there is e.g. the Blue Card program. Of course interviews would be involved.
    This would take several years, but as I understand your posting what you are looking for are long-term prospects.
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    "Any lies on the way will be held against you during the asylum process": if that were to happen, it would be contrary to the refugee convention, which protects refugees from prosecution for violations they commit in reaching the country of refuge, including illegal entry.
    – phoog
    Jan 8, 2023 at 16:08
  • @phoog, have you watched the asylum policies of Western countries lately? They do their very best to keep refugees out, while paying lip service to the conventions. The OP's claim of persecution would rest on his self-identification as homosexual, and people who lie to enter a country can be suspected of lying to stay.
    – o.m.
    Jan 8, 2023 at 16:16
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    The suggestion to try to qualify for a visa seems very sensible to me. Having a sought-after skill might well tip the balance in the OP’s favour, and would make it much easier to find a good job/establish a new life. Also, do not assume that a UK refusal automatically means a denial from elsewhere. It certainly won’t help but it’s not insurmountable if you can qualify. Applying to Canada (disclosing the refusal of course) might be an option given its immigration levels plan canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/…
    – Traveller
    Jan 8, 2023 at 17:47
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    The telling of untruths in a visa application process isn't viewed nearly as strictly in a refugee claims process as in a regular visa process. It's recognized that almost all persecuted individuals will have to bend some rules to get out of the country they are being persecuted by. Jan 8, 2023 at 19:15
  • @o.m. Where exactly have you been “watching”? That's not how any of this works…
    – Relaxed
    Jul 30, 2023 at 13:51

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