London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

12,000 UK asylum seekers could get refugee status without face-to-face interviews

12,000 UK asylum seekers could get refugee status without face-to-face interviews

Around 12,000 asylum seekers to the UK will be considered for refugee status without the need for face-to-face interviews, the BBC reported on Thursday.
Nationals from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria, and Yemen who applied before July must fill out a 10-page questionnaire, which will be used by the Home Office to decide on their cases.

The 40 questions must be completed in English and returned within 20 working days, or the Home Office may consider the asylum application has been withdrawn. The form suggests using “online translation tools” if necessary.

UK government officials told the BBC that the usual security and criminal checks would still stand.

The new scheme aims to reduce the asylum backlog, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised to end in 2023.

The Home Office told the BBC the move was not an asylum amnesty but would simplify the process for five nationalities which have already had 95 percent of claims accepted.

However, the British Red Cross has warned that the 20-day limit could have “devastating” consequences for asylum seekers.

Christina Marriott, executive director of strategy and communications at the British Red Cross, told The Guardian: “These men, women, and children may not speak English and are likely traumatized from fleeing persecution and war.

“They need our support and compassion, not rushed and complicated bureaucracy that will only increase suffering.

“We know from experience that government communications with people seeking asylum often falls short – translations are rarely provided, and forms are lost in transit. This time limit could have devastating impacts on people who need protection,” she added.

Sile Reynolds, head of asylum advocacy at Freedom from Torture, told The Guardian: “Plans for an asylum claim questionnaire – requiring people to complete a complex form, often without any legal advice, in a language they don’t understand and to a 20-day deadline – could see many asylum claims wrongly withdrawn, leaving those individuals at risk of return to torture or persecution.”

Marriott also expressed “deep concern” about the suggestion that applications be withdrawn if refugees did not complete the document on time.

However, Home Office officials told the BBC that if no response was received, a follow-up notification would be sent, and each application would be considered on its own merits.

The number of asylum seekers in the UK awaiting a decision on their case has reached a new high of approximately 166,000 people.

In 2022, the number of asylum claims in the UK was almost 75,000, the highest in nearly two decades. More than three-quarters of decisions made were in favor of granting asylum, the highest number in three decades.

According to a recent Migration Observatory analysis, the recent increase in applications was only one factor contributing to the current backlog, claiming that slow decision-making had allowed the backlog to accumulate over several years.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees welcomed the new scheme and said the agency would work with the Home Office to facilitate its implementation, The Guardian reported.

Related Articles

London Daily
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate