Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

7,000 asylum cases delayed to weed out 48 inadmissible claims


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Just over a year ago, the Home Office introduced new rules on deeming asylum claims “inadmissible” — rejected out of hand, without consideration on the merits. At the time, Colin pointed out that without agreements on sending people back to a “safe third country” they might have passed through en route to the UK, all this does is delay processing.

Figures for the first nine months of 2021 seem to bear that out. 7,000 people were considered for inadmissibility, and 6,600 cases reviewed, but only 48 actually found inadmissible.

The rule of thumb is that if no other country has agreed to take the person back within six months, then the claim cannot be deemed inadmissible and must be processed here. As no country is currently obliged to lift a finger to take asylum seekers from Britain, this effectively builds in a six-month processing limbo, which is clearly visible in the data. In Q1 2021, there were 1,914 inadmissibility cases considered, and then in Q3 2021 we see 1,858 people “subsequently admitted into [the] UK asylum process”.

Bail for Immigration Detainees has secured a breakdown of the 48 cases where the person was confirmed as inadmissible. Most had already been given refugee status or similar in another country, which is the least challenging of the paragraph 345A routes to inadmissibility from the Home Office perspective. 29 of the 48 are Eritreans; all have been “accepted for return” to various European countries, including Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Only eight have been sent back so far.

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.