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

Asylum backlog continues to rise


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The number of people with pending asylum cases has risen by almost 50% in just the last 12 months, new Home Office figures show.

Over 56,000 asylum seekers and their dependants were awaiting an initial decision or further review at the end of 2019, compared to 38,000 at the end of 2018. That represents a 47% increase year on year.

The number of people waiting just for an initial decision now stands at over 51,000. That figure has been rising steadily since the beginning of 2015, and has more than tripled over the period (see chart below).


Even more troublingly, 2019 saw a 75% increase in the number of people waiting more than six months for an initial decision. There were 17,000 asylum seekers in that position in December 2018, rising to 29,000 in December 2019.

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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.