Asylum

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on asylum, asylum-seekers and refugees. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
18.06.2015Syrian refugees and the UK
As the Syrian crisis gets ever deeper and worries grow about the many Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, there is pressure for the UK to accept more Syrian refugees. 187 people have been resettled in the UK under the 'Syrian vulnerable persons relocation scheme' (as at March 2015), and over 4,000 Syrians have been granted asylum in the UK.
10.06.2015Should asylum seekers have unrestricted rights to work in the UK?
Asylum seekers can only apply for permission to work if they have waited for over 12 months for an initial decision on their asylum claim, or they have been refused asylum but have not received a response to further submissions submitted over 12 months ago; and they are not considered responsible for the delay in decision-making. Permission to work only allows them to do jobs on the UK's shortage occupation list. Successive governments have rejected calls to extend asylum seekers' rights to work, citing concerns that this would encourage unfounded asylum claims.
02.06.2015Mediterranean boat people
The crisis over deaths in of migrants in the Mediterranean has brought calls for decisive action from the EU.
27.05.2015Asylum support: accommodation and financial support for asylum seekers
Asylum support is paid at different rates, depending on the claimants' ages and household compositions. For most categories of claimant, asylum support rates for 2015/16 will remain unchanged from 2014/15 levels (in fact, they have not changed since April 2011).
13.05.2015Constituency casework: asylum, immigration and nationality
Members of Parliament handle an enormous number of immigration, nationality and asylum enquiries from constituents. This briefing provides a brief overview of the UK's immigration and asylum system and basic British nationality law. It also outlines the legal restrictions on giving immigration advice, gives some suggestions on handling constituents' enquiries, refers to some sources of information that may be helpful for straightforward questions, and highlights training courses available to Members' staff.
30.03.2015Viral emails protesting about financial assistance for "illegal immigrants/refugees living in Britain"
A viral email claims that "illegal immigrants/refugees living in Britain" receive significantly more financial assistance from the Government than UK pensioners. The email originates from abroad and the figures quoted do not reflect the true situation in the United Kingdom.
24.03.2015Immigration and asylum: changes made by the Coalition Government 2010 - 2015
David Cameron described the Government's immigration policy objective as 'good immigration, not mass immigration.' The Government wanted to attract the 'brightest and best' migrants who were deemed most beneficial to the UK. It also wanted to reduce overall net migration levels from the hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands by the end of the 2010 - 2015 parliament, by minimising opportunities for abuse and being more selective about the criteria for entry.
10.03.2015Sources of Statistics: Migration
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on migration.
04.12.2014Asylum Statistics
This note presents statistical information on asylum applications in the UK.
14.10.2014Organisational reforms to the immigration system since 2006
The UK Border Agency has been replaced by the Home Office directorates 'UK Visas and Immigration', 'Immigration Enforcement' and 'Border Force'. In July 2014 the National Audit Office found that there has been mixed progress in addressing the concerns that had led to the abolition of the UKBA, and concluded that it is too early to detect an impact of organisational improvement on customers and stakeholders. Her Majesty's Passport Office has also been brought under direct Home Office control, with effect from 1 October 2014.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
17.11.2014The Azure Card
This Library Note provides background reading for Members in advance of the debate to be held on 20 November 2014: 'that this House takes note of the Azure card'.
13.11.2014Modern Slavery Bill (HL Bill 51 of 2014-15)
This Library Note provides information on the Modern Slavery Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Lords on 17 November 2014.
06.02.2014Immigration Bill (HL Bill 84 of 2013-14)
This Library Note provides information on the Immigration Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Lords on 10 February 2014.
23.01.2012Question for Short Debate on 2 February: Human Trafficking
This Lords Library Note provides definitions of human trafficking, statistics on its incidence, and an outline of domestic and international policy to combat the problem.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
08.03.2011Draft Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 (Remedial) Order 2010.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
09.02.2010The work of the UK Border Agency.
Government response. Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
02.12.2009Asylum directives: scrutiny of the opt-in decisions.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
01.12.2009The work of the UK Border Agency.
Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
03.11.2009Stockholm Programme: home affairs.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
01.02.2011BRENDA NAMIGADDE
That this House is concerned by the imminent proposed deportation of Brenda Namigadde, who has claimed asylum because she fears persecution based on her sexuality; believes the atmosphere ...
08.07.2010REFUGEE AND MIGRANT JUSTICE (No. 2)
That this House recognises the outstanding service provided byRefugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ)and expresses regret at its recent closure; notes that the Legal Services Commission (LSC)is ...
01.07.2010REFUGEE AND MIGRANT JUSTICE
That this House notes with concern that the entering into administration of refugee and migrant justice has left many of the charity's vulnerable clients without adequate legal representation; ...
09.06.2010REFUGEE AND MIGRANT JUSTICE CHARITY
That this House notes that the legal advice charity Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) is in danger of closing because it is facing a cash crisis because a large proportion of legal ...
23.03.2010UK BORDER AGENCY
That this House recognises the hard work of Home Office and UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff set out in the Chief Inspector's report into asylum within UKBA; is deeply concerned that the ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses