BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Asylum: The latest statistics
The numbers behind the headlines about UK asylum applications.

According to the latest government figures, fewer people are applying for asylum in the UK year-on-year, despite an increase in recent months.

The Home Office says the falling numbers have been accompanied by improvements in the asylum process, with quicker decisions being made, and a shrinking backlog of applicants.

Fewer asylum seekers have been appealing against the initial decisions, while the number of appeals actually being decided has risen sharply.

As the above graph shows, 18,005 people applied for asylum in the UK during the first three months of 2002 - a 8% rise on the previous quarter, and 4% higher than the first three months of 2001.

But year-on-year, applications during the 2001/2002 financial year fell 10% on the previous year - 72,430 people claimed asylum last year, compared with 80,205 the previous year.

Initial decisions

The Home Office says the decision process sped up in the first quarter of 2002 - so much so that officials were able to reduce the backlog of asylum seekers awaiting a decision.

Officials made 23,105 initial decisions between January and March - 9% more than the same period last year.

At the end of March, 35,500 applications were outstanding.

However, for the year as a whole, 29% fewer initial decisions were made than the previous year - just 94,430 compared to 133,000 in 2000-2001.

Of these, 10% were grants of asylum, 20% grants of exceptional leave to remain - and 70% refusals.

The number of initial decisions being made has been broadly declining over the last couple of years, apart from a brief blip in the first quarter of 2001 when a record 46, 875 initial decisions were made.

The proportion of those granted asylum fell slightly this quarter to 9%.

The proportion granted exceptional leave to remain continued to increase (26%).

Just 65% of decisions were refusals - the lowest number refused since the first three months of 2000.

Appeals

The number of appeals fell slightly this quarter compared to the last three months of 2001 - 13,300 rather than 14,600.

However, the number of appeals actually being heard and decided rose by 11% to a record 14,010.

The number of appeals being heard has also risen year-on-year: There were 47,015 appeals decided in 2001/02, an increase of 75% on the 26,810 heard during 2000/01.

Three-quarters of appeals heard during the first quarter of 2002 were dismissed. Throughout the whole of last year, 77% of appeals were dismissed - a slight drop on 2000/01 (81%).

Removals

The final issue is what happens to rejected applicants once appeals have been exhausted.

According to the Home Office, the numbers of rejected applicants actually being removed has been speeding up in recent months.

There were 2,445 "principal applicants" - ie, not including their dependants - deported in this quarter, a similar number to the previous quarter (2,450), but 18% greater than the same period last year (2,070).

Year-on-year, 9,560 principal applicants were removed in 2001/02, an increase of 7% on the 8,930 removed the previous year.


Key stories

Background

Features

CLICKABLE GUIDES
Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes