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POLICY/RESOURCE: Asylum Matters Briefing: Asylum Stats for Q4 2018 and much much more

Another excellent issue of the Asylum Matters newsletter/briefing landed this afternoon – and yet again we’ve just reprinted it. Thanks Andrea

  1. Asylum Statistics Released – October to December 2018
  2. Asylum Aid Resources: “What a Woman Seeking Asylum Needs to Know”
  3. Project 17: Not Seen, Not Heard: Children’s Experiences of the Hostile Environment
  4. Review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012
  5. Integrated Communities Strategy Paper and Action Plan
  6. IMiX Information Video about the EU Settled Status Scheme
  7. Recruitment: NACCOM Communications, Operations and Policy & Advocacy Posts
  8. NACCOM: Funding Your Project Events in Leeds & London


  1. Asylum Statistics Released – October to December 2018

The immigration statistics for the final quarter of 2018 (Q4) have been released today. Key asylum figures are below, with more detailed analysis on our website here. You can find the data tables here.


  • In 2018 there were 29,380 asylum applications, compared to 26,547 in 2017, representing an increase of 11%.
  • Although this remains below levels seen in 2015 and 2016 during the European migration crisis, the number of applications in the latest quarter was the highest level since 2015 quarter 4, with notable increases in applications from Iranians, Iraqis and Albanians.
  • The total number of asylum applications to the EU in 2018 was an estimated 612,600, down 11% from the previous year, following the 45% fall in 2017. In the latest statistics, the UK received the 6th highest number of applications of all the EU member states.


  • There were 21,119 initial decisions in 2018 and 33% were granted asylum or other forms of protection (6,933), of which 5,558 were grants of asylum (26%) and 688 were grants of HP/ DL (3%). This compares to 21,269 initial decisions in 2017 of which 32% granted some form of protection (6,779).

Pending cases:

  • There were 29,016 cases pending initial decision at the end of 2018, of which 42% (12,213) were more than 6 months old. This compares to 11,538 pending cases at the end of Q3 2018.


  • There were 11,292 appeals received in 2018 and 11,422 appeals determined, of which 38% (4,379) were allowed. This compares to 11,134 appeals received in 2017 and 14,299 appeals determined, of which 35% were allowed (5,074).

Asylum Support:

  • At the end of 2018, there were 44,258 asylum-seekers supported under section 95 support (41,209 in dispersed accommodation and 2,949 subsistence only), up 9% from the previous year.
  • At the end of 2018, there were 4,026 people receiving section 4 support.


  • In 2018, 5,806 people were provided protection under resettlement schemes (7% fewer than the previous year). The Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) accounted for three-quarters (4,407) of those resettled in the UK in 2018. Since it began in 2014, 14,945 people have now been resettled under the scheme. 


  1. Asylum Aid Resources: “What a Woman Seeking Asylum Needs to Know”

Asylum Aid is offering free resources for women to help them prepare for their asylum interview and for men and women to know what to expect at their appeals.   These resources have been created with the input of people with personal experience of the asylum process.  The women’s resources were made by the Protection Gap Advocates, a refugee women’s campaign group at Asylum Aid and the appeals film was made with the University of Exeter.

Information for women before their asylum interview

  Information for asylum appellants (women and men)


  1. Project 17: Not Seen, Not Heard: Children’s Experiences of the Hostile Environment

Project 17 have launched their Seen and Heard campaign, calling on local authorities to meet all children’s essential needs, regardless of immigration status. They have published a new report titled Not Seen, Not Heard: Children’s Experiences of the Hostile Environment which notes that “the government’s commitment to creating a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants trumps its commitment to children’s rights, rendering the children in destitute migrant families ‘second class citizens’.” It finds that Home Office policy has pushed the burden of supporting children living in families with no recourse to public funds onto local authorities, which themselves are facing the pressures of austerity and budget cuts. Some local authorities resort to hostile gate-keeping methods and increasingly grueling assessment processes to deter families from accessing section 17 support. The report also found that housing is a key issue for children living in families with NRPF. Many children supported under section 17 are living in poor conditions, without enough space or privacy, often far away from their schools, friends, and support networks.

The report recommends that the Government should adequately fund LAs to meet their duties under section 17, and for LAs to ensure their assessments are child-focused, fair and transparent, and conducted by social workers, and immigration and fraud officers should never be part of Child in Need assessments. In addition Project 17 created a ‘Charter for Children Living in Families with “No Recourse to Public Funds”’, which sets out a framework for local authorities to work with such children in need of support under section 17. They are asking local authorities to formally adopt this charter to show their commitment to upholding rights for children living in families with no recourse to public funds. A short animation summarising the findings of the report can be viewed here. The Independent’s report can be read here. You can share on social media using @Project17UK and #seenandheard.


  1. Review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012

Since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012, the Government committed to undertake a Post-Implementation Review of the reforms which has now been completed. The report is available here and the review of LASPO’s impact on immigration law cases starts on page 55. LASPO dealt with asylum and non-asylum immigration law cases separately, so while asylum cases were not removed from the scope of legal aid, most non-asylum cases were removed, with few exceptions. However, while the review concludes that “the policy has been successful at targeting legal aid towards asylum cases, which the Government deemed were the highest priority in this context,” stakeholders felt that “protected groups, and vulnerable people more generally, had been adversely impacted by the immigration scope changes.”

Similarly, while the review concludes that changes to legal aid provision for immigration matters have been largely economical, with a £15m reduction in spend on immigration matters, some stakeholders argued that “these costs have been shifted onto local authorities to an extent which may outweigh that of the corresponding legal aid provision.” The review suggests that understanding this ‘purported cost transference’ is important and the MoJ will continue to work on data collection to inform this assessment. The review is accompanied by an action plan but as noted by colleagues at Free Movement no significant changes have been suggested for immigration matters.


  1. Integrated Communities Strategy Paper and Action Plan

The Government has published a summary of the responses received to its consultation on the Integrated Communities Strategy green paper, together with the Integrated Communities Action Plan, which outlines the actions that will be taken as a result. In terms of relevant commitments for refugees and people going through the asylum system, the Government agrees to work with “mainstream service providers to ensure they have the knowledge and capacity to deal with the needs of refugees; as well as support development of specialist interventions where necessary.” It was also agreed that interventions were needed to make it “easier for refugees to access mainstream benefits and services within the ‘move on’ period, immediately after the grant of refugee status.” In addition, the Government confirmed that it will publish a new national strategy for English language in 2019, as well as develop resources and best practice guidance for practitioners delivering provision for beginners, with a particular focus on refugees. On employment, the Government commits to working with Job Centre Plus in the five Integration Areas to support an approach that involves tailored support for different groups. While many of these commitments are welcome, there is little in the response or action plan that provides more concrete detail on how these initiatives will be taken forward.


  1. IMiX Information Video about the EU Settled Status Scheme

IMiX has produced an information video about the EU settled status scheme, with the aim of raising awareness about the need to apply as the lack of knowledge about the scheme is still the first major barrier for most EU citizens to apply. You can access the video with English subtitles on their website or on Vimeo and download it as a file here. IMiX are encouraging partners to share the video on social media (tag @IMiX_UK and use #SettledStatus) and upload to your websites or Youtube accounts.


  1. Recruitment: NACCOM Communications, Operations and Policy & Advocacy Posts

NACCOM is recruiting three posts: Communications Co-ordinator (£26,470 pro rata’d, 22.5hours per week, home based), Operations Co-ordinator – maternity cover(£23,866 pro rata’d, 30 hours per week, based in Whitley Bay) and Policy and Advocacy Co-ordinator – maternity cover (£26,470 pro rata’d, 30 hours per week, home based). To find out more click here. Deadlines: Communications Co-ordinator 18th March, Operations Coordinator 18th March, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator 1st April.


  1. NACCOM: Funding Your Project Events in Leeds & London

To assist with funding accommodation & support services for people facing destitution, and to launch our upcoming Funding Toolkit, NACCOM is hosting two ‘Funding Your Project’ events in Leeds on 29th April and London on 14th May. The days will feature workshops on different funding techniques and approaches alongside key note speeches from funders & networking opportunities. For full details click here.

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