Home Office needs urgent overhaul new statistics show

Immigration statistics for year ending September 2022* provide further evidence of poor and slow decision-making at the Home Office that may delay or deny justice for people claiming asylum in the UK. 

“People fleeing persecution and war – from Ukraine, Afghanistan or Syria for instance – may try to seek sanctuary in the UK,” said our vice president Richard Atkinson.

“Far too many people are waiting far too long for a decision on their request for sanctuary in the UK.

“A staggering 148,533 individuals were waiting for a decision from the Home Office on their claim for asylum in the year to September 2022 (up from 87,995 in Sept 2021) [i].

“We know from today’s data that 77% [ii] of applicants were recognised as refugees at initial decision - a quarter of them were children (3,780 of 12,581 people) in the year to September 2022 [iii].

“In the year to September just 16,400 initial decisions were made by the Home Office [ii], barely denting the backlog.

“The number of people waiting longer than six months for a decision on their asylum claim has nearly doubled in that time, to 97,717 in September 2022 - up from 56,520 in September 2021[i].

"Data is not available to show how much longer than six months people are being left in limbo.

“We can also see from the data there is still a problem with the quality of Home Office decision-making. 52% of decisions were overturned when appealed [iv].

“There is no doubt the Home Office is under pressure, and it must be properly resourced to ensure lawful, timely decision-making.

"The number of people claiming asylum in the UK was approaching 86,000 in the year to Sept 2022 (15,269 of whom were children), up from around 45,000 in the year to September 2021 [v].

“The government should honour the UK’s obligations to refugees, as enshrined in the United Nations Refugee Convention.

“The government points to resettlement routes as an alternative to arriving in the UK without prior permission but for most people who flee conflict or persecution there is no resettlement scheme available and so there is no safe and legal route for them to come to the UK.

“In the year to Sept 2022 just 1,391 [vi] people were resettled to the UK, a tiny fraction of the total number of people who sought sanctuary in the UK in that time.

“The UK should have a properly functioning immigration and asylum system which reflects the values of British justice – it should be fair, efficient and provide timely, lawful decisions.”

Notes to editors 

*See the stats in full here

[i] Asylum applications awaiting a decision, Asy_DO3

[ii] Asylum summary Sept 2022, Asy_02a

[iii] As above, asylum summary, Asy_03b and Asy_03a

[iv] As above, asylum summary, Asy_05

[v] As above, asylum summary, Asy_01b

[vi] Asylum applications datasets, Asy_DO3

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