World Refugee Year

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th March 1960.

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Admission to the United Kingdom of seriously handicapped refugees of long standing

After Easter a British team will visit Germany and, if there are qualified refugees to interview, Austria and Italy as well, to interview refugees and their families who wish to be considered for admission to the United Kingdom.2. The team will concentrate on the selection of families or persons who have hitherto proved difficult to resettle in those countries. Regard will be paid to the probabilities of the family being able to become self-supporting in the United Kingdom within a reasonable period, but families containing an incurable or permanently handicapped member will not be ruled out; a limited number of families which include a sick breadwinner will also be accepted.3. To qualify to appear before the British selection team a person must:
  1. (a) have been a refugee before 1st January, 1955 (see Note 1);
  2. (b) be living in a refugee camp recognised as such by the United Nations High Commissioner, or, if not living in such a camp, be able to demonstrate;
    1. (i) that he is not settled or in regular employment; and
    2. (ii) that he has some substantial reason for wishing to come to the United Kingdom; and
  3. (c) satisfy one of the considerations set out in paragraph 4 below.
4. For purposes of paragraph 3 above a refugee must have been difficult to resettle and either:
  1. (i) be a physically handicapped person as defined below; or
  2. (ii) be a member of a family which includes such a person; or
  3. (iii) be a socially handicapped person or belong to a socially handicapped family; or
  4. (iv) be an elderly person, but not bedridden.
For purposes of (i) and (ii) above, "physically handicapped" means:
  1. (a) a person who is suffering or has suffered from curable tuberculosis or other curable illness which has hitherto debarred him from emigration; or
  2. (b) a person suffering from other physical defect which has hitherto debarred him from immigration, e.g. loss of a limb, deafness, partial loss of sight, but who is capable of becoming self-supporting; or
  3. (c) a person suffering from some incurable disability who can be cared for by other members of the family and is not in need of hospital care.
5. In making selection from among families qualified under paragraphs 3 and 4, consideration will be given to cases for which sponsorships in the Unted Kingdom are available, but otherwise priority will be given to:
  1. (i) families with not more than three children;
  2. (ii) families with more than three children provided there is more than one additional able-bodied adult in the family, i.e. a grown up son or daughter;
  3. (iii) unaccompanied mothers with not more than two dependent children (Note 2).
6. Refugees and their families who are found eligible under paragraphs 3-5 above will also have to satisfy the selection team in due course that they are personally acceptable.

Note 1: This condition may be waived in a strictly limited number of cases where there are other strong compassionate grounds for treating the application exceptionally.

Note 2: A family qualifying under 5 (iii) need not include a physically handicapped member.