Refugees (Family Reunion) (No.2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 16th March 2018.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow Conservative, Taunton Deane 12:39 pm, 16th March 2018

I am going to press on, because other people want to speak.

Having illustrated how this country is willing to take in people and do its very best for them, I want to touch on the current law. In the last five years, we have granted 24,000 families reunion visas, and these visas are free of charge and free from the eligibility criteria that usually apply to family visa applications. The law ensures that those offered refugee status in Britain can bring their family unit, including their partners and dependent children under 18. Other relations, such as dependent adults, adopted children and post-flight family members, are rightly subject to different visa criteria, such as maintenance funds and knowledge of English. If applicable, however, in the case of dependent children over 18, for example, applications may be granted outside the exemption rules, and in serious circumstances the law allows for extended family members to sponsor children. It is absolutely right that these exemptions are in place and that they be used properly.