Asylum Seekers

Home Department written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Humfrey Malins Humfrey Malins Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken was from first application to initial decision in asylum cases in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Parliamentary Secretary (Home office)

For decisions made in the 12 months to July 2001, the average time between application and initial decision was 15 months. This average includes older cases decided as part of the reduction of the number of cases outstanding (see table).

Average time 1 between application and decision, for cases decided in the 12 months to July 2001:

Average time in months(15) Number of cases(15),(16)
All applications 15 127,060
of which:
Application pre 1996(17) 80 3,315
Application 1996 55 2,740
Application 1997 43 4,410
Application 1998 30 13,450
Application 1999 18 28,740
Application 2000 6 50,310
Application 2001 2 24,095

(14) Calculated using all available data from the date the application is lodged to the date of the initial decision

(15) These data are still subject to revision following quality checking

(16) Figures are provisional and rounded to the nearest five. The number of cases quoted differs from published figures due to uncertainty concerning date of application in a small minority of cases

(17) Cases decided as part of the backlog clearance exercise, as part of measures outlined in the July 1998 White paper entitled "Fairer, Faster and Firmer—A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum"

The corresponding figure for cases decided in April 1997 was 20 months.

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