Asylum Seekers

Home Department written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Mr Iain Coleman Mr Iain Coleman Labour, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) what instructions were given to his Department's staff on the length of time of stay that asylum seekers were allowed in the UK before applying for asylum before section 55 of the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act 2001 was enforced; from when those instructions applied; and what the current instructions are; and from what date they applied;

(2) when he will publish revised National Asylum Support Service Policy Bulletin 75 on the application of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002;

(3) if he will publish the revised casework notes on the application of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, issued to the National Asylum Support Service caseworkers after 17 December 2003.

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Minister of State (Citizenship and Immigration), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism)

Instructions on the operation of Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 first appeared in Policy Bulletin 75, published on 7 January 2003. Revised instructions appear in Policy Bulletin 75 version 3, published 11 April 2003.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 17 December 2003 that asylum applicants who could give a credible explanation of the way in which they arrived in the UK and who had made a claim for asylum within three days of arrival would be considered to have applied as soon as reasonably practicable.

In view of the interest in the operation of section 55, a new revised edition of Policy Bulletin 75 which will include guidance to National Asylum Support Service caseworkers, will be published in February.

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