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Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act

Home Department written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Labour, Regent's Park and Kensington North

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will commission an independent review of the implementation of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

The Government do not consider that an independent review of the working of section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 is necessary or desirable.

The operation and impact of section 55 has been closely monitored since implementation on 8 January 2003, and initial problems are being resolved. From 17 December 2003, asylum applicants who can give a credible account that their asylum claim was made within three days of arrival would normally be accepted as having applied as soon as reasonably practicable. This has resulted in a greater proportion of applications being granted under section 55.

These section 55 arrangements provide a balanced but firm policy that discourages economic migration, while continuing to offer refuge to those seeking asylum, and providing support to those who qualify or are vulnerable. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) will continue to maintain an open dialogue on section 55 with the voluntary sector agencies, local government and other stakeholders.

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