Asylum Seekers

Home Department written question – answered on 24th June 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 what estimate he has made of the number of asylum seekers denied support under section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 in the first quarter of 2004 who claimed asylum within (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) four days of their arrival in the UK.

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)

Section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 came into force on 8 January 2003, restricting the availability of NASS support to those asylum seekers who make an asylum application as soon as reasonably practicable. From 17 December 2003 my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced that those who could give a credible account that their asylum claim was made within three days of arrival in the United Kingdom will normally be accepted as having applied as soon as reasonably practicable.

The eligibility for support under section 55 was considered by the National Asylum Support Service for a total of 2,650 cases in the first quarter (January–March 2004). The number of asylum seekers, excluding dependants, notified that they were ineligible for NASS support under section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 in the first quarter of 2004 was 890. A breakdown of this figure by the number of days taken to claim asylum after arrival in the UK is unavailable and could be produced only at disproportionate cost. Some applicants notified that they are ineligible for support under section 55 apply nevertheless and these are shown in the published statistics within the "Invalid" support type category.

Information on the number of asylum seekers supported by NASS is published in the quarterly web pages and in the annual statistical bulletin "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom", available from the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

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