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Asylum/Immigration

Home Department written question – answered on 29th 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 proportion of asylum seekers subject to section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 decision who were granted access to asylum support in (a) the third quarter of 2003, (b) the last quarter of 2003 and (c) the first quarter of 2004.

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 National Asylum Support Service (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 table shows the proportions of asylum seekers that were considered eligible for support under section 55, in quarter 3 and 4 of 2003, and quarter 1 of 2004:

Quarter Total cases referred for a section 55 decision(14) Number eligible for support under section 55(14) Proportion eligible for support under section 55 1 (percentage)
Q3 2003 4,260 445 10
Q4 2003 3,020 380 13
Q1 2004 2,650 1,250 47

(14) Figures rounded to the nearest 5, and do not include dependants.

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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