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Iraq: Asylum

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long Iraqi interpreters accepted on to the Locally Employed Staff Assistance scheme have waited on average before applications under the Gateway programme are determined.

Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Foreign Secretary

There are a number of stages in the process of considering applications from former Iraqi locally engaged (LE) staff for resettlement under the Gateway programme. Applicants must first be assessed as eligible in principle for assistance under the LE staff assistance scheme. Those who are still in Iraq then need to move to a third country, a process which involves obtaining the consent of the country concerned, and then be screened by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to determine whether they should be recognised as refugees in need of resettlement. Finally, they are screened by the UK Border Agency for admission to the UK under Gateway. The length of time needed for each of these stages can vary according to the circumstances of each case.

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