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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 many applicants under the Locally Employed Staff Assistance scheme were awaiting determination of their applications for resettlement at the latest date for which figures are available.

Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Foreign Secretary

Applications for assistance under the scheme are assessed in line with the eligibility criteria which are set out in my statement to Parliament on 30 October 2007, Hansard, columns 30-33WS. Once applicants have been informed they are eligible they declare which type of assistance they would like. At 8 May there were 80 applications where a decision on eligibility had not yet been taken.

Eligible applicants who choose the opportunity to be resettled in the UK under the Gateway programme must undergo screening by both the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, to determine that they qualify as a refugee under the 1951 Convention, and by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to ensure that any individual who might pose a threat to the UK, or whose presence here is undesirable, is prevented from entering the country. Eligible serving staff (as defined under the scheme) who opt for exceptional leave to enter the UK directly also need to undergo screening by UKBA. At 8 May, 185 principal applicants were being considered under these processes.

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