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Home Department written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in each of the last 10 years, how many asylum applications were received; how many asylum decision were made; how many of those decisions were to (a) approve the application, (b) refuse the application and (c) grant temporary leave to remain; how many failed applicants were removed; how many cases were unresolved, with the total time since the application was given in year bands; and in how many cases all files have been lost.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Minister for Immigration

holding answer 13 February 2013

Table 1 shows asylum applications received and decisions made and Table 2 shows number of removals between 2002 and 2011. Figures relate to main applicants and dependants.

It is not possible within these figures to say at what stage in the asylum process individuals have reached at the time of their removal, including whether their claim has failed at that point, as those departing voluntarily can do so at any stage without necessarily notifying the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

Following a change to the published categories that separated removals and voluntary departures, figures for 2002 and 2003 are not directly comparable with those for 2004 onwards.

Table 3 shows the number of asylum cases pending at the end of 2011, broken down by total time since application. 'Pending' cases are those asylum applications from applicants, including fresh claims, lodged since 1 April 2006 which were still under consideration at the end of 2011.

Annual figures on asylum applications and decisions and asylum cases pending are published in Table as.02 and annual figures for removals from 2004 are published in Table rv.01 of the release 'Immigration Statistics, July to September 2012' which is available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science website at:

The latest annual figures published are for 2011. 2012 figures will be published on 28 February 2013.

Home Office records are managed in accordance with relevant legislation and established policy. Within the UKBA staff are made aware of the importance of managing information securely and carefully to prevent unauthorised disclosure and to protect the agency's and the public's interest. It is important for the organisation to note those cases where records cannot be immediately located.

Recording a record or part of a record as “lost” on the File Tracking System is simply an indication that a member of staff has been unable to locate it at a particular point in time. It does not signify that a record has actually physically been ‘lost’ or what action has been taken to locate a record and experience shows that in many cases a more thorough search might result in the record or the missing part of the record being successfully located. We do not record such cases by calendar year.

Table 1: Asylum applications and initial decisions for main applicants and dependants, 2002-11
  Total applications Total initial decisions Total grants Grants of asylum Grants of HP(1) Grants of DL(1) Grants of ELR(1) Total refusals
2002 103,081 103,452 33,460 10,992 n/a n/a 22,468 69,992
2003 60,047 80,370 13,183 5,379 181 3,278 4,345 67,187
2004 40,623 55,392 6,353 2,159 208 3,986 n/a 49,039
2005 30,841 33,209 5,427 2,472 160 2,795 n/a 27,782
2006 28,321 25,474 5,043 2,632 77 2,334 n/a 20,431
2007 28,299 26,663 6,812 4,496 165 2,151 n/a 19,851
2008 31,313 23,797 7,090 4,782 132 2,176 n/a 16,707
2009 30,673 30,955 8,387 5,589 125 2,673 n/a 22,568
2010 22,644 26,448 6,440 4,456 142 1,842 n/a 20,008
2011 25,898 22,792 7,182 5,493 121 1,568 n/a 15,610
Table 2: Asylum removals for main applicants and dependants, 2002-11
  Total asylum cases; removed or voluntary departed(2, 3) Total asylum enforced removals(3) Total asylum voluntary departures(3)
2002 13,910 n/a n/a
2003 17,894 n/a n/a
2004 n/a 11,743 3,170
2005 n/a 11,381 4,304
2006 n/a 10,881 7,399
2007 n/a 8,047 5,658
2008 n/a 7,169 5,705
2009 n/a 6,432 5,204
2010 n/a 6,174 4,220
2011 n/a 5,774 4,303
n/a = Not applicable (1) Humanitarian Protection (HP) and Discretionary Leave (DL) replaced Exceptional Leave to Remain (ELR) from 1 April 2003. (2) Following the change to published categories that separated removals and voluntary departures, figures for 2002 and 2003 are not directly comparable with those for 2004 onwards. (3) Removals and voluntary departures do not necessarily relate to decisions made in the same period. Notes: 1. Data for 2011 are provisional figures. 2. Initial decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same period and exclude the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.
Table 3: Cases pending as at 31 December 2011 in year bands
Total time since application 0 to 1 year >1 year and <=2 years >2 years and <=3 years >3 years and <=4 years >4 years and <=5 years >5 years and <=6 years Total (all durations)
Pending further review 4,870 1,173 798 653 421 135 8,050
Pending initial decision 6,623 538 698 546 246 206 8,857
Total Pending 11,493 1,711 1,496 1,199 667 341 16,907
Note: 'Pending' cases are those asylum applications from main applicants and dependants, including fresh claims, lodged since 1 April 2006 which are still under consideration at the end of the reference period.

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