Asylum: Middle East

Home Office written question – answered on 5th February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the reply by Baroness Northover on 13 January (HL Deb, col 652) and the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 21 January (HL4111) what is the difference between the 3,800 "Syrian nationals and their dependents" to whom they say they have given sanctuary and the 90 people whom they say were relocated to the United Kingdom under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme; what is meant by the phrase "given sanctuary"; how many of those given sanctuary were invited to the United Kingdom; how many came under their own steam; how many of the 3,800 Syrians have been given asylum or granted re-settlement; how many arrived in the United Kingdom before the present disturbances; and how many refugees in the United Kingdom are from Iraq or other parts of the Middle East region.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The latest published figures show that between April 2011 and the end of September 2014, a total of 3,468 Syrians were granted protection in the United Kingdom. This number represents those people who have claimed asylum in the United Kingdom, and includes those who have left Syria since the onset of the crisis, as well as those already residing in the United Kingdom who are unable to return safely. It is not possible to break the data down further to show how many people have arrived in the UK since the onset of the crisis, as opposed to those who were already residing in the UK.

The 90 people who were relocated under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS) between March 2014 and end of September 2014 are in addition to the number quoted above. Potential beneficiaries of the scheme are referred to us from Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt by UNHCR on the basis of vulnerability.

The next set of asylum and VPRS statistics will be published on 26 February.

The phrase ‘given sanctuary’ is defined as those given protection by the United Kingdom. The table below shows the number of people from the Middle East who have been granted a form of protection or other leave after claiming asylum in the UK. It includes those granted asylum, discretionary leave, humanitarian protection, as well as other grants outside these three categories. The data also include dependents.

Q2 2011 – Q3 2014

Country Grants

Syria 3,468

Bahrain 108

Iran 4,472

Iraq 421

Israel 5

Jordan 3

Kuwait 111

Lebanon 27

Oman 0



Territories 123

Qatar 1

Saudi Arabia 35


Yemen 72

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