Asylum: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to review the restriction on the ability of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to sponsor the visas of adult relatives for the purposes of family reunion.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

There is currently no provision in the Immigration Rules for children with refugee status in the UK to sponsor family members to join them. Allowing children to sponsor parents risks creating further incentives for more children to be encouraged, or even forced, to leave their family and risk hazardous journeys to the UK to sponsor relatives. This plays into the hands of criminal gangs who exploit vulnerable people and goes against our safeguarding responsibilities.

The Government believes the best interests of children is reflected in staying with their families, claiming asylum in the first safe country they reach – that is the fastest route to safety – and relying on safe and legal routes under the Immigration Rules or through resettlement schemes.

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