Asylum: Applications

Home Office written question – answered on 7th January 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many occasions his Department has invited home-country officials to interview asylum seekers; and what the nationality of those officials was in each year since 2010.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

We have a proud history of providing protection to those who need it. All asylum claims are carefully considered on their individual merits by assessing all evidence provided by the claimant against published country information. In line with our legal duty of confidentiality, we do not disclose information about asylum claims to an individual’s home country. We do not facilitate interviews with representatives from an asylum seeker’s home country whilst their claim is being considered.

Only after an individual’s asylum claim is refused, may it become necessary, as with foreign national offenders and those without a legal basis for remaining in the UK, to confirm their identity and nationality with the receiving country and to obtain a travel document to facilitate a voluntary or enforced return.

It is a requirement of some foreign governments to interview such individuals to confirm identity/nationality and to agree to issue a travel document. These interviews are coordinated in a number of ways based on the circumstances of the person’s case and the particular process for re-documentation stipulated by the receiving foreign government. These include ad-hoc interviews for individuals and regular interview exercises with UK based officials from diplomatic missions, and central government officials visiting the UK.

The number of occasions these activities took place is not held in a format that is reportable.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of countries whose officials have conducted interviews;

Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Liberia, Malaysia, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Tunisia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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