Refugees: Families

Home Office written question – answered on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Q13 of the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Immigration to the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee on 13 March 2019, what steps he has taken to review refugee family reunion for adult dependent children.

Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Q13 of the oral contribution of the Minister of State for Immigration to the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee on 13 March 2019, what recent discussions he has had with representative of third sector organisations working with refugees on adult dependent children.

Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of separation from adult dependent children on the integration of refugee families.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The Government provides a safe and legal route to bring families together through its family reunion policy. This allows a partner and children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country. Our policy makes clear there is discretion to grant visas outside the Immigration Rules, which caters for extended family members in exceptional circumstances – including young adult sons or daughters who are dependent on family here and living in dangerous situations.

The Government is listening carefully to calls to extend family reunion and we will continue our productive discussions with key partners on this complex and sensitive issue.

Family connections are an important enabler of integration. However, we must also ensure we do not create incentives for more people, particularly children, to leave their homes and risk dangerous journeys hoping relatives can join them later. Those who need protection must claim in the first safe country they reach – that is the fastest route to safety.

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