Asylum

Home Office written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether asylum applicants are required to claim asylum in the first safe country they reach.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

We believe that those who reach safe countries should stay and claim asylum without delay, rather than make further, unnecessary and often dangerous journeys in order to claim asylum in a country of their own choosing.

Illegal migration from safe countries undermines our efforts to help those most in need - controlled resettlement direct from conflict zones via safe and legal routes is the best way to protect such people and disrupt the organised crime groups that exploit migrants and refugees.

To support these principles, the UK, the EU and other countries in the world employ legal procedures to return people to the safe countries through which they have passed. In the case of the UK, the majority of such returns presently take place under the Dublin Regulation, but from 1 January, such returns will take place according to our domestic rules.

Where the UK considers the claim of someone who has failed to take advantage of a reasonable opportunity to make an asylum claim or human rights claim while in a safe country, the law requires that behaviour to be taken into account as damaging to the claimant’s credibility.

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