Asylum: Evictions and Finance

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

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the decision to resume cessations of support and evictions of unsuccessful asylum seekers, what (a) public health and (b) other criteria will be used to inform decisions on whether to evict and cease support for individual unsuccessful asylum claimants.

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

The Home Office has started cessations of support in a phased way which will reduce demand on the asylum system while prioritising the safety of those within the asylum system. This means moving people out of Home Office accommodation and ending subsistence payments from the Home Office.

For those whose asylum claims have been rejected and appeal rights exhausted, they will be expected to leave the country, assistance is available to those who opt to leave voluntarily. The Voluntary Returns Scheme will pay for travel and provide a cash amount, and this can and should be utilised whenever possible.

People who are awaiting a Covid test result should not be asked to leave their current dwelling until they receive a negative test result and are symptom free and that those self-isolating due to a positive test result should adhere to the full 14-day self-isolation period for close contacts.

These factors, applied to an individual case, might mean that a failed asylum seeker continues to be eligible to receive support because they are unable to leave the UK or take the necessary practical steps to enable them to leave (for example by attending an interview for the purposes of obtaining a necessary travel document).

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