To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum applications were awaiting assessment in the latest period for which figures are available; what recent estimate she has made of the average time taken to process an asylum application; and what steps her Department is taking to reduce the time taken to process those applications.
The Home Office does not publish data on the average time taken to process an asylum application. However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision, broken down by duration. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:
The Home Office are committed to ensuring asylum claims are considered without unnecessary delay, individuals who need protection are granted asylum as soon as possible and can start to integrate and rebuild their lives, including those granted at appeal.
Whilst we take steps to increase capacity, with focus on process improvements, to deliver better quality decisions, more efficiently, we have moved away from the six-month service standard to concentrate on older claims, cases with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC).