Home Office written question – answered on 23rd September 2021.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has undertaken an assessment of the potential merits of expanding safe routes to claiming asylum in the UK, including accepting asylum claims at British embassies, High Commissions or visa application centres.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, in accordance with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

However, there is no provision within our Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to seek asylum or temporary refuge. Whilst we sympathise with people in many difficult situations around the world, we are not bound to consider asylum claims in British Embassies, High Commissions or visa application centres abroad from the very large numbers of people overseas who might like to come here. Those who need international protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, this is the fastest route to safety.

We continue to prioritise and welcome the most vulnerable refugees in need of protection identified and referred by the UNHCR through our resettlement schemes, and there are no plans to change this approach. Through these routes we have resettled more refugees than any EU country since 2015.

In addition to our resettlement schemes, there are safe and legal routes for people to come to the UK should they wish to join family members here, work or study. They would need to meet the requirements of the relevant Immigration Rule under which they were applying to qualify for a visa.

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