Asylum: Hotels

Home Office written question – answered on 20th December 2021.

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Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to expediate her Department's processing of applications of asylum seekers housed in hotels.

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

All asylum claims are considered on a case by case basis and in line with published policy.

We are currently concentrating on deciding older claims, cases with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children. Additionally, we are prioritising cases where an individual has already received a decision, but a reconsideration is required.

Alongside this we are investing in a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives which will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the asylum system and decrease the number of people who are awaiting an interview or decision. We have extensive recruitment and training plans in place, including career progression options that will aid the retention of staff.

We are continuing to develop existing and new technology to help build on recent improvements such as digital interviewing and move away from a paper-based system. We are streamlining and digitising the case working process to enable more effective workflow, appointment booking and decision-making. Additionally, we have introduced specialist Decision Making Units, providing greater ownership and management of cohorts of asylum cases.

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