To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of not permitting volunteers to accompany refugees and asylum seekers when attending reporting centres except in exceptional cases on (a) immigration compliance and (b) wellbeing of those reporting.
The purpose of reporting is to ensure those without leave to remain in the UK and illegal entrants remain in close contact with the Home Office. A reporting requirement of bail is used to enable case progression, interviews, offers of voluntary departure and travel document applications to be conducted to support removal actions. A person on a reporting regime will be considered for a variety of methods to report including in person within a Centre or a combination of telephone reporting, digital bail or electronic monitoring.
There has been no change to the current guidance on accompanied reporting. It remains at the discretion of the ROM manager and all representations will be considered. This was present in v1 issued 2017 and has not been amended since:
The reporting centre manager has discretion as to whether a person reporting may have someone accompany them, such as a legal representative, a support or charity organisation worker, or volunteer. Where the person reporting is vulnerable, or where they are reporting for the first time, are typical examples of when assistance is requested.
You should not consider accompanied reporting to be routine, but it can be permitted in exceptional cases where specific requests are made to the reporting centre manager. A person accompanying the reporting person must only be allowed into the waiting area, you must not permit them to intervene on the person’s behalf at the counter.
A change in the new guidance is new asylum applicants will not be required to report until a negative decision is made on their application, unless exceptional circumstances apply, for example the applicant is also a foreign national offender (FNO), a restricted access case or a TCU case, these will be decided on a case-by-case basis.