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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/how-many-people-do-we-grant-asylum-or-protection-to
Data relate to the year ending March 2019 and all comparisons are with the year ending March 2018, unless indicated otherwise. A more detailed annual summary, which also includes a cohort analysis providing the grant rates following appeal, can be found in ‘Immigration statistics, year ending June 2018’.
This section contains data on:
- Asylum applications and initial decisions, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)
- Family reunion visas granted
- Asylum support
1. Asylum, resettlement and protection
The UK offered protection – in the form of grants of asylum, humanitarian protection, alternative forms of leave and resettlement – to 17,304 people in the year ending March 2019 (up 22% compared with the previous year). This was the highest number of people granted protection in the UK in a single year since the year ending September 2003. Of these, 40% (or 6,964) were children.
The total number of people offered protection in the year ending March 2019 comprised:
- 9,191 grants of asylum (up 34%), with notable changes in grants to Turkish (up 446), Afghan (up 299), Iranian (up 294), Eritrean (up 268), Sudanese (up 193) and Syrian (down 145) nationals
- 1,192 grants of humanitarian protection (more than doubled), driven predominantly by an increase in grants to Libyan nationals (up 439)
- 1,127 grants of alternative forms of leave following an application for asylum (up 15%)
- 5,794 people provided protection under resettlement schemes (a similar number to the previous year)
Additionally, 5,662 Family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of those previously granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK (down 2%).
Figure 7: Grants1 of asylum, alternative forms of leave2, and resettlement3 year ending March 2010 to March 20194
- Grants at initial decision. Actual number of grants at final decision (following appeal) will be higher.
- ‘Alternative forms of leave’ include grants of humanitarian protection, discretionary leave, grants under family and private life rules, leave outside the rules, and UASC leave, that resulted from an asylum application.
- Resettlement data prior to 2013 are only available annually. Data for individual quarters in this period have been estimated by taking 25% of the annual total.
- Includes main applicants and dependants.
The Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) accounted for three-quarters (4,328) of those resettled in the UK in the year ending March 2019. Since it began in 2014, 15,977 people have been resettled under the scheme.
A further 687 were resettled under the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme (VCRS) over the last year.
Of those resettled under the VPRS and VCRS in the year ending March 2019, 173 refugees were resettled in the UK through the Community Sponsorship scheme. Since the scheme began in July 2016, 281 refugees have been resettled by community sponsor groups. Details of the scheme can be found in the ‘About the statistics’ section.
1.2 Asylum applications
There were 31,589 asylum applications in the UK (main applicants only) in the year ending March 2019, 18% more than the previous year but below the level seen in the year ending March 2016 during the European migration crisis.
In May, the Home Affairs committee released figures collated by the Home Office on the number of migrant crossings across the English Channel on small boats. The figures show 562 migrants were detected attempting to cross the channel in 2018, of these, 297 arrived in the UK. A further 177 attempted to cross between 1 January and 28 February 2019, of which 131 arrived in the UK. Further information can be found here.
The latest Asylum statistics produced by Eurostat show the number of asylum applications to EU member states fell by 10% in 2018, although this was driven by falls in applications to Italy and Germany. France, Greece, Spain, Netherlands, and Belgium all saw increases. The UK received the 6th highest number of applications of all EU member states in 2018.
In the latest year, there were notable increases in asylum applications to the UK from:
- Iranian nationals, up 1,393 (56%) to 3,876
- Albanian nationals, up 1,010 (69%) to 2,477
- Eritrean nationals, up 1,244 (doubled) to 2,427
There were 3,223 applications from UASCs, 31% more than the previous year. UASCs accounted for 10% of total asylum applications in the latest year.
Figure 8: Asylum applications in the UK, year ending March 2010 to March 20191
- Includes main applicants only.
In the year ending March 2019, 39% of initial decisions on asylum applications were grants of asylum, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave (such as discretionary leave or UASC leave), compared with 30% in the previous year.
Data from the Home Office ‘cohort’ analysis, published annually in Asylum table as_06, show that the final grant rate typically increases to around 50% following appeal (based on data from 2014 to 2016).
Grant rates vary by nationality. Of those that commonly claim asylum in the UK, nationals from Libya (95%) and Syria (88%) typically have high grant rates at initial decision, while nationals of India (4%), China (6%), and Bangladesh (9%) typically have low grant rates at initial decision.
2. Support provided to asylum seekers
At the end of March 2019, 45,643 asylum seekers in the UK were in receipt of support under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, up 8% from the same time the previous year.
Of these, 42,597 (93%) were in receipt of both accommodation and subsistence, and 3,046 (7%) in receipt of subsistence only. The majority (83%) were located in England, with smaller supported populations in Scotland (9%), Wales (6%) and Northern Ireland (2%).
An additional 3,897 individuals were in receipt of support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, down 10% from the previous year, and 1,832 individuals were in receipt of support under Section 98 of the Act, 17% more than the year before.
3. About the statistics
This section provides information on those applying for and granted protection in the UK through both asylum and resettlement routes, as well as information on the numbers in receipt of asylum support.
The data are used to assess the trends in numbers of people seeking and being granted protection, the impact of policy changes, and to understand the demographics of those coming to the UK to claim protection. Data on resettlement and support, broken down by local authority, can help local authorities understand the demands on their services and resources to aid with planning.
3.1 Asylum, resettlement and protection
The total number of individuals granted protection includes grants related to an asylum application (grants of asylum or alternative leave) and resettlement. Alternative forms of leave include humanitarian protection, discretionary leave, UASC leave, leave outside the rules, and grants under family and private life rules. Further details can be found in the user guide.
Data on asylum applications relate to the period in which the application was lodged, and initial decisions relate to the period in which the decision was made. Initial decisions may, therefore, relate to an application made in an earlier period, and thus the two are not directly comparable.
Data on initial decisions will not reflect the total number of people granted protection through asylum routes as some initial decisions may be overturned following appeal. Data on the number of appeals lodged, and their outcomes, are published in Asylum tables, volume 4.
UASC data includes those treated as an unaccompanied minor for at least one day between the date of application and the date of initial decision. Some UASC applicants may subsequently be found to be an adult following conclusion of an age dispute. Data on age disputes are published in Asylum tables, volume 3.
Figures on international asylum applications are based on data supplied by the individual countries to the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Eurostat. These may include some estimated figures. Eurostat also publishes a range of asylum statistics which can be used for comparisons across the EU. The methodology used to compile Eurostat data differs from that used in this release. Further details can be found in the user guide.
The UK Community Sponsorship scheme was launched on 19 July 2016. The scheme allows community groups to support refugee families directly and aims to help them become self-sufficient and integrated members of the community. These figures are a subset of those published under the VPRS and VCRS and are not in addition to those resettled under these schemes. Further details can be found on the GOV.UK page.
Family reunion visas are a subset of the ‘Family: other’ visa category, published in the visa tables, of which around 99% relate to Family reunion visas. Data on Family reunion visas come from a different administrative system to other visa data so are not directly comparable. Further details can be found in the user guide.
3.2 Support provided to asylum seekers
Section 95 support is provided to destitute asylum seekers until their claim is finally determined, which may encompass either accommodation or subsistence, or both. ‘Invalid applications for support and support type not yet known’ are cases that have been deemed invalid or which have not yet been assessed.
Section 4 provides support for individuals whose claim has been refused and who have exhausted their appeal rights, but who are destitute and are temporarily unable to leave the UK.
Section 98 support provides accommodation for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute and who are either awaiting a decision on an application for Section 95 support or are supported under Section 95 and are awaiting transfer to their accommodation.
The data show the number of people in receipt of support on a given day, but do not show the length of time for which someone receives support or the amount of support they receive.
4. Data tables
Data referred to here can be found in the following tables:
- Asylum tables volume 1
- Asylum tables volume 2
- Asylum tables volume 3
- Asylum tables volume 4
- Asylum tables volume 5
We welcome your feedback
If you have any comments or suggestions for the development of this report, please provide feedback by emailing MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please include the words ‘PUBLICATION FEEDBACK’ in the subject of your email.
See section 7 of the ‘About this release’ section for more details.