Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"


View sample alert
Written Question
Refugees: Afghanistan
Thursday 28th July 2022

Asked by: Alison McGovern (Labour - Wirral South)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan refugees have found permanent accommodation since arriving in the UK following the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

In 2021, the UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Since the end of Op PITTING, we have brought a further c.4,000 Afghans to the UK. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

As of 18 July 2022, we are currently providing temporary accommodation for c.9,500 individuals resettling in the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), whilst they await permanent accommodation.

Over 7000 Afghans have already moved or are in the process of being moved into their permanent accommodation. In addition to the work, we are doing to provide appropriate accommodation for Afghans, a number of families have, in recent months, taken steps to secure their own accommodation.

The cost of accommodating those resetting under ACRS or ARAP, whilst they await permanent accommodation, is estimated at £1 million a day. The Home Office works to secure contracts which offer the best value for money, whilst providing an appropriate level of support to those under its care.

We do not want to see Afghan families in temporary accommodation for any longer than is absolutely necessary. We are therefore working with local authorities across the UK to identify more opportunities for those being housed in bridging hotels to move into permanent accommodation.


Written Question
Refugees: Afghanistan
Thursday 28th July 2022

Asked by: Alison McGovern (Labour - Wirral South)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan refugees remain in hotels following their arrival in the UK in summer 2021.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

In 2021, the UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Since the end of Op PITTING, we have brought a further c.4,000 Afghans to the UK. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

As of 18 July 2022, we are currently providing temporary accommodation for c.9,500 individuals resettling in the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), whilst they await permanent accommodation.

Over 7000 Afghans have already moved or are in the process of being moved into their permanent accommodation. In addition to the work, we are doing to provide appropriate accommodation for Afghans, a number of families have, in recent months, taken steps to secure their own accommodation.

The cost of accommodating those resetting under ACRS or ARAP, whilst they await permanent accommodation, is estimated at £1 million a day. The Home Office works to secure contracts which offer the best value for money, whilst providing an appropriate level of support to those under its care.

We do not want to see Afghan families in temporary accommodation for any longer than is absolutely necessary. We are therefore working with local authorities across the UK to identify more opportunities for those being housed in bridging hotels to move into permanent accommodation.


Written Question
Refugees: Afghanistan
Thursday 28th July 2022

Asked by: Alison McGovern (Labour - Wirral South)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the cost to the public purse is of temporary housing for Afghan refugees.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

In 2021, the UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Since the end of Op PITTING, we have brought a further c.4,000 Afghans to the UK. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

As of 18 July 2022, we are currently providing temporary accommodation for c.9,500 individuals resettling in the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), whilst they await permanent accommodation.

Over 7000 Afghans have already moved or are in the process of being moved into their permanent accommodation. In addition to the work, we are doing to provide appropriate accommodation for Afghans, a number of families have, in recent months, taken steps to secure their own accommodation.

The cost of accommodating those resetting under ACRS or ARAP, whilst they await permanent accommodation, is estimated at £1 million a day. The Home Office works to secure contracts which offer the best value for money, whilst providing an appropriate level of support to those under its care.

We do not want to see Afghan families in temporary accommodation for any longer than is absolutely necessary. We are therefore working with local authorities across the UK to identify more opportunities for those being housed in bridging hotels to move into permanent accommodation.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Refugees
Tuesday 26th July 2022

Asked by: Rosena Allin-Khan (Labour - Tooting)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of refugees relocated to the UK under the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme who have requested access to mental health services.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

No specific estimate has been made as this information is not collected centrally. Local areas have established trauma-informed psychological and emotional support services for Afghan refugees led by clinicians with expertise in trauma-informed care. In 2021, £3 million was provided to the National Health Service for an enhanced healthcare offer for people arriving through Afghan resettlement schemes. All Afghan refugees have now registered with a general practitioner or are being helped to do so.


Written Question
Refugees
Tuesday 26th July 2022

Asked by: Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many refugees who had entered the UK through safe and legal routes were granted leave to remain (1) every year since 2015, and (2) broken down by route.

Answered by Lord Harrington of Watford - Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Information on safe and legal routes is available via the link below:

Nationality and Borders Bill: Factsheet Safe and Legal Routes - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Home Office publishes data on resettlement in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of refugees resettled by resettlement scheme are published in table Asy_D02 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to Q1 2022.

The resettlement data in Asy_D02 does not cover data relating to the individuals relocated under the Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) or Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) opened in January 2022, with the first eligible person relocated under the scheme on 6 January 2022.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched on 1 April 2021, and provisional data show more than 7,000 people have been relocated under the scheme so far. Statistics on these schemes will be included in future editions of Immigration Statistics.

Further details on the ACRS and ARAP can be found in the FACTSHEET: ACRS and other routes and Operation Warm Welcome: progress update.

Data on the number of Family Reunion visas granted are published in table Fam_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to Q1 2022.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of applications and grants of leave on the British National Overseas (BN(O)) route in the “How many people come to the UK each year (including visitors)?” topic and underlying datasets of the Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Information on the number of visas granted under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme can be found in our published data on the GOV.UK webpage: Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) visa data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Written Question
Refugees: Syria
Friday 22nd July 2022

Asked by: Lord Hylton (Crossbench - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to expand the terms of reference of the UK Resettlement Scheme; whether the Scheme is available to (1) British nationals, and (2) the children of British nationals, in detention camps in North-East Syria; and if so, what plans they have to communicate this to such individuals.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The UK is a global leader in resettlement. Since 2015, we have resettled more than 27,000 refugees through safe and legal routes direct from regions of conflict and instability - around half of whom were children.

There are currently no plans to expand the terms of reference of the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS). The UK will continue to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees from across the globe.

Our approach is to resettle refugees in line with the global need identified by UNHCR who will refer individuals in accordance with their standard resettlement categories and policies, based on an assessment of protection needs and vulnerabilities.

British nationals or their dependants would not be referred for resettlement under the UKRS. However, the government does seek to facilitate the return of British orphans and unaccompanied minors from North-East Syria where feasible, subject to national security concerns, and on a case-by-case basis. In line with this policy, the government has already facilitated the return of several orphaned and unaccompanied British children to the UK and will continue to do so.


Written Question
Asylum: Middle East and Somalia
Thursday 21st July 2022

Asked by: Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what they consider safe, legal routes to be for asylum seekers from (1) Afghanistan, (2) Iraq, (3) Iran, and (4) Somalia.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The UK welcomes refugees and people in need of protection through its existing resettlement schemes. The government encourages eligible individuals to use established safe and legal pathways. These include the UK Resettlement Scheme, Community Sponsorship, Mandate Resettlement Scheme, the Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, and the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

Individuals from the listed countries may be eligible for resettlement through these existing schemes.

In addition to our refugee resettlement schemes, family reunion policy allows a spouse/partner and the children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country.

Since 2015, we have resettled more than 27,000 refugees through safe and legal routes directly from regions of conflict and instability – around half of whom are children.

With worldwide displacement now standing at around 80 million people, we cannot help everyone. We will, however, continue to maintain clear, well-defined safe, and legal routes for people who need protection. Access to the UK’s asylum system should be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers. Those already in a safe country should claim asylum there.

More information on safe and legal routes is available on GOV.UK


Written Question
Asylum: Middle East
Thursday 21st July 2022

Asked by: Marquess of Lothian (Conservative - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will list all the safe and legal routes for asylum seekers from (1) Afghanistan, (2) Syria, and (3) Yemen, which would allow them to claim asylum in the UK (a) on arrival, or (b) prior to their departure from their country of origin.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Minister of State (Home Office)

The UK welcomes refugees and people in need of protection through its existing resettlement schemes. The government encourages eligible individuals to use established safe and legal pathways. These include the UK Resettlement Scheme, Community Sponsorship, Mandate Resettlement Scheme, the Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme and the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

In addition to our refugee resettlement schemes, family reunion policy allows a spouse/partner and children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country.

With worldwide displacement now standing at around 80 million people we cannot help everyone. We will, however, continue to maintain clear, well-defined safe, and legal routes for people who need protection. Access to the UK’s asylum system should be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers. Those already in a safe country should claim asylum there.

While we do not allow asylum claims from abroad, all asylum claims lodged from within the UK and admitted to the UK asylum system are given full and careful consideration so that we do not remove anyone who faces persecution or serious harm on return to their country of origin.

Our guidance for considering asylum claims is available on GOV.UK.

More information on safe and legal routes is available via the link below:

Nationality and Borders Bill: Factsheet Safe and Legal Routes - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Written Question
Refugees: Middle East and Ukraine
Thursday 21st July 2022

Asked by: Lord Rosser (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many refugees from (1) Ukraine, (2) Afghanistan, and (3) Syria, have been helped through either (a) the Homes for Ukraine scheme, (b) the Ukraine Family Scheme, (c) the Afghans Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, (d) the Afghans Relocation and Assistance Policy, or (e) the Syrian Resettlement Programme, since each of those respective schemes began.

Answered by Lord Harrington of Watford - Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Information on the number of visas granted under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme can be found in our published data on the GOV.UK webpage: Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) visa data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Work is underway to assure information relating to all the individuals relocated under the ARAP and ACRS on case working systems. Once this work concludes, statistics on both schemes - including the number of people resettled under each - will be included in future editions of the Immigration Statistics.

The Home Office publishes data on resettlement in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on refugees resettled in the UK by scheme can be found in table Asy_D02 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks. The latest data relate to the year ending March 2022. Data for June 2022 will be published on 25 August 2022. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.


Written Question
Afghanistan: Refugees
Thursday 21st July 2022

Asked by: John Healey (Labour - Wentworth and Dearne)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghans have arrived in the UK under Pathway (a) 1, (b) 2 and (c) 3 of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme in each month since April 2022.

Answered by Kevin Foster - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

Over 15,000 people were supported to come to the UK directly following the evacuation of Afghanistan, and a further 4,000 have since arrived. Around 6,500 people brought to safety in the UK during and after the evacuation are eligible for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) under pathway 1.

Under the newly opened second pathway, we have now begun to receive the first referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of vulnerable refugees who have fled Afghanistan for resettlement to the UK. Further detail can be found on the UNHCR website: UNHCR UK Information and Links on Afghanistan Situation - UNHCR United Kingdom

The FCDO have also launched a third referral pathway, which will see eligible British Council and GardaWorld contractors and Chevening alumni considered for resettlement to the UK. Eligible individuals are able to express interest in UK resettlement via an online system until Monday 15 August 2022, when the online system will close. The FCDO have set out further information on how this works: Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme Pathway 3: eligibility for British Council and GardaWorld contractors and Chevening Alumni - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Following the evacuation from Afghanistan – and subsequent arrivals - work is underway to assure information relating to all the individuals relocated under both schemes are on case working systems. Once this work concludes, statistics on ACRS and ARAP will be included in future editions of the Immigration Statistics.