[holding answer 25 January 2007]: The criteria for granting refugee status to Iraqis, and other nationals, arriving in the UK are set out in the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which are interpreted in domestic law in Part 11 of the Immigration Rules and in the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006 (SI 2525/2006).
A copy of the Convention can be found at
A copy of the Immigration Rules can be found at
A copy of the Regulation can be found at
Between January and September 2006, the latest published information indicates that 3 per cent. of initial decisions made in respect of Iraqi nationals were grants of asylum. Figures are provisional and relate to principal applicants only. Information on asylum applications, initial decisions and appeals by nationality are published quarterly and annually. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at
Staff are either recruited externally through fair and open competition in compliance with the Civil Service Commissioners Code or selected from amongst existing staff within the Home Office or other Government Departments.
Depending upon the grade, candidates may have to satisfy academic requirements and / or undergo an assessment process including psychometric testing. Once recommended for appointment, prospective employees are subject to a range of pre employment checks including nationality and residence verification, immigration record checks and national security vetting.
The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) has passport banks located throughout the United Kingdom at Local Enforcement Offices (LEOs) and other IND buildings. Each office keeps manual records of the passports contained within them.
If a passport is found by police during an operation, unless it is required for a police investigation, it will be handed to an Immigration Officer, if in attendance, or to the appropriate LEO.
(2) how many asylum seekers were detained in dawn raids before 8.00 am in each month of the last two years.
The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) do not conduct ‘raids’ against asylum seekers. IND enforcement officers undertake operational visits to detain and remove persons who no longer have the right to remain in the United Kingdom (UK) and do so in line with operational policy and guidance.
I am advised by the director general IND that internet records relating to the number of enforcement visits conducted are only readily available since 1 April 2005.
Records indicate that 3,5591 unsuccessful asylum seekers were arrested as a result of enforcement visits that commenced before 8.00 am. 92 per cent. of these arrests took place between the hours of 6.00 and 8.00 am. A breakdown of the number of arrests per month is set out in annex A.
Records indicate that since 1 April 2005 until 16 January 2007, 1,3731 minors were detained as a result of enforcement visits that commenced before 8.00 am. 93 per cent. of these arrests took place between 06.00 and 08.00. 5231 minors were detained (between 1 April 2005-21 December 2005), 8031 minors were detained in 2006 and 47 minors have been detained up to 16 January 2007.
The relatively high number of minors detained before 8.00 am reflects that if it is necessary for IND to enforce the removal of a family then in the interests of health and safety and to help minimise disruption, the visit will normally take place early in the morning when the family is most likely to be together. Visits will not normally take place before 6.30 am unless it is considered necessary. (The Family Removal Policy (EPU 2/06) is publicly available on the IND website.)
1 This is derived from provisional local management information which may be subject to change.
Number of arrests April 2005 97 May 2005 213 June 2005 123 July 2005 157 August 2005 143 September 2005 144 October 2005 192 November 2005 226 December 2005 143 January 2006 149 February 2006 161 March 2006 224 April 2006 229 May 2006 175 June 2006 106 July 2006 153 August 2006 118 September 2006 135 October 2006 221 November 2006 232 December 2006 106 Up to 16 January 2007 112 Total 3,559
Number of arrests
Up to 16 January 2007
Electronic records relating to asylum applications are stored on the Case Information Database (CID). Records for many of the asylum cases which pre-dated the introduction of CID were later transferred to the system in bulk and contained default application dates. Several hundred of the oldest cases fall into this category and the individual paper files for each of them would have to be checked to identify the oldest outstanding case. Such checking would be at disproportionate cost.