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Asylum

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average processing time is for a claim by an asylum seeker or refugee with extraordinary leave to remain for indefinite leave to remain; and how many such claims are in process as of 17 April. (131843)

As of April 2007, there are just under 6,000 such applications1 awaiting decision. An expanded team is working to clear these cases as quickly as possible.

The Border and Immigration Agency does not record average processing time.

The data are not provided under the national statistics protocols. They have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.

1 Figures rounded to the nearest 100.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria his Department uses for granting people political asylum in the UK. (132659)

[holding answer 23 April 2007]: The Border and Immigration Agency uses the criteria laid down in the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, as interpreted in Council Directive 2004/83/EC of the European Union. These criteria are set out in the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No.2525) and in the Immigration Rules (in particular the Statement of changes Cm 6918 of 18 September 2006), to which decision makers have regard when granting people political asylum in the UK.

The criteria are detailed and explained in the Asylum Policy Instruction “Assessing the Claim”, which can be found on the website of the Border and Immigration Agency at

http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/asylum policyinstructions/