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Asylum

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are awaiting decisions as part of the legacy process; and how long on average those people have been waiting for a decision. (274163)

[holding answer 11 May 2009]: As of 9 January the UK Border Agency had concluded 155,500 older asylum cases. The previous Home Secretary informed Parliament in July 2006 of

“the Immigration and Nationality Directorate’s case load of around 400,000 to 450,000 electronic and paper records”.

These include duplicate cases, and cases of individuals who have since died or left the country, or are now EU citizens, therefore it is not possible to provide an accurate assessment of how many cases are awaiting decisions. The chief executive of the UK Border Agency will update the Home Affairs Select Committee on case conclusion progress in the summer.

To obtain the information requested about average waiting times of legacy cases would involve a detailed examination of individual case records which would incur a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time between an application for asylum and a final decision was in each of the last five years. (274608)

[holding answer 11 May 2009]: Data on conclusion performance by year of application are only available from the introduction of end-to-end processing of new asylum applications in April 2006. Prior to that date, performance targets were based on the length of time it took to reach an initial decision on an asylum application, rather than the length of time it took to conclude a case.

The PSA Delivery Agreement 3, Indicator 2 refers to the reduction in the time to conclusion of asylum application. The measure is to ensure a target percentage of cases should be resolved within six months as per the following:

35 per cent. by end of April 2007;

40 per cent. by end of December 2007;

60 per cent. by end of December 2008;

75 per cent. by end of December 2009;

90 per cent. by end of December 2011.

The method of reporting against the target is based on the performance of the specific monthly cohort of cases reaching six months. Hence all reporting is done against a six months timeframe. A cohort is specified as those new applications received between one and 31 of each month.

The conclusion measurement requires applications to be granted asylum or some form of leave to remain in the UK, allowed at appeal or removed within 182 days (six months) to be counted as concluded.

Performance against the targets has been published in National Statistics as follows:

38 per cent. of new applications received in September 2006 were concluded in six months by the end of by April 2007;

46 per cent. of new applications received in June 2007 were concluded in six months by the end of December 2007;

62 per cent. of new applications received in June 2008 were concluded in six months by the end of December 2008.

Published information is not available in relation to conclusion of applications in timescales other than six months.