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Asylum Applications

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

16. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the average time taken to process an application for asylum. (295141)

In December we met our targets to conclude 60 per cent. of new cases within six months. That means not only that decisions were taken early but that in a significant proportion of refusals, removal from the UK was affected within six months of application.

In 1997 it took on average 22 months merely to reach an initial decision. We can only speculate how much longer than that it was taking to remove those who were refused at that time.

23. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the average time taken to process an application for asylum. (295148)

In December we met our targets to conclude 60 per cent. of new cases within six months. That means not only that decisions were taken early but that in a significant proportion of refusals, removal from the UK was affected within six months of application.

In 1997 it took on average 22 months merely to reach an initial decision. We can only speculate how much longer than that it was taking to remove those who were refused at that time.