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Immigration: Detention and Removal Centres

Volume 708: debated on Monday 23 February 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government for how long each illegal immigrant detainee who has expressed a wish to return home has been held in detention centres. [HL648]

The assisted voluntary return of irregular migrants (AVRIM) programme introduced in November 2004 is available to those who have entered the UK unlawfully or those who have breached their conditions of leave to enter or leave to remain. AVRIM is operated on behalf of the Home Office by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), an independent intergovernmental organisation.

We expedite as quickly as possible the removal of those who are held in detention and who then apply to return under the AVRIM programme. However, individuals may have been detained for some length of time before making an application under AVRIM and are subject to the normal requirement to be in possession of a valid passport or travel document before they can travel.

Currently, seven individuals who have applied under the programme are detained in the agency detention estate while approval for their return is pending. The table below gives details of the first date of detention and the length of detention since the application under AVRIM was received.

Date detained

Date of application under AVRIM

Number of days detained since the date of application

31 August 2008

29 September 2008


11 October 2008

20 October 2008


19 August 2008

26 November 2008


11 September 2008

1 December 2008


5 December 2008

6 January 2009


25 November 2008

8 January 2009


28 November 2005

9 January 2009