Law Library Stacks

Back to Refugee Law and Policy

Summary

The UK has extensive provisions in place to provide protection to persons seeking asylum while protecting the public from individuals who may exploit the asylum system.  The application process for asylum seekers starts at the border.  A fast-track process has been developed to help reduce the extensive caseload of asylum cases, which allows certain applications to be rejected upon receipt if the individual is from a country deemed safe by the UK.  For all other applicants, a decision is made on the well-established criteria of whether the individual has a well-founded fear of persecution or other harm.  A new program has been introduced in response to the Syrian crisis, which accepts selected refugees from the Syrian region.

I.  Introduction

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, consisting of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, has recently undergone a period of devolution with the creation of a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly, and a Northern Ireland Assembly (currently suspended) that can legislate in certain areas.  Citizenship and nationality are not devolved areas, however, and thus remain the responsibility of the Parliament.[1]  The Secretary of State for the Home Department (a member of the British executive branch) and his department, commonly referred to as the Home Office, has responsibility for almost all matters relating to immigration, including asylum, nationality, and border control laws.

Since 1891, the common law of the UK has provided that “no alien has any right to enter this country except by leave of the Crown.”[2]  The Aliens Restriction Act 1914,[3] the Aliens Restriction (Amending) Act 1919,[4] and the Rules and Orders made under these Acts[5] gave the common law rule a statutory basis and formed the restrictions on immigration. 

The statutory regime governing immigration in the UK is currently contained in the Immigration Act 1971[6] and the Immigration Rules[7] made under it.  The Immigration Rules are a fluid set of rules that change frequently.  To change them, a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules is laid before Parliament; these changes enter into law within forty days unless Parliament objects to them.[8]  The law requires individuals who are not British or Commonwealth citizens with the right of abode in the UK or members of the European Economic Area[9] to obtain leave to enter the UK from an immigration officer upon their arrival.[10] 

The early 2000s saw record numbers of individuals seeking asylum in the UK, peaking at 84,132 in 2002.[11]  These numbers led to significant public discontent, so the government introduced a number of measures that sought to limit the number of applicants entering the country, which included making it more difficult to obtain asylum and decreasing the benefits that asylum applicants could receive.[12]  As a result the number of asylum seekers dropped to a low of 17,916 in 2010.[13]  In 2014, the numbers rose again to 25,033, with asylum seekers forming 4.1% of immigrants entering the UK during that year.[14]  In 2014, most asylum seekers were nationals of African countries (35%), Asian countries (32%), and Middle Eastern nations (20%).  Ten percent of applicants were from Europe.[15]  As of August 2015, 9,756 applications for asylum from 2014 had been granted, amounting to approximately 50% of those with known outcomes.  8,634 applications had been refused or withdrawn, or 44.3%.[16]  Appeals were lodged in 74.3% of the 2014 cases in which asylum was initially refused, and of those for which the outcome was known, 30.1% of the appeals were approved.[17]

Due to the number of asylum seekers entering the UK over the past few years and the nature of the system for considering applications and appeals, a considerable backlog of cases has built up, causing substantial delays.[18]  The number of pending asylum cases at the end of 2015 was 24,236.[19]  

Back to Top

II.  Government Departments Responsible for Asylum

The Home Office is the government department with primary responsibility for almost all aspects relating to immigration, including asylum, nationality and border control laws.  There are various directorates within the Home Office that handle specific items relating to these areas of responsibility.[20]

UK Visas and Immigration, acting on behalf of the Home Secretary and Minister for Immigration, is responsible for processing asylum applications.[21]  Immigration Enforcement ensures that immigration laws are complied with, such as the prohibition on working without proper authorization.  Immigration Enforcement also works to remove individuals that do not have permission to remain in the UK.  The Border Force is responsible for immigration and customs controls at UK ports and airports and has recently been given the duty of conducting exit checks.  HM Passport Office is responsible for processing applications for British passports, both overseas and in country.[22]

Back to Top

III.  Asylum Laws and Policy

Asylum is the term given to the protection offered to individuals who are fleeing persecution in their own country.[23]  As a general rule, asylum seekers may apply for asylum only after entering the UK.  Asylum applicants who meet the application criteria receive refugee status.  Applicants who do not receive refugee status may still be granted leave to remain in the UK for humanitarian or other reasons if there is a real risk that they would suffer serious harm after returning to their country of origin.  The nature of this harm is not specified in the UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.[24]  Refugee status and humanitarian protection provide the individual with permission to reside in the UK for an initial period of five years, with the right to work and access welfare benefits.[25]  Lawful residence in the UK for a continuous period of five years generally qualifies an individual to apply for UK citizenship.[26]

If a person does not qualify for refugee status or humanitarian protection but removal would breach the UK’s human rights obligations, a situation that typically arises when a person has strong private and family ties to the UK, he/she may be granted temporary permission to remain in the UK.  This leave will typically be subject to conditions.[27]

The UK offers very limited refugee resettlement programs whereby selected refugees are able to come and settle in the UK without having to go through the asylum process described above.  Currently, there is a program for vulnerable Syrian refugees (see Part XII, below).[28]

Biometric information must be provided upon entry to the UK, and since April 2015 the UK has also been applying a system of exit checks, whereby travel data is recorded from people leaving the UK and reconciled against other immigration databases.  Applicants for asylum are fingerprinted and their information checked against databases to help prevent those with a known criminal background from entering the UK.[29]  The data are also cross-referenced against the Immigration Asylum Fingerprint system to ensure there are no duplicate applications.  In addition, the fingerprints are checked against the Eurodac database to ascertain whether the applicants have an outstanding application with another member state of the European Union.[30]  These procedures also help identify fraudulent visa applications.[31]

A.  Statutory Regime

The policy surrounding, and law governing, immigration and asylum is highly complex.  The government attempts to balance the needs of those seeking genuine protection and prevent the entrance of those wishing to come to the UK for undesirable purposes.  The statutory regime governing immigration and asylum in the UK is primarily contained in the Immigration Act 1971[32] and the Immigration Rules.[33]  The 1971 Act makes it an offense for aliens to enter the UK without obtaining leave to enter.[34]  Officials have authority to attach conditions to such leave, and failing to observe these conditions is also a prosecutable offense.[35]

The UK’s national laws are subject to the European Convention on Human Rights[36] and the UN Refugee Convention.[37]  Unlike the Human Rights Convention, the Refugee Convention has not been directly incorporated into UK domestic law, but its provisions influence the formulation of immigration rules, and practices contrary to the Convention are not permitted.[38] 

B.  Process Taken to Determine Whether to Grant an Asylum Application

Decisions for asylum and humanitarian protection claims are considered on an individual, objective, and impartial basis.[39]  Immigration officers take no part in determining asylum applications but pass them on to UK Visas and Immigration, which makes a decision on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.[40]  Personnel examining applications for asylum act on behalf of the Secretary of State and must have knowledge of the “relevant standards applicable in the field of asylum and refugee law.”[41]  The Asylum Policy Instructions issued by the Secretary of State provide guidance to caseworkers making decisions as to whether to grant or deny a claim of asylum.[42]

The determining factor for receiving asylum is whether the individual meets the criteria contained in article 1 of the Refugee Convention and Protocol.  This article defines a refugee as a person who,

owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.[43]

The UK further implements a number of additional criteria when determining whether to grant refugee status.  The Secretary of State grants an application for asylum if he/she is satisfied that:

(i) [the asylum seeker] is in the United Kingdom or has arrived at a port of entry in the United Kingdom;

(ii) he is a refugee, as defined in regulation 2 of The Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006;

(iii) there are no reasonable grounds for regarding him as a danger to the security of the United Kingdom;

(iv) having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, he does not constitute danger to the community of the United Kingdom; and

(v) refusing his application would result in him being required to go (whether immediately or after the time limited by any existing leave to enter or remain) in breach of the Geneva Convention, to a country in which his life or freedom would threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.[44]

If the individual meets the criteria, the UK will grant asylum to the applicant.[45]  If the application does not meet any of the above criteria it will be refused.  The decision on his/her application is provided in writing and includes the reasons for the application’s rejection and details on how to challenge the decision.[46]  A person who has been notified that he/she has been refused asylum may be liable to removal as an illegal entrant, removal under the powers provided for in section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, or deportation.[47] 

An individual’s refugee status may be subsequently revoked if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the provisions of the Refugee Convention cease to apply because

(i) [the refugee] has voluntarily re-availed himself of the protection of the country of nationality;

(ii) having lost his nationality, he has voluntarily re-acquired it;

(iii) he has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality;

(iv) he has voluntarily re-established himself in the country which he left or outside which he remained owing to a fear of persecution;

(v) he can no longer, because the circumstances in connection with which he has been recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist, continue to refuse to avail himself of the protection of the country of nationality; or

(vi) being a stateless person with no nationality, he is able, because the circumstances in connection with which he has been recognised a refugee have ceased to exist, to return to the country of former habitual residence.[48]

C.  Substantiating a Claim for Asylum

When considering any asylum, humanitarian protection, or human rights claim, all material factors to substantiate the claim, including a statement of the reason for the claim and any documentation relating to identity, nationality, and other countries the individual has resided in must be submitted to the Secretary of State.[49]  For asylum applications, no information can be disclosed, nor obtained, from the alleged persecutor, that would “jeopardise the physical integrity of the applicant and his dependents, or the liberty and security of his family members still living in the country of origin.”[50]  Caseworkers reviewing an asylum application on behalf of the Secretary of State consider a number of factors to determine whether the applicant has been, or may be, subject to persecution or serious harm, including

  • the facts relating to the country of origin, including its laws and regulations;
  • statements and documents from the applicant;
  • the applicant’s position, background, and personal circumstances;
  • whether the applicant’s activities since leaving the country of origin were undertaken for the purposes of creating an asylum or humanitarian protection claim; and
  • whether the applicant should have reasonably been able to obtain protection in another country or other state of citizenship.[51]

In cases where the applicant’s statements are not supported by documentary or other evidence, proof of these facts will not be necessary if the person has made a genuine effort to substantiate his/her claim and a satisfactory explanation regarding the lack of materials has been made, the claimant’s statements are coherent and plausible and do not contradict information relevant the person’s case, the claim was made at the earliest possible time, and the claimant has been able to establish his/her general credibility.[52] 

An application for asylum is rejected if the claim has not been adequately substantiated, or if the applicant has not established him/herself as eligible for asylum or humanitarian protection.  The applicant’s claim may also be rejected if he/she fails to disclose facts that are material to the case or otherwise assist the Secretary of State in establishing the facts of the case.[53]  Failing to report to a designated place to be fingerprinted or to complete a questionnaire, or failing to comply with a condition to report to an immigration officer for examination, are all grounds for the Secretary of State to reject an asylum application.  If the applicant leaves the UK without proper authorization at any time during the application process or fails to complete any steps of the process, the application is considered as withdrawn.[54]

Any individual that has a pending asylum application may not be subject to action to remove the applicant or his or her dependents from the UK.[55]  Decisions on asylum applications are provided for in writing[56] and must be made as soon as possible.  If the decision cannot be made within six months of the date of application, the Secretary of State must inform the applicant of the delay.  In cases where the applicant has requested in writing information regarding when the decision should be expected, the Secretary of State must provide this information.[57]

D.  Humanitarian Leave

In cases where the asylum applicant is not eligible for asylum, he/she may be entitled to stay in the UK on humanitarian grounds if he/she is in the UK, or has arrived at a port of entry in the UK, and does not qualify as a refugee under regulation 2 of the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006.[58]  The key criterion to a grant of humanitarian leave is the existence of substantial grounds for believing that if the applicant returned to the country of origin he/she would face a “real risk of suffering serious harm” and the applicant is therefore unable to return to that country.”[59] He/she must also not fall within a category of persons who are to be excluded from humanitarian protection.[60]   When a claim for humanitarian protection is presented, the Secretary of State considers the individual’s statements that detail his or her reasons for making the claim; documentation of his/her identity, nationality, countries of previous residence, travel history, etc.; and fact sheets relating to the country of origin or return that may verify the applicant’s statements.[61]

E.  Individuals Prohibited from Obtaining Refugee Status

As noted above, the UK must balance the needs of people in genuine need of asylum against those that wish to enter the UK for undesirable purposes.  These “undesirable purposes” are rather broad and individuals may be refused entry into the UK if the Secretary of State personally directs that “the exclusion of that person from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good”,[62] or the Immigration Officer has information that it

seems right to refuse leave to enter on the ground that exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good; if, for example, in the light of the character, conduct or associations of the person seeking leave to enter it is undesirable to give him leave to enter.[63]

The Secretary of State may exclude individuals from the protection of the Refugee Convention if they should be excluded in accordance with regulation 7 of the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006.[64]  The burden of proof is on the Secretary of State to show that the applicant falls within the criteria of regulation 7.

F.  Restricted Leave

There are some instances where asylum applicants are not eligible for refugee, humanitarian, discretionary, or other protected status in the UK in accordance with article 1F of the Convention, but may not be returned to their home country as it would breach the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.[65]  In these instances, the individual may obtain restricted leave to remain.[66]  This leave is typically granted in cases where there are serious reasons to consider that the asylum seeker has

committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, serious non-political crimes outside the country or refuge or acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, or [is] a danger to national security or [is] otherwise non-conducive to the public good.[67]

The above criteria includes those who espouse extremist views.  The rationale behind restricted leave is to preserve the public interest, protect the public, and at the same time uphold the rule of law.[68]

Cases where restricted leave are granted are regularly reviewed with the intention of removing the individual from the UK at the earliest available opportunity.  Government policy provides that only in exceptional circumstances will individuals in the UK on restricted leave become eligible for settlement or citizenship, and that it anticipates such circumstances will be rare.[69]  Typically, restricted leave is granted for a maximum period of six months, which may be less if it appears likely that the individual will be removed prior to this date, or the risk the individual poses dictates that the period should be reviewed more frequently.[70]  It is the individual’s responsibility to apply for additional leave to remain; however, the case must also be reviewed by the authorities to assess whether the individual can be lawfully removed to his or her home country.[71]  If it is determined that removal is permitted, the individual has a right of appeal and, once any appeals have been exhausted, the individual will be removed from the UK.[72]  Individuals that are subject to restricted leave are not allowed recourse to public funds unless they are destitute, and the burden of proof is on the individual to prove this fact.[73]

There are a number of conditions that may be imposed on individuals who are in the UK on restricted leave.  It is presumed that such individuals will have a condition attached to their leave that requires them to regularly report to the Secretary of State.[74]  Individuals on restricted leave may have restrictions imposed on any employment.  Specifically, there could be a requirement to notify the Secretary of State of any employment or volunteer roles, a prohibition on engaging in certain occupations or professions, or a complete ban on employment.[75]  Guidance notes that a complete ban on employment should only be used in exceptional cases where the individual poses a high risk to the public and requires such cases to be referred to the local police to be handled under the regime for potentially dangerous people.[76]  Restrictions on employment are noted in the immigration status document or biometric residence permit, which will include a remark that notes the individual’s immigration status.[77]  Guidance also notes that individuals on restricted leave should generally be restricted from receiving education, either online or in person.[78]

Residence restrictions may also be imposed on the individual, and may subject the applicant to conditions such as not spending more than three consecutive nights away from the address without prior written consent of the Secretary of State or not spending more than ten nights away from the address in any six-month period.[79]  Any conditions should be specified and explained in the notice attached to the leave to enter.[80] 

Each case of restricted leave is considered on its facts.  Issues considered in determining where to accommodate the individual include whether there is a significant community from the applicant’s country of origin, as the government does not want to cause either risk to the individual from that community or risk to the community from the individual.[81]  If it is suspected that the person is not complying with the conditions, the Immigration, Compliance and Engagement Team may commission an investigation.[82] 

All cases that involve exclusion and restricted leave are handled by the Special Cases Unit.[83]

G.  Revoking Refugee Status

The Secretary of State may revoke a person’s refugee status if the individual has misrepresented or omitted facts, or used false documents, which were decisive in the grant of refugee status.  If information becomes available after asylum is granted that there are reasonable grounds that the individual is a danger to the security of the UK, or the community if they have been convicted of a serious crime, refugee or humanitarian protection status can be cancelled or revoked in accordance with article 1F of the Convention.[84]  Leave to enter or remain should typically be refused if it is undesirable to allow the person to remain in the UK due to his or her conduct, character, or associations, or because the person represents a threat to the national security of the UK.[85]  Individuals who are refused asylum because of the above grounds are prioritized for enforcement action and removal.[86] 

When the Secretary of State uses these provisions to revoke a person’s refugee status the person in question must be notified in writing that his or her qualification for refugee status is being reconsidered along with the reasons for the reconsideration.  The person has the opportunity to submit either a written statement or undergo an in-person interview stating why his or her refugee status should not be revoked.[87]

Back to Top

IV.  Accommodation and Benefits for Asylum Seekers

In an attempt to remove the perception that the United Kingdom is a “soft touch” for asylum seekers and the public perception that asylum seekers are taking away money from benefits that citizens of Britain are entitled to, the early 2000s saw the government introduce a number of controversial new laws.  These laws provide that asylum seekers are not permitted to work, allow for administrative detention, limit the benefits provided, and enable benefits to be withdrawn if it is believed the applicant did not make a claim for asylum within a reasonably practicable time.[88]  Asylum seekers from countries that are deemed “safe” and those whose claims are “clearly unfounded” are detained and can be removed from the UK while they appeal the decision to deny them asylum.[89]   

In all cases where children are involved, section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the Home Office to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK when it discharges its functions.[90]

Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides that the Home Office has a duty to provide support to asylum seekers.[91]  Section 116 of this Act provides that it is the responsibility of the Home Office to provide accommodation and support to asylum seekers[92] who would otherwise be destitute.[93]  Registered social landlords are not required to provide housing to the Home Office; however, local authorities may be compelled by the Home Office to provide accommodation.[94]  Support is provided to asylum seekers through furnished accommodation including utilities, a weekly cash allowance to cover essential living needs, and free access to healthcare and schooling.[95] 

Asylum seekers do not have a choice as to where they will be accommodated while they are waiting for a decision, and they are generally accommodated outside of London and the southeast in accordance with a “dispersal policy.”[96]  Section 97 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 provides that caseworkers should provide accommodation to asylum seekers in areas where there is a ready supply.[97]  When deciding where to accommodate asylum seekers, caseworkers are required to give regard to a number of factors, including the applicants’ ethnic group, family ties, and religion.[98]  Having family in a certain area of the UK does not guarantee that the applicant will be accommodated in that area.  Guidance provides that “[t]he person’s individual circumstances and the nature of the relationship with that relative or friend should always be carefully taken into account.  But in the absence of exceptional circumstances, dispersal will generally be appropriate.”[99] 

The government has reported that as of March 2015 approximately 20,400 asylum seekers awaiting a final determination were being provided with support under section 95 of the Asylum Act.  In the calendar year 2014–15 the cost of this support was estimated at £100 million (approximately US$165 million).[100]  Support is also being provided to failed asylum seekers in accordance with section 94(5) of the Asylum Act, which provides that support should continue if the failed asylum seeker has dependent children with him or her.  As of March 31, 2015, this provision covered 2,900 families (approximately 10,100 people), costing an estimated £45 million (approximately US$75 million) for the year 2014–15.[101] 

The government is able to recover payments provided to asylum seekers if it later becomes apparent that the asylum seeker receiving support has assets of any kind in the UK or overseas that are capable of being used.[102]  These monies may also be recovered from deductions taken from any continued asylum support payments.[103]

Asylum support will not be provided if the individual did not submit an application for asylum as soon as reasonably practicable after they arrived in the UK.[104]  Support may be suspended or stopped if an asylum seeker, or the asylum seeker’s dependent, breaches certain criteria, such as committing an offense, abandoning the address of accommodation, failing to comply with requests for information regarding the asylum claim, or failing to comply with a requirement to report or with a condition of the application.[105]  If support is discontinued, the asylum seeker has a right of appeal to the Tribunal Service.[106]

Back to Top

V.  Support for Failed Asylum Seekers

Failed asylum seekers who are taking all reasonable steps to leave the UK but are unable to do so for reasons beyond their control may also continue to receive support under section 4 of the Immigration Act 1999 if they will otherwise become destitute within a fourteen-day period.[107]  This support is known as section 4 support[108] and, as of March 31, 2015, approximately 4,900 failed asylum seekers were receiving support under this section at an estimated cost of £28 million (approximately US$45 million).[109]    

The government has noted that the large amounts of money spent supporting failed asylum seekers “is wrong in principle and sends entirely the wrong message to those migrants who do not require our protection but who may seek to exploit the system.  It also undermines public confidence in our asylum system.”[110]  It is seeking to reform the system of support for failed asylum seekers and has introduced an immigration bill that would repeal the requirement to provide support to failed asylum seekers, with certain exceptions.[111]

Back to Top

VI.  Appeals Against the Refusal to Grant Asylum

Appeals against the refusal to grant asylum are processed by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.  The Tribunals Service (Immigration and Asylum Chambers) hears asylum and immigration appeals, operating a two-tier system, with a first-tier and then an upper tribunal.  Additional appeals from this tribunal are permitted and heard by the Court of Appeal.[112]  The First-tier Tribunal’s Asylum Support Chamber is responsible for hearing appeals against decisions that refuse, terminate, or withdraw accommodation or financial support to an asylum seeker.[113] 

A.  Appeals Process

A significant issue faced by the UK in processing asylum cases has been not only the sheer number of cases seen each year, but the appeals process that subsequently followed many first decisions.  Asylum seekers’ rights of appeal have been significantly reduced since the early 2000s, most recently by a series of measures contained in the Immigration Act 2014.[114]  Many application categories have removed the right of appeal in cases of decisions by UK Visas and Immigration that refuse their asylum application.  Instead, for some categories, the refused applicant may have the refusal “reconsidered” or subject to an administrative review, which are more limited in both scope and focus than court appeals.[115]  There are limited time frames in which any appeals or administrative reviews may be requested.

Fifty-nine percent of all applications for asylum are refused at the initial decision.[116]  Around three-quarters of those refused applicants appeal the decision, and around one-quarter of these appeals are allowed.[117]

B.  Special Immigration Appeals Commission

Cases that involve sensitive information, such as those taken on national security or public interest grounds, are heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC),[118] which was established in 1997.[119]  It is a superior court of record and currently hears appeals against decisions made by the Home Office to “deport, or exclude, someone from the UK on national security grounds, or for other public interest reasons,” and “appeals against decisions to deprive persons of citizenship status.”[120]  As the SIAC is not a court of law, it considers “evidence in documentary, or any other form, and evidence that would not be admissible in a court of law,”[121] and it may rely upon witnesses that the appellant cannot cross examine and “sources of all kinds.”[122]

One part of the procedure of the SIAC that has been criticized are the closed sessions that it conducts if the evidence before it is considered to be sensitive, such as certain types of intelligence materials where the disclosure could damage the public interest.  In these cases, the appellant and his or her lawyer may not sit in the session.  The government inserted a safeguard to ensure that appellants receive adequate representation during these closed hearings by having their interests represented by a Special Advocate, a lawyer with special security clearances.[123]  Nonetheless, the result of these closed hearings is that individuals can be deported if they are considered to be a risk to national security, which can be determined according to evidence heard in a closed hearing alone.  

The standard of proof used by the SIAC in arriving at its decisions is the civil standard of the “balance of probabilities.”  From the open judgments and evidence available, the conclusions drawn by the SIAC indicate that it relies upon the totality of evidence, and considers the cumulative effect of evidence against a person when making a decision as to whether they are a threat to the national security of the UK.  Thus, it appears that it does not require a high standard of evidence of concrete acts to show that an individual presents a danger; the SIAC looks at the total evidence against the person, including, but not limited to, associations with and membership in terrorist organizations, to determine whether an individual is a threat to national security.[124]

Back to Top

VII.  Removal

Individuals who are not lawfully present in the UK may be removed and could be subject to a ban on re-entry for a period of up to ten years.[125]  The statutory regime for deportation from the UK is contained in the Immigration Act 1971.  This Act provides that a person can be deported from the UK by a deportation order if he or she is not a British citizen, and

  • the Secretary of State has deemed that the person’s deportation is conducive to the public good;
  • the person is the spouse, civil partner, or child under eighteen of someone ordered to be deported; or
  • the court has recommended deportation in the case of a person over the age of seventeen convicted of an offense punishable with imprisonment.[126]

More recent legislation has defined the phrase “conducive to the public good” to include instances where the person has been convicted of a “serious offense”[127] (notably terrorist offenses), or a cumulative number of minor offenses in which the court did not recommend deportation, or where the person obtained indefinite leave to remain by deception.  The deportation order is revocable by a further order from the Secretary of State, or if the person becomes a British citizen.[128]

Persons awaiting deportation can be detained but have a right to bail unless there is a substantial likelihood, on the balance of probabilities, that the individual 

  • will commit an offense punishable with imprisonment,
  • will be a serious threat to the maintenance of public order, or
  • has knowingly entered the United Kingdom with others in breach of immigration law.[129]

An individual in the circumstances above may also be detained if

  • directions are in force for his or her removal from the United Kingdom,
  • it is in the interest of national security,
  • it is conducive to the public good, or 
  • another person to whose family he or she belongs is or has been ordered to be deported.[130]

When an order for deportation is made against an individual for reasons of national security or because it is conducive to the public good,a statement of the reasons for the decision should be made.[131]

If all applications for asylum are refused and the individual has exhausted all rights of appeal the asylum seeker must leave the UK.  If he or she does not do so voluntarily, the Home Office will arrange for the individual to be removed.[132]   The Border Force is responsible for removing individuals from the UK who are not lawfully present there.[133]  When a decision has been made to deport a person from the United Kingdom, notice is given to that person, and the Secretary of State may authorize the person’s detention or issue an order restricting his/her residence, employment, or occupation, and may also impose additional requirements for reporting to the police.[134] 

Other than in certain limited circumstances, the government  bears the costs for the removal of individuals subject to deportation orders.  The person subject to the deportation order is informed of the flight details, but no reference is included in the case working instructions as to the times of the flights to which individuals may be assigned.[135]

Deportees are typically sent to their country of citizenship or to a country where they are a national; in certain circumstances, however, they may be deported to a third country, provided their entrance is acceptable there.[136]

An individual with a pending asylum application and his/her dependents are not subject to removal from the UK.[137] 

Back to Top

VIII.  Deportation on National Security Grounds

As noted above, an individual can be deported from the UK for reasons of national security.  The term “national security” has not been defined in legislation in the UK, and case law indicates that no judicial definition has been provided, “even in those cases where the Courts have considered the extent of their powers to review executive decisions of that kind.”[138]  Indeed, the case law shows that great deference has been given to the executive to determine what is in the interest of national security, as the judiciary considers that the executive is in a better position to assess the threat posed to the national security of the country.[139]

The British government uses this tool of deportation as part of its counterterrorism strategy.  Prosecution is the UK’s preferred approach to addressing suspected terrorists, but it considers that deportation on national security grounds is another means of disrupting terrorist activity.[140]  MI5 has specified that

[w]here the person concerned is a foreign national, and is a threat to the UK, deportation will usually be an appropriate means of disrupting terrorist activity.  This is important in terms of ensuring public safety, as well as sending a strong signal that foreign nationals who threaten our national security cannot expect to be allowed to remain in the UK.  Those who are outside the UK will normally be excluded.[141]

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 provided a number of additional measures that made it easier for the government to deport individuals for reasons of national security.[142]  It limited the grounds of appeal in cases of national security to those solely based on human rights concerns.[143] 

Back to Top

IX.  Path to Naturalization

Individuals lawfully present in the UK for specified periods of time, including those granted refugee status, may be eligible for naturalization if they meet additional criteria.  Legislation regarding citizenship is contained primarily in the British Nationality Act 1981, as amended.[144]  Refugees may be able to obtain British citizenship through naturalization.[145]  Citizenship is not granted automatically to individuals who have legally resided in the United Kingdom for any period of time, nor is it granted automatically to individuals who marry British citizens or babies born in the UK.  Such individuals must meet specific criteria contained within the British Nationality Act 1981 and apply for citizenship.

A.  Naturalization and Residence

Citizenship through naturalization is not an entitlement or right.  Certain legal requirements must be met and the Home Secretary must “see fit” to grant citizenship.[146]  These requirements include the ability to communicate in English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic; being of sound mind; and having a good character.[147]

B.  Family Reunification

Individuals who obtain permanent leave to remain or citizenship are entitled to bring their immediate family members, defined as their spouse and any children under the age of eighteen.[148]  Parents and grandparents of settled persons or citizens are permitted to join their children or grandchildren in the United Kingdom but only if they are over the age of sixty-five and have no other relatives to support them in their home country.[149]  Other close relatives, such as aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters may be eligible “if living alone outside the United Kingdom in the most exceptional compassionate circumstance.”[150]  There are financial requirements that the British citizen or UK resident must meet in order to ensure their family migrant does not require recourse to public funds.  These financial requirements were challenged in the courts, but were upheld by the Court of Appeal.[151] 

Back to Top

X.  Immigration Detention

A controversial aspect of the UK’s asylum policy has been that of detaining immigrants.[152]  Home Office officials have the authority to detain asylum seekers and other migrants who enter the UK without proper authorization.  This detention is for administrative purposes and generally used to establish the applicant’s identity, determine the basis of their claim, and ensure that an individual can be removed from the UK, or where there are any reasons to cause officials to believe that the individual will not comply with any conditions attached to a grant of leave to enter.  There is no maximum time period for which individuals may be detained, nor is there any automatic judicial oversight of detention decisions.  Home Office policy states that detention should not be used routinely and, when used, should be for the shortest period necessary.[153] 

There are ten detention centers (known as immigration removal centers) across the UK.[154]  There are other forms of secure accommodation that are used for families prior to their removal from the UK, as well as other residential and nonresidential short-term holding facilities.[155]  The rules that the detention centers operate under are provided for in the Detention Centre Rules 2001.  These rules detail the admission and discharge of detained individuals, as well as basic welfare and privileges that detained individuals may have within the centers, including access to healthcare and education, access to individuals in these centers by visitors, and restrictions on the use of alcohol.[156]

Detention centers are frequently used, but primarily to house male immigrants.  For a one-year period from June 2014–June 2015 there were a total of 32,053 individuals detained in these centers.  The total cost for asylum detention in the 2013/14 people was £164.4 million (approximately US$270 million).  Inappropriate use of immigration detention has cost the government additional sums as a result of compensation to individuals that have been unlawfully detained.  In the period 2013–14 these compensation payments amounted to a total of £4.8 million (approximately US$8 million).[157]

Back to Top

XI.  Oversight

There are a number of different facets to ensure that asylum laws and policy are properly implemented.  The Home Secretary and her Ministers are responsible for the work of the Home Office’s immigration directorates.  The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration keeps under review the effectiveness and efficiency of the border and immigration functions.  Immigration removal centers and short-term holding facilities are overseen by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Boards.[158]

Members of Parliament may also hear complaints from constituents about poor services or other issues by the immigration directorates and either bring them before Parliament or refer them to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman for investigation.  The Ombudsman will only hear complaints from Members of Parliament, and requires the individual to attempt to resolve any issues with the appropriate organization directly before it will take any action.[159]

Back to Top

XII.  Adjustments to Process Due to Syrian Refugee Crisis

The Syrian crisis has resulted in millions of refugees, most of whom have sought asylum in countries neighboring its region.  The response of the UK government to the refugee crisis has been largely criticized as inadequate.[160]  While the UK accepted asylum applications from Syrian refugees until January 29, 2014, when the UK established the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Program, it did not participate in any resettlement programs and the policy was to provide humanitarian aid to Syria’s neighbors rather than accept recognized Syrian refugees for resettlement in the UK.[161]  At the end of 2015 the UK was the second largest bilateral donor, committing £1.1 billion (approximately US$1.85 billion) in aid to help refugees in Syria and the region.[162]   

As the crisis continued to develop and worsen, the government created the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Refugee Scheme to allow selected Syrian refugees to come to the UK.  Reports from December 2015 state that the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Refugee Scheme has resettled 252 Syrian nationals in the UK.[163]  The government aimed to resettle 1,000 Syrians under this program by the end of 2015,[164] but figures are not yet available to show whether this target was met.  The program targets vulnerable Syrians, prioritizing victims of sexual violence and torture, the elderly, and the disabled.[165]  The program was criticized for the limited number of people that it helped and on September 7, 2015, the Prime Minister announced that the program would be extended and up to 20,000 refugees would be resettled in the UK over the next five years.  This program does not include refugees who are already in Europe, and the UK does not intend to participate in refugee relocation programs that are under development by the European Union.  Its aim is to take the most vulnerable refugees directly from the region of Syria and the government is working on the logistics of doing so with local authorities and the voluntary sector.[166]  The resettled refugees will be provided with five years of humanitarian protection status and allowed to work as well as access public funds.[167]  The criteria under the program will be expanded to include children, particularly orphaned children if the UNHCR recommends their resettlement.[168]  Given the vast increase in costs, the international aid budget will fund the first year of resettlement to “ease pressure on local authorities.”[169]   The program selects cases from the UNHCR’s case of registered refugees that are living in host communities in the region.  During registration with the UNHCR the refugees may indicate that they are interested in resettlement under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Refugee Scheme (VPR).  The UNHCR identifies cases that are suitable for resettlement in the UK and refers them to the Home Office.  The Home Office then conducts checks on the eligibility of the individual and seeks to match them with a place with a local authority.[170]

While the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Refugee Scheme has created a new method of entry for recognized Syrian refugees, Syrian nationals who arrive in the UK outside of this program may still claim asylum upon arrival. 

Syrian nationals were the fourth largest group claiming asylum in the UK in 2015, with 2,204 applicants.  The UK granted 5,457 Syrian nationals asylum at the first point of their applicant process between January 2012 and September 2015, and in 2015 87% of initial asylum decisions in Syrian cases granted permission for the applicant to remain in the UK.[171] 

Back to Top

Asylum Process in the United Kingdom - Chart

Asylum Process in the United Kingdom - Chart

Back to Top

Prepared by Clare Feikert-Ahalt
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
March 2016


[1] “Nationality” refers to the status of those individuals who are British citizens, British subjects with the right of abode in the United Kingdom and thus outside the scope of the United Kingdom’s immigration control, and citizens of British Overseas Territories.  In this report, the term “citizenship” is used to include nationality.  These terms are commonly interchanged.  Nationality has been defined as a person’s international identity that demonstrates they belong to a state, as evidenced by a passport.  Citizenship has been considered to be more “a matter of law determined by the facts of a person’s date and place of birth, those of their parents and the application of the provisions of the relevant legislation,” and is concerned with the rights, duties, and opportunities that a person has within a state, such as voting rights, military service, and access to healthcare.  Laurie Fransman, Fransman’s British Nationality Law 12 (2d ed. 1998).

[2] Musgrove v. Chun Teeong Toy, [1891] A.C. 272, followed in Schmidt v. Home Office, [1969] 2 Ch. 149.

[3] Aliens Restriction Act 1914, 4 & 5 Geo. 5, c. 12.  

[4] Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919, c. 92, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1919/92/pdfs/ukpga_ 19190092_en.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/4G8L-2SXH

[5] Aliens Order (1920) Stat R. & O. 448, as amended.

[8] Immigration Act, 1971, c. 77, § 3(2).

[9] The European Economic Area consists of the Members of the European Union plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

[10] Immigration Act, 1971, c. 77, § 3; Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 7.

[11] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Asylum Statistics, SN014003, Dec. 15, 2015, at 6, http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01403/SN01403.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/7SRJ-2C8L.

[12] See, e.g.,Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, c. 11, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/11, archived at https://perma.cc/5879-RQ7R; Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, 2002, c. 41, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/41, archived at https://perma.cc/PQ3W-8JJ3; Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, c. 19.

[13] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Asylum Statistics, supra note 11,at 6.

[14] Id.

[15] Id. ¶ 2.4.

[16] Id. ¶ 2.2.

[17] Id. table 3.

[18] Id. ¶ 2.5.

[19] Id.

[21] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Asylum Statistics, supra note 11, at 4.

[22] Id. at 4.

[23] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, SN03186, May 13, 2015, at 6, http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN03186/SN03186.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/E9DJ-BN8P

[24] Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, July 28, 1951, 19 U.S.T. 6259, 189 U.N.T.S. 137 (Refugees Convention) & Jan. 31, 1967, 19 U.S.T. 6223, 606 U.N.T.S. 267 (Protocol), http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html, archived at http://perma.cc/V86S-GU6S; Home Office, Asylum Policy Instructions, Version 9.0, Jan. 6, 2015, ¶ 6.2, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/397778/ASSESSING_CREDIBILITY_AND_REFUGEE_STATUS_V9_0.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/9BPM-Q8JU

[25] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 6.

[26] British Nationality Act 1981, c. 61, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61, archived at https://perma.cc/AZU6-Y6SS.

[27] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 6.

[28] Id. at 7.

[29] Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993, c. 23, § 3, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1993/23/section/3, archived at https://perma.cc/SA4S-49D2

[30] House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, The Work of the UK Border Agency: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of Session 2009–10, 2009-10, HC 320, at 2, available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmhaff/370/370.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/Y9D9-VTJ7.

[31] Id.

[32] Immigration Act 1971, c. 77.

[33] Immigration Rules, supra note 7.

[34] Immigration Act 1971, c. 77, § 24.

[35] Id. § 24(1)(ii)(b).

[36] European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Nov. 4, 1950, 213 U.N.T.S. 222, http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/TE86-JJDK.  The European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into the national legislation of the United Kingdom by the Human Rights Act 1998, c. 42, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42, archived at https://perma.cc/6N4J-4EWK.

[37] Refugees Convention, supra note 24.

[38] Id.; Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993, c. 23, § 2, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1993/23, archived at https://perma.cc/6N4J-4EWK.

[39] Immigration Rules, supra note 7,¶ 339J.

[40] Farid Raymond Anthony, Questions and Answers on Immigration to Britain (2013), Q.264.

[41] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 339HA.

[42] Home Office, Asylum Policy Instructions, supra note 24.

[43] Refugees Convention, supra note 24, art. 1. E NUMBER}.

[44] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 334.

[45] Id. ¶ 328.

[46] Id. ¶ 336.

[47] Id. ¶ 338.

[48] Id. ¶¶ 339A, 339B.

[49] Id. ¶ 339I.

[50] Id. ¶ 339IA.

[51] Id. ¶ 339J.

[52] Id. ¶ 339L.

[53] Home Office, Asylum Policy Instructions, supra note 24, at 39. 

[54] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 333C.

[55] Id. ¶ 329.

[56] Id. ¶ 333.

[57] Id. ¶¶ 333, 333A.

[58] Id. ¶ 339C.

[59] Id. ¶¶ 339C, 339I.  Serious harm in this instance is defined as: “(i) the death penalty or execution;(ii) unlawful killing;(iii) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of a person in the country of return; or(iv) serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict.”  Id. ¶ 339C.

[60] Id. ¶ 339D, which provides that a person will be excluded from humanitarian protection if

the Secretary of State is satisfied that: (i) there are serious reasons for considering that he has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, a crime against humanity, or any other serious crime or instigated or otherwise participated in such crimes;(ii) there are serious reasons for considering that he is guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations or has committed, prepared or instigated such acts or encouraged or induced others to commit, prepare or instigate instigated such acts;(iii) there are serious reasons for considering that he constitutes a danger to the community or to the security of the United Kingdom; or(iv) prior to his admission to the United Kingdom the person committed a crime outside the scope of (i) and (ii) that would be punishable by imprisonment were it committed in the United Kingdom and the person left his country of origin solely in order to avoid sanctions resulting from the crime.

[61] Id. ¶ 339I.

[62] Id. ¶¶ 320(6), 321A(4).

[63] Id. ¶ 320(19).

[64] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 339AA.

[65] Asylum Instruction Exclusion: Article 1F of the Refugee Convention ¶ 2.1, https://www.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257429/exclusion.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/S6S4-YWDX

[67] Asylum Instruction Exclusion, supra note 65, ¶ 2.1. 

[68] Home Office, Asylum Policy Instruction Restricted Leave, supra note 66,¶ 1.3.1.

[69] Id. ¶ 1.2.5. 

[70] Id. ¶ 4.1.2. 

[71] Id. ¶ 4.10.1. 

[72] Id. ¶ 4.10.2. 

[73] Id. ¶ 4.3.1.  The following document provides the criteria that the Home Office uses to assess whether an individual is destitute:  Home Office, Assessing Destitution, 2014, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/326774/Assessing_Destitution_Instruction.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/2MUZ-F2LJ

[74] Id. ¶ 4.6.1. 

[75] Home Office, Asylum Policy Instruction Restricted Leave, supra note 66, ¶ 4.4.1.

[76] Id.

[77] Id

[78] Id. ¶ 4.7. 

[79] Id. ¶ 4.5.5.

[80] Id. ¶ 4.5.5.

[81] Id. ¶ 4.5.6. 

[82] Id. ¶ 4.5.13. 

[83] Id. ¶ 4.1.1. 

[84] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶¶ 339A, 339G.

[85] Id. ¶ 322(5).

[86] Home Office, Asylum Policy Instruction Restricted Leave, supra note 66, ¶ 3.1.2. 

[87] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 339BA.

[88] Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, 2002, c. 41, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/41, archived at https://perma.cc/PQ3W-8JJ3; Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, c. 19.

[90] Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, c. 11, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/11, archived at https://perma.cc/5879-RQ7R

[91] Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, c. 33, § 95, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1999/33, archived at https://perma.cc/ZPF5-XP2G.

[92] Id.§ 116 (amending section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948, 11 & 12 Geo. 6, c. 29, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/11-12/29, archived at https://perma.cc/YAC4-FQUH

[93] Home Office, Duty to Offer Support, Family Unity, Vulnerable Persons, Withdrawing Support, Policy Bulletin 83, ¶ 1.3, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/326157/pb83.pdf (last updated July 2014), archived at https://perma.cc/DRT7-KLF3.

[94] Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, c. 33 §§ 100–101.

[95] Home Office, Reforming Support for Failed Asylum Seekers and Other Illegal Migrants: Response to Consultation, Nov. 2015, ¶ 1.1, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/473284/Response_to_Consultation.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/TY48-EHN2

[96] Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, c. 33 § 97; House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, ‘Asylum Support’: Accommodation and Financial Support for Asylum Seekers, No. 1909, Oct. 14, 2015, at 4, http://research briefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01909/SN01909.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/5MA5-3XVN

[97] UK Visas and Immigration, Dispersal – Accommodation Requests Policy, v.2.0, ¶ 1.1, https://www.gov.uk/ government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/425305/Accommodation_Requests_PUBLIC_v2.0.pdf (last updated Apr. 30, 2015), archived at https://perma.cc/6EYH-UP78

[98] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, ‘Asylum Support’: Accommodation and Financial Support for Asylum Seekers, supra note 96, ¶ 2.1. 

[99] Id. ¶ 2.4. 

[100] Id. ¶ 1.1.

[101] Id. ¶ 1.2.

[102] Asylum Support Regulations 2000, SI 2000/704, ¶ 17, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/704/regulation/ 17/made, archived at https://perma.cc/E22F-GPX6.

[103] Id. ¶ 18.

[104] Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, c. 41, § 55.

[105] Asylum Support Regulations 2000, supra note 102, ¶ 20. 

[106] Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, c. 33, § 103(2).

[107] The test for destitution for section 4 applicants is the same as provided in section 95(3) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which provides: “a person is destitute if: a. he does not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not his other essential living needs are met); or b. he has adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it, but cannot meet his other essential living needs.”  Further information on the test used to determine destitution is available at UK Visas & Immigration, Asylum Support, Section 4 Policy and Process, Version 6.0 (last updated Dec. 21, 2015), ¶1.7, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/487381/Asylum_Support_Section_4_Policy_and_Process_PUBLIC_v6.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/DC3T-2WLL, and Asylum Support Regulations 2000, supra note 102, ¶¶ 5–7.

[108] Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005, SI 2005/930, ¶ 3(2), http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/930/made, archived at https://perma.cc/7D8C-DUE8.

[109] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, ‘Asylum Support’: Accommodation and Financial Support for Asylum Seekers, supra note 96, ¶ 1.2.

[110] Home Office, Reforming Support for Failed Asylum Seekers and Other Illegal Migrants: Response to Consultation, supra note 95, ¶ 1.3.

[111] Id. ¶ 1.3. 

[112] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 4.

[113] Id.

[115] Id. at 4; House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 4.

[116] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Asylum Statistics, supra note 11, at ¶ 1.3,  

[117] Id. at 2.

[118] Id. at 5.

[119] Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997, c. 68, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1997/68, archived at https://perma.cc/L3V4-7FHF.

[121] PP v. Sec’y of State for the Home Department, SC/54/2006, ¶ 4 (Nov. 23, 2007), http://www.siac.tribunals. gov.uk/Documents/outcomes/PP.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/A62V-46UZ. This rule is contained in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rule 2003, SI 2003/1034, ¶ 44(2)–(3), http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/1034/made, archived at https://perma.cc/Y2RM-U7RN.

[122] Per Lord Hope, A et al. v. SSHD, 2005 UKHL 71, cited in PP v. Sec’y of State for the Home Department, SC/54/2006, ¶ 4.

[123] Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997, c. 68, § 6, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1997/68 , archived at https://perma.cc/2ASQ-R89Z.  The role of the Special Advocate in these closed sessions is dictated by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003, SI 2003/1034, ¶ 35.

[124] Matthew Lewans, Administrative Law and Judicial Deference 81 (2016).

[125] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 6.

[126] Immigration Act, 1971, c. 77, § 3(5); see also Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 363.

[127] “Serious Crime” is defined as follows by section 72(2) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, 2002, c. 41:

A person shall be presumed to have been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime and to constitute a danger to the community of the United Kingdom if he is – (a) convicted in the United Kingdom of an offence, and (b) sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least two years.”  Section 72(3) provides: “A person shall be presumed to have been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime and to constitute a danger to the community of the United Kingdom if – (a) he is convicted outside the United Kingdom of an offence, (b) he is sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least two years, and (c) he could have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least two years had his conviction been a conviction in the United Kingdom of a similar offence.

Section 72(4) states as follows:

A person shall be presumed to have been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime and to constitute a danger to the community of the United Kingdom if – (a) he is convicted of an offence specified by order of the Secretary of State, or (b) he is convicted outside the United Kingdom of an offence and the Secretary of State certifies that in his opinion the offence is similar to an offence specified by order under paragraph (a).

[128] Immigration Act, 1971, c. 77, § 5.

[129] Id. § 5 & sched. 3; see also Immigration Rules, supra note 7, ¶ 362.

[130] Id. § 3(6).

[131] Id. § 5, sched. 3.

[132] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 7.

[133] Id. at 4.

[134] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, pt. 13 (Deportation). 

[135] UK Visas and Immigration, Enforcement Instructions and Guidance, ch. 47, https://www.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/270022/chapter47.pdf (last updated Nov. 27, 2013), archived at https://perma.cc/7YVQ-HMJQ.

[136] Id.

[137] Id. ¶ 329.

[138] Hilton v. Sec’y of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Information Tribunal (National Security Appeals Panel) ¶ 47, http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/Documents/nsap/hilton.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/D7MB-7HXS.

[139] A et al. v. Sec’y of State for the Home Department, [2004] UKHL 56, ¶ 37.

[140] HM Government, Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdom’s Strategy, 2006, (2005-6) Cm. 6888, ¶ 69, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_ data/file/272320/6888.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/NB5N-TDVE.

[141] Id. ¶ 73. 

[142] Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, c. 13, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/13, archived at https://perma.cc/B3KC-N3MW

[143] Id. § 7. 

[441] British Nationality Act 1981, c. 61, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61.

[145] Id. §§ 3–5.

[147] British Nationality Act 1981, c. 61, sch. 1. 

[148] Immigration Rules, supra note 7, pt. 8. 

[149] Id.

[150] Id. ¶ 317(i)(f). 

[151] MM et al. v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2014] EWCA Civ. 985, http://www.bailii. org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2014/985.html, archived at https://perma.cc/V6DT-Y3SL.    

[152] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Immigration Detention in the UK: An Overview, No. 7294, Sept. 7, 2015, at 3, http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7294/CBP-7294.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/KL2Z-6B77

[153] Id.

[154] Id. at 4. 

[155] Id.

[156] Detention Centre Rules 2001, SI 2001/238, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/238/made, archived at https://perma.cc/5DWU-X94M.

[157] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Immigration Detention in the UK: An Overview, supra note 152, at 6.

[158] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Constituency Casework: Asylum, Immigration and Nationality, supra note 23, at 5.

[159] Id.; Information For MP’s, Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman, http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/information-for-mps (last visited Jan. 13, 2016). 

[160] Refugee Crisis: Call from the Legal Community for Urgent Action, Lawyers Refugee Initiative, http://www.lawyersrefugeeinitiative.org/ (last visited Dec. 28, 2015), archived at https://perma.cc/CQB6-28H3.

[161] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, The Syrian Refugee Crisis, SN06805, Dec. 06, 2015, at 6, http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06805/SN06805.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/G2LJ-BSDG.

[162] Id. at 8.

[163] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Asylum Statistics, supra note 11, at 3.

[164] Oct. 19, 2015, Parl. Deb. (H.C.) (6th ser.) 661.

[165] House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, The Syrian Refugee Crisis, supra note 161,at 3.

[166] Id. at 3.

[167] Id.

[168] Id. at 4.

[169] Id.

[170] Id. at 10.

[171] Id. at 3.