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General informations to asylum seekers(zaniari gishti bo panabaran)



Prior to the introduction of tough new rules to build on the tremendous progress already made in halving the number of asylum seekers entering Britain this year, longstanding and highly expensive family asylum claims will be eligible for leave to remain, Home Secretary David Blunkett announced today.


Up to fifteen thousand families who sought asylum in the UK more than three years ago, the majority of whom are being supported by the taxpayer, will be considered for permission to live and work here. 


The move comes ahead of the final stages of the Government's reforms of the asylum system which will ensure it is not open to delays and abuse in the future.


New measures, also announced today, would end all future support for families who have been refused asylum if they refuse to take up the offer of a voluntary, paid route home.  In addition, we are exploring how we might attach new conditions to Section 4 - hardcase - support to ensure it is only paid to those who agree to comply with the removal process when it becomes possible for them to go home.  These measures will send a clear signal that people refused asylum from now on must leave the UK. 


The one-off exercise for families will apply to those who sought asylum in the UK before 2 October 2000, had children before that date and who have suffered from historical delays in the system. It is likely to include some families whose children have been in the UK for seven years, who are already entitled to apply for leave to remain here under an existing concession.


The exercise will apply, in addition, to cases where the final appeals process has not been exhausted and to those where final decisions were made but removal was not effected.  People who have committed a criminal offence, lodged multiple asylum applications or whose cases are the responsibility of countries elsewhere in Europe will be excluded from the exercise. 


Mr Blunkett said:


Over the last few years, the Government has delivered enormous improvements to the asylum system - speeding up decision making, introducing electronic fingerprinting, closing Sangatte and moving the UK's borders abroad to tackle illegal immigration and reduce the number of asylum claims.


I have not been afraid to take the difficult decisions and we now have some of the toughest laws in Europe to deter abuse of the system.  As a result asylum claims have halved and the backlog of cases is the lowest for a decade.  And we are driving forward with legislation at the earliest opportunity to deal with the remaining parts of the system in need of substantial reform.


However, the legacy of the historic inadequacies of the system is still with us.  This does not manifest itself only in statistics but in the lives of real families in our communities.  As the Chief Inspector of Schools said earlier this week, children from asylum-seeking families are especially motivated and doing well in schools.  MPs from all sides appeal to me for such families to be allowed to stay in the UK every week. 


"Granting this group indefinite leave to remain and enabling them to work is the most cost-effective way of dealing with the situation and will save taxpayer's money on support and legal aid. These are difficult decisions but I do not believe it is the best use of taxpayer's money to take these expensive longstanding individual appeals through the courts. I want to ensure our relentless focus is on steadily increasing the proportion of failed asylum seekers removed from now on.


The applications of this group pre-date the introduction of a simplified appeals process to prevent people lodging new appeals against removal on human rights grounds.  This additional layer of appeal has now been ended for new cases and we are bringing forward further measures to curtail the level of appeals and money spent on legal aid.


This one-off exercise will enable those who have suffered years of uncertainty over their status to move off benefits and into work to fully contribute to society.


The Home Office is currently supporting 12,000 families who applied for asylum before October 2000. It is believed that the vast majority will qualify for leave to remain in the UK under the terms of the exercise. Moving even 1,000 of them off support will save 15million in support costs in addition to any potential savings on legal aid.  Up to 3,000 families who are self-supporting may also qualify.  The families will be given the immigration status of indefinite leave to remain in the UK which means they are able to live and work here without restrictions.


The Home Office will write to those who are eligible for leave to remain under the exercise and is not encouraging people to enquire directly. It is expected to take about six months to assess the bulk of those who may be eligible.


The new power to withdraw support from families who fail to take up the offer of a paid, voluntary route home builds on existing powers to remove support from those who do not comply with enforced removal directions.  It is designed to remove the current incentive for families to delay removal as long as possible and so save money in support and legal costs.




Notes for editors


1. Many of the people whose claims were not initially dealt with in the first six months were, and remain, eligible to work and many of those will have jobs.


2. The Home Office removed almost 15,000 failed asylum seekers in 2002/03, an increase of 29 per cent on the previous year.


3. In the same period, the Home Office exceeded targets to speed up decision making - with almost three quarters of new applications decided within two months.  Two years ago, less than a quarter were decided in two months.


4. People with Indefinite Leave to Remain status who commit criminal offences can have their leave revoked and be removed from the UK.


5. These measures will cut overall costs to the taxpayer and the Home Office will work with other Government departments and local authorities to manage any extra costs falling to them as a result

Migrant Helpline Kent
17 High Street, Dover, Kent CT16 1DP
T: 01304 226 830
01304 226 831

Migrant Helpline Kent
YMCA, The Roundhouse, Overy Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 1UP
T: 0702 1123 269

Migrant Helpline Kent
The Friends Meeting House, 6 The Friars, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2AS

Migrant Helpline Kent
Ashford Christian Fellowship, Brook House, 25 Norwood Street, Ashford, Kent TN23 1QU

Migrant Helpline Kent
53 The Old High Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1RN

Migrant Helpline East Sussex
48 Havelock Road, Hastings TN34 1BE
T: 01424 717 011 F: 01424 717 098

Migrant Helpline East Sussex
Braemar House, 28 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, E. Sussex

Migrant Helpline Thanet
1 Cecil Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1NX
T: 01843 292 921 F: 01843 232 085

Migrant Helpline West Sussex
7a Church Street, Brighton BN1 1US
T: 01273 671 711 F: 01273 695 830

Migrant Helpline West Sussex
Hove drop-in, Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Road, Hove, W. Sussex

Migrant Helpline West Sussex The Red Cross building, West Green Drive, Crawley.

Nicem Belfast
3rd Floor Ascott House, 24/31 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB
T: 02890 238 645 F: 02890 319 485

Refugee Action Head Office
The Old Fire Station, 3rd Floor, 150 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8SB.
T: 0207 654 7700 F: 0207 401 3699

Refugee Action East Midlands
International Community Centre, 61b Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FN
T: 0115 910 7418 F: 0115 910 7419 (Out of hours 0870 241 2942)

Refugee Action East Midlands
Melbourne Centre, Melbourne Road, Leicester LE2 0GU
T: 0116 261 4830 F: 0116 262 7162

Refugee Action North West
34 Princes Road, Liverpool L8 1TH
T: 0151 702 6300 F: 0151 709 6684

Refugee Action North West
Toxteth Citizens Advice Bureau, High Park Street, Liverpool L8.

Refugee Action North West
Anfield Citizens Advice Bureau, 36 Breckfield Road North, Liverpool L6.

Refugee Action North West
Great Homer Street Medical Centre, 25 Conway Street, Liverpool L5.

Refugee Action North West
1 Tariff Street, Manchester M1 2HF. Postal address: Dale House, 4th Floor, 35 Dale Street, Manchester M1 2HS.
T: 0161 233 1215 F: 0161 236 4285

Refugee Action South Central
50 Oxford Street, Southampton SO14 3PP
T: 02380 248 130 F: 02380 632995

Refugee Action South West
Senate House, 36 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QD
T: 0117 989 2100 F: 0117 924 8576

Refugee Action South West
Virginia House, 40 Looe Street, Plymouth PL4 0EB
T: 01752 519 860 F: 01752 519 861

Refugee Arrivals Project
41b Cross Lances Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW3 0ES
T: 020 8607 6888 F: 020 8607 6851

Refugee Council (Head Office)
3 Bondway, London
T: 020 7820 3000
F: 020 7582 9929

Refugee Council Regional Offices:

Northern Regional Office
First Floor
Wade House
The Merrion Centre
Leeds LS2 8NG
T: 0113 244 9404
F: 0113 246 5229

Ipswich Office
First floor
4-8 Museum Street
Ipswich IP1 1HT
T: 01473 297900
F: 01473 217334

Birmingham Office
First Floor, Smithfield House
Birmingham B5 6BS
T: 0121 622 1515
F: 0121 622 4061

Scottish Refugee Council
5th Floor, 94 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6QA
T: 0141 248 9799 F: 0141 243 2499
0800 0856087 advice line for asylum seekers

Scottish Refugee Council
Women's Group, Quaker Meeting House, 38 Elmbank Crescent.

Scottish Refugee Council
Sighthill Surgery, Sighthill Community Centre, Fountainwell Square, Glasgow.

Scottish Refugee Council
Larkfield Centre Surgery, Govanhill

Scottish Refugee Council
St David's Centre Surgery, Boreland Avenue, Knightswood.

Scottish Refugee Council
200 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1NQ (Head Office)

Welsh Refugee Council
Unit 8, Williams Court, Trade Street, Cardiff CF10 5DQ
T: 02920 666 250 F: 02920 343 731
(Head office)
Welsh Refugee Council
1 The Kingsway, YMCA, Swansea SA1 5JQ
T: 01792 301729 F: 01792 301721

Welsh Refugee Council
Suite 5 & 6, 5th Floor, Clarence House, Clarence Place, Newport NP9 7AA
T: 01633 252271 F: 01633 252273

Welsh Refugee Council
Trinity House, Trinity Street, Wrexham, LL11 1NL
T/F: 01978 363240

Midland Refugee Council
5th Floor Smithfield House, Digbeth, Birmingham, BS5 6BS
T: 0121 242 2200 F: 0121 242 2201

Northern Refugee Centre
Carver House, Sheffield , S1 4FS
T: 0114 275 3114

For more information on refugee issues generally:

Electronic information network (

Asylum support - a breakdown of asylum policy and legislation as well as important court cases (

Immigration and Nationality Directorate - the Home Office department responsible for immigration control's website (

For a complete picture of refugee week, (

Refugee and Asylum issues globally:

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (

Our Partnerships

Statutory Agencies

Banks of the Wear - 0191 567-9856

GONE- Government North East (

Home Office Refugee Integration Unit (

IRSS Immigration Research & Statistics Service (

NASS National Asylum Support Service (

NECASS- North East Consortium for Asylum Support Services (

Northumbria Probation Service (

Northumberland Police (

North Tyneside Council (

Stoneham Housing Association - 0191 272 3043

Sunderland City Council (

Middlesbrough Borough Council (

Darlington Council (

Gateshead Social Services (

Tyneside Careers Service (

Newcastle Refugee & Asylum Seekers Health Action Group (

Tyneside Careers Service (

Voluntary Organisations

NERS works with a host of voluntary organizations. This list is by no means complete. If you want to be added to our links library please call Andrew on 0191 245 7311.

BECON- Black & Minority Ethnic Community Organisations Network - 0191 245-3850

Community Enterprise Direct - 01207 500 053 -

The Housing Associations Charitable Trust (hact)

Mental Health Matters - 0191 510 3399

Newcastle Racial Equality Council - 0191 2327689

Regional Refugee Forum North East - 0191 245 7311

STAR - Student Action for Refugees (

VONNE- Voluntary Organisations Network North East - 0191 233-2000

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