Home Office

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this endeavour since 1782. As such, the Home Office plays a fundamental role in the security and economic prosperity of the United Kingdom.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Priti Patel
Home Secretary

 Portrait

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Yvette Cooper (LAB - Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department
Lord Rosser (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
Lord Coaker (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Sarah Jones (LAB - Croydon Central)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
Holly Lynch (LAB - Halifax)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
Jack Dromey Jess Phillips (LAB - Birmingham, Yardley)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
Naz Shah (LAB - Bradford West)
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
Ministers of State
Lord Greenhalgh (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Home Office)
Damian Hinds (CON - East Hampshire)
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
Baroness Williams of Trafford (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Home Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Kevin Foster (CON - Torbay)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
Rachel Maclean (CON - Redditch)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
Home Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Data Protection Act 2018 (Amendment of Schedule 2 Exemptions) Regulations 2022
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
09:30
Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
19 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Spiking
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Home Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2022
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - third reading
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Scheduled Event
Thursday 27th January 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Nationality and Borders Bill – committee stage (day 1)
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 1st February 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Nationality and Borders Bill - committee stage (day 2)
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Scheduled Event
Thursday 3rd February 2022
Home Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Nationality and Borders Bill - committee stage (day 3)
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Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 19th January 2022
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Thursday 9th December 2021
Spiking

As part of the Committee’s overarching work into violence against women and girls, the Committee wishes to explore the …

Written Answers
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Asylum: Females
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential …
Secondary Legislation
Friday 19th November 2021
Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2021
Part 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11) makes provision for the proscription of organisations (including setting out offences …
Bills
Tuesday 6th July 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill 2021-22
Make provision about nationality, asylum and immigration; to make provision about victims of slavery or human trafficking; to provide a …
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 18th January 2022
09:30
Treaty
Wednesday 20th January 2021

Home Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jan. 17
Oral Questions
Nov. 22
Urgent Questions
Jan. 12
Westminster Hall
Dec. 16
Adjournment Debate
View All Home Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Home Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 3rd March 2020

To make provision in relation to domestic abuse; to make provision for and in connection with the establishment of a Domestic Abuse Commissioner; to prohibit cross-examination in person in family proceedings in certain circumstances; to make provision about certain violent or sexual offences, and offences involving other abusive behaviour, committed outside the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 19th March 2020

A Bill to make provision about the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 where a building contains two or more sets of domestic premises; and to confer power to amend that order in future for the purposes of changing the premises to which it applies.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 24th September 2020

A Bill to make provision for, and in connection with, the authorisation of criminal conduct in the course of, or otherwise in connection with, the conduct of covert human intelligence sources.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 1st March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 5th March 2020

A Bill to make provision to end rights to free movement of persons under retained EU law and to repeal other retained EU law relating to immigration; to confer power to modify retained direct EU legislation relating to social security co-ordination; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 11th November 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 7th January 2020

A bill to create a power of arrest, without warrant, for the purpose of extraditing people for serious offences

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 22nd October 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 8th January 2020

To provide for the payment out of money provided by Parliament of expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State or a government department under, or in connection with, the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 8th June 2020 and was enacted into law.

Home Office - Secondary Legislation

Part 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11) makes provision for the proscription of organisations (including setting out offences in relation to proscribed organisations in sections 11 to 13). An organisation is proscribed if it is listed in Schedule 2 to the Act or, in most cases, it operates under the same name as an organisation so listed (section 3(1)).
This Order amends the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1926 (c. 48) (the “1926 Act”) and the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (c. 20) (the “1953 Act”) to enable the use of electronic communications and storage for certain documents used in connection with the registration of births and deaths.
View All Home Office Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
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10,469 Signatures
(1,333 in the last 7 days)
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319,689 Signatures
(980 in the last 7 days)
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3,053 Signatures
(220 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
319,689 Signatures
(980 in the last 7 days)
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16,068 Signatures
(80 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
10,469 Signatures
(1,333 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed

The right to peaceful assembly and protest are fundamental principles of any democracy and the proposed part of this bill that gives the police new powers to tackle disruptive peaceful protests should be removed from The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

Illegal immigrants are entering the UK in many different ways, including small boats from France which are not stopped by either French or British forces.

View All Home Office Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Home Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Home Affairs Committee
Diana Johnson Portrait
Diana Johnson (Labour - Kingston upon Hull North)
Home Affairs Committee Chair since 15th December 2021
Tim Loughton Portrait
Tim Loughton (Conservative - East Worthing and Shoreham)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Adam Holloway Portrait
Adam Holloway (Conservative - Gravesham)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Simon Fell Portrait
Simon Fell (Conservative - Barrow and Furness)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Laura Farris Portrait
Laura Farris (Conservative - Newbury)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Diana Johnson Portrait
Diana Johnson (Labour - Kingston upon Hull North)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Andrew Gwynne Portrait
Andrew Gwynne (Labour - Denton and Reddish)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Diane Abbott Portrait
Diane Abbott (Labour - Hackney North and Stoke Newington)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Gary Sambrook Portrait
Gary Sambrook (Conservative - Birmingham, Northfield)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 2nd November 2021
James Daly Portrait
James Daly (Conservative - Bury North)
Home Affairs Committee Member since 2nd November 2021
Home Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Home Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Spiking
19 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Dr Adrian Boyle - Vice President at The Royal College of Emergency Medicine
Jade Quittenton - Night time economy lead at St John Ambulance
At 11.00am: Oral evidence
Councillor Jeanie Bell - member of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities’ Board and Cabinet Member for Community Safety at St Helen’s Council
Paul Fullwood - Director of Inspections and Enforcement at Security Industry Authority
Michael Kill - Chief Executive Officer at Night Time Industries Association

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50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she will take to ensure the House of Commons has adequate opportunities to scrutinise serious crime prevention orders.

Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPOs) are civil protective orders made by the High Court or the Crown Court following an application by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), or, in terrorism-related cases only, the police. There is no role for the House of Commons in this court process.

The original legislative proposals for SCPOs were scrutinised and debated by Parliament during the passage of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

In November 2012, the then Home Secretary presented to Parliament a memorandum to the Home Affairs Committee and the Justice Committee on post-legislative scrutiny of the Serious Crime Act 2007. This report is available in the public domain on GOV.UK at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-legislative-scrutiny-of-the-serious-crime-act-2007

The legislation for SCPOs was later amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015, which was also scrutinised and debated in Parliament.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle online fraud.

Frauds that are committed online are pernicious crimes. They can cause terrible financial and emotional harm to victims. The Government has been working with partners in the public and private sectors to keep the public safe and bring these fraudsters to justice.

DCMS are leading ground-breaking work on the Online Safety Bill. The Bill will require regulated companies to take action to tackle user-generated fraud on their platforms. This will impact some of the most harmful online fraud types such as investment and romance scams. The Joint Committee recently published their report on the Bill and we are scrutinising this closely to make sure we comprehensively address their recommendations. DCMS are also leading work through the Online Advertising Programme that will consider, amongst other things, the role online advertising plays in enabling online fraud.

We have also been working closely alongside the National Cyber Security Centre who launched their Suspicious Email Reporting Service last year. This has already led to over 8.1 million reports received and the removal of over 67,000 scams and 124,000 harmful websites, since its inception in April 2020.

However, Government and the public sector cannot tackle online fraud alone. That is why, on the 21 October 2021, the Joint Fraud Taskforce was relaunched under my [Security Minister] chairmanship. The JFT brings together leaders from across the Government, private sector, regulators, law enforcement and victim groups to encourage collaboration to keep the public safe from these crimes. Alongside the relaunch, we published voluntary agreement with the retail banking, telecommunications and accountancy sectors outlining innovative measures to reduce fraud facilitated through these industries (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/joint-fraud-taskforce). The Online Fraud Steering Group (OFSG) is a public-private group focused on reducing the threat from online fraud in the UK. It reports into the Joint Fraud Taskforce and is co-chaired by the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), UK Finance and techUK.

We continue to encourage the public to report fraud to Action fraud and to forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and suspicious texts to 7726, free of charge.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will support the award of the Platinum Jubilee Medal to former as well as serving members of the police.

This Government is steadfast in our support for the police. It is right that those serving on the front line in our emergency services are recognised in the award of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal. The medal allocations for the police and other services have now been finalised and officers who meet the criteria can expect to receive their medals in the coming weeks and months as we enter the jubilee year.

The criteria for jubilee medals are agreed on a cross-government basis. The criteria apply equally to the current workforce in other services including fire, ambulance and the armed forces, and have been established based on the precedent set for previous Jubilee Medals.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce knife crime.

Tackling knife crime is a priority and the Government is determined to crack down on the scourge of violence devastating our communities.

We are supporting the police every step of the way in this effort. We have given them more powers and resources to go after criminals and take knives and other dangerous weapons off our streets, including through the recruitment of 20,000 additional officers and increasing police funding.

The Government has made £130.5m available this year to tackle serious violence, including murder and knife crime. This includes: £35.5m for Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) which bring together local partners to deliver a range of early intervention and prevention programmes and tackle the drivers of violence in the 18 areas worst affected by serious violence; £30m to support the police to take targeted action in parts of England and Wales most affected by serious violence through the Grip programme, which uses data to identify violence hotspots and target operational activity in those areas; and £20m for new early intervention programmes that will help stop young people from being drawn into violence, including cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, as well as specialist support in crisis moments such as when a person is admitted to A&E with a knife injury.

We have also invested £200m over 10 years for the Youth Endowment Fund, which is funding projects to support children and young people at risk of violence and exploitation and to steer them away from crime.

We acknowledge there is more to do which is why we are bringing forward the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill so the law-abiding majority can be confident they are safe. The Bill includes: Serious Violence Reduction Orders, which will give the police the power to stop and search adults already convicted of knife or offensive weapons offences; the Serious Violence Duty, which will require authorities and bodies delivering public services to collaborate to prevent and reduce serious violence in their areas; and offensive weapons homicide reviews which will be introduced to improve the national and local understanding of causes, patterns, victims and perpetrators of violence and homicide.

We have also prohibited certain particularly dangerous types of knife through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 and have introduced the offence of possessing specified offensive weapons in private. The Act also introduced Knife Crime Prevention Orders which will provide the police with a vital means to steer those most at risk away from serious violence. On 5 July 2021 we introduced a pilot for KCPOs across the Metropolitan Police area.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce knife crime.

Tackling knife crime is a priority and the Government is determined to crack down on the scourge of violence devastating our communities.

We are supporting the police every step of the way in this effort. We have given them more powers and resources to go after criminals and take knives and other dangerous weapons off our streets, including through the recruitment of 20,000 additional officers and increasing police funding.

The Government has made £130.5m available this year to tackle serious violence, including murder and knife crime. This includes: £35.5m for Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) which bring together local partners to deliver a range of early intervention and prevention programmes and tackle the drivers of violence in the 18 areas worst affected by serious violence; £30m to support the police to take targeted action in parts of England and Wales most affected by serious violence through the Grip programme, which uses data to identify violence hotspots and target operational activity in those areas; and £20m for new early intervention programmes that will help stop young people from being drawn into violence, including cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, as well as specialist support in crisis moments such as when a person is admitted to A&E with a knife injury.

We have also invested £200m over 10 years for the Youth Endowment Fund, which is funding projects to support children and young people at risk of violence and exploitation and to steer them away from crime.

We acknowledge there is more to do which is why we are bringing forward the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill so the law-abiding majority can be confident they are safe. The Bill includes: Serious Violence Reduction Orders, which will give the police the power to stop and search adults already convicted of knife or offensive weapons offences; the Serious Violence Duty, which will require authorities and bodies delivering public services to collaborate to prevent and reduce serious violence in their areas; and offensive weapons homicide reviews which will be introduced to improve the national and local understanding of causes, patterns, victims and perpetrators of violence and homicide.

We have also prohibited certain particularly dangerous types of knife through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 and have introduced the offence of possessing specified offensive weapons in private. The Act also introduced Knife Crime Prevention Orders which will provide the police with a vital means to steer those most at risk away from serious violence. On 5 July 2021 we introduced a pilot for KCPOs across the Metropolitan Police area.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department has made on increasing the number of women police officers in England and Wales.

We are increasing the number of police officers in England and Wales by 20,000, by March 2023. I am pleased to say excellent progress is being made in delivering against this target. As a result of their hard work and commitment police forces in England and Wales have recruited 11,053 additional officers, as at 30 September 2021. This is 55% of the 20,000 officer target.

We are also attracting a broad range of people into policing from all communities and backgrounds, including more women. I’m pleased to see that forces are seizing the opportunity of the uplift to make forces more representative of their communities.

Published data Police Officer uplift statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) show that as at 30 September 2021 there were 47,425 female officers (headcount) in total, representing 33.9% of officers in England and Wales. This is the highest number of female officers than ever before. Since April 2020, more than four in ten new recruits (42%) were female, an increase on 37% the year before.

The next set of quarterly statistics, showing progress to 31 December 2021,will be published on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department has made on tackling county line drugs gangs.

This Government is determined to crack down on the county lines gangs who are exploiting our children and have a devastating impact on our communities. On 6 December the Government published a ten-year Strategy to combat illicit drugs which sets out a whole-system approach of how the Government is doing more than ever to cut off the supply of drugs by criminal gangs.

Through the Strategy, we will bolster our flagship County Lines Programme, investing up to £145m over the next three years to tackle the most violent and exploitative distribution model yet seen. By 2024, we expect this to result in over 2,000 more county lines closed, through a sustained attack on the distribution model.

This new funding will build on our progress in tackling drugs supply and county lines. Since November 2019, through our programme, the Police have already closed more than 1,500 lines, made over 7,400 arrests, seized £4.3 million in cash and significant quantities of drugs, and safeguarded more than 4,000 vulnerable people.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what income the Government received from Spouse Visa Applications from EU Nationals in the 2019-20 financial year.

The Home Office does not hold the information in the format requested. Amounts received in immigration fees are not recorded or categorised by visa type. So we do not have separate codes or fields for either income received for spouse visa applications, or nationality.

Total visa and immigration income data is published annually in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts. Please see page 152 of the Home Office 2019-20 Annual Report and Accounts for the most recent disclosure of visa and immigration income. Home Office annual report and accounts 2019 - 2020 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of (a) clause 39, (b) part five and (c) other provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill on the positive anti-trafficking duties on the UK under Articles four and six of the European Convention on Human Rights as set out in the ECtHR judgements of Rantsev v Cyprus & Russia [2010] and V.C.L & A.N. v UK [2021]; and if she will make a statement.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is part of our New Plan for Immigration, delivering the most comprehensive reform of the asylum system in decades.

The Bill – and the wider plan – will also help us to tackle the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensure that vulnerable individuals are identified as early as possible so that we can ensure they have access to the right support.

The Bill is fully compliant with our international obligations, including the European Convention on Human Rights.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Statement on 6 January 2022 on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), Official Report, col. 185, if she will take steps to set up an ACRS implementation group (a) with the aim of ensuring the ACRS is run with an understanding by staff of Afghanistan’s particular (i) cultural, (ii) security (iii) gender concerns, and (b) to include the expertise of (iv) women from the region with knowledge of the (A) cultural, (B) socio-religious and (C) geopolitical context of Afghanistan and (v) people working on the ground with those in need of UK assistance; and if she will make a statement.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Statement on 6 January 2022 on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), Official Report col. 185, how many (a) Afghan nationals who are already in the UK and (b) British nationals evacuated from Afghanistan (i) have been and (ii) will be resettled under ACRS.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Statement by the Minister for Afghan Resettlement on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, 6 January 2022, Official Report, column 185, how many people currently outside of the UK the Government plans to resettle in the first year of that scheme.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, from what date does the first year of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme start.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Statement by the Minister for Afghan Resettlement on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, 6 January 2022, Official Report, column 185, how Afghan nationals at risk, who are not Chevening alumni or British Council or GardaWorld contractors, can ensure their details are recorded and considered for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme as part of the third referral pathway from within Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Statement by the Minister for Afghan Resettlement on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, 6 January 2022, Official Report, column 185, whether discussions are taking place with (a) Qatar, (b) Pakistan, (c) other third-party countries to facilitate safe passage from Afghanistan to the UK for (i) Chevening Scholars and (ii) British Council and GardaWorld contractors; and if she will make a statement.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Statement by the Minister for Afghan Resettlement on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, 6 January 2022, Official Report, column 185, what measures will she put in place to ensure that undocumented Afghan national family members of British nationals in third countries, can make family member visa applications without delay; and if she will make a statement.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we will exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people resettled in the first year of the ACRS. There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS.

British nationals who have a right of abode in the UK will not be resettled under the ACRS. However, we are supporting those British Nationals who have been assisted by Her Majesty’s Government to the UK.

In addition to those already in the UK, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection in year 1 of the ACRS, and we will continue to receive referrals to the scheme in coming years. In the first year we will also offer ACRS places to the most at-risk British Council and GardaWorld contractors, and Chevening alumni. Beyond the first year of the ACRS, we will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome referrals of wider groups of Afghans most at risk. There will not be an application process.

The ACRS provides those at risk with a route to safety through three distinct referral routes and has been designed with partners, including the UNHCR, with whom we are designing the referral route for refugees outside of Afghanistan.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to seek to facilitate the travel of those eligible for resettlement in the UK.

Family members of British citizens and settled persons who were not called forward during the evacuation of Afghanistan, or who have not been offered resettlement under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, will need to apply to come to the UK under the existing economic or family migration and reunion rules. They will be expected to meet the eligibility requirements of their chosen route, which may include paying relevant fees and charges, and providing their biometrics.

The family Immigration Rules also allow a person to enter a spouse or partner visa if a couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage and have resided together for a two-year period prior to the application date. The two-year period does not have to be the immediate two years prior to the application date.

Information for those wishing to apply to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner is available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/partner-spouse

A full policy statement on this matter published on 13 September 2021 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version

Further information on the opening of the ARCS can be found in the Oral Statement https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-on-the-afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of expressly adding musicians to the list of vulnerable Afghans eligible for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) opened on 6th January and will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The ACRS will prioritise those who have assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for UK values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech and rule of law; and vulnerable people such as women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups (including ethnic / religious minorities and LGBT+).

No specific provision has been made for musicians, although they could otherwise be eligible through one of the referral pathways.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that the provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill help to integrate refugees into UK society.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is the cornerstone of the New Plan for Immigration, which sets out the Government’s intentions to build a fair but firm asylum system.

The New Plan for Immigration announced a package of measures to improve integration support so that refugees arriving under safe and legal routes are fully supported to become self-sufficient and integrate well into society. The Enhanced Integration Package will deliver a package of tailored support, such as language training, skills development and employment support to help refugees rebuild their lives. More details will be released on this package in due course.

Refugees coming to the UK through the safe and legal routes our resettlement schemes provide will be granted indefinite leave to remain on arrival, providing them with the certainty and stability they need to rebuild their lives in the UK.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of the initial 5,000 places on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme will be allocated to people already in the UK.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

Due to the success of our emergency evacuation and the larger than anticipated number of people brought over to the UK, we plan to exceed our initial aim of 5,000 people in the first year of the ACRS.

There are around 6,500 people in the UK who have been brought to safety during and after the evacuation who are eligible for the ACRS. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals. This also includes some of those most at risk, such as members of the LGBT community.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to support (a) North Yorkshire and (b) other fire authorities who have very low reserves.

On 16 December the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23. Under the proposals, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) will have a core spending power of £33.4m in 2022/23, an increase of £1.3m (4.1%) compared to 2021/22. As at 31 March 2020, the PFCC held £5m in total usable reserves, equivalent to 16% of their 2020/21 core spending power.

My Department is in regular contact with fire and rescue authorities to ensure we remain informed of their financial circumstances and will continue to keep their funding needs under review.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the finances of the North Yorkshire fire and rescue service.

On 16 December the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23. Under the proposals, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) will have a core spending power of £33.4m in 2022/23, an increase of £1.3m (4.1%) compared to 2021/22. As at 31 March 2020, the PFCC held £5m in total usable reserves, equivalent to 16% of their 2020/21 core spending power.

My Department is in regular contact with fire and rescue authorities to ensure we remain informed of their financial circumstances and will continue to keep their funding needs under review.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire on the financial situation of the fire authority in North Yorkshire.

On 16 December the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23. Under the proposals, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) will have a core spending power of £33.4m in 2022/23, an increase of £1.3m (4.1%) compared to 2021/22. As at 31 March 2020, the PFCC held £5m in total usable reserves, equivalent to 16% of their 2020/21 core spending power.

My Department is in regular contact with fire and rescue authorities to ensure we remain informed of their financial circumstances and will continue to keep their funding needs under review.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they provide to homeowners offering accommodation to refugees.

Her Majesty’s Government does not provide specific advice on this issue.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 20 December 2021 (HL4745), whether they have monitored the progress made by the National Economic Crime Centre and the Financial Conduct Authority in their investigation of allegations of forgeries of customer signatures by banks.

Treasury ministers and officials engage with a number of organisations and stakeholders on a variety of policy issues.

The Government expects all companies to obey the law and relevant regulations. Anyone with evidence of forgery taking place should report it to their bank in the first instance. If their concerns remain, or they do not have a direct relationship with the lender, they should report it to the relevant authorities.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), supported by the FCA, is continuing to assess the material submitted by the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign and information obtained following preliminary enquiries to clarify matters with certain members of the public who had raised the issue. They are also making a thorough assessment to determine whether there are grounds for a criminal or regulatory investigation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of the 39,000 Refugee Family Reunion visas issued since 2015 have been used to enable holders to reach the UK.

Family reunion visas are issued on the understanding the recipient will travel to the UK.

We do not hold any data on whether and when that travel takes place.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill on women seeking asylum in the UK after fleeing sexual violence and trafficking.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is the most significant overhaul of our asylum system in over two decades. It will bring in a new, comprehensive, fair but firm long-term plan, which seeks to address the challenge of illegal migration head on, and to take down the serious organised criminals exploiting people and profiting from human misery. Only by tackling illegal migration can we effectively help those in greatest need.

An Equality Impact Assessment was published on 16 September, and this includes consideration of possible impacts on women who have been subjected to sex-based violence and/or trafficked for a sexual purpose.

The Equality Impact Assessment can be found on the GOV.UK website at ; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nationality-and-borders-bill-equality-impact-assessment.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to reports that HSBC acquired shares in a Chinese chemicals and plastics company Xinjiang Tianyen, what steps she is taking to extend Section 54 on transparency and supply chains of the Modern Slavery Act to regulate the activities of financial services institutions.

The UK was the first country in the world to require businesses to report on the steps they have taken to tackle modern slavery. The landmark provision in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires organisations, including financial institutions, with a turnover of £36m or more, to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery, including those in financial services. The Government encourages companies to monitor their supply chains with rigour to uncover and remedy any associations they may find with forced labour or other labour abuses.

The Government has already committed to take forward an ambitious package of changes to strengthen the Act’s transparency legislation, including mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover and introducing financial penalties for organisations that fail to comply.

To further bolster our approach to modern slavery, on 24 March 2021, the Government announced a review of the 2014 Modern Slavery Strategy. As part of the strategy review we will consider how to strengthen our approach to transparency in supply chains, including in relation to financial institutions. A revised strategy will allow us to build on the considerable progress we have made to date, adapt our approach to the evolving nature of these terrible crimes, and continue our international leadership in tackling modern slavery.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to help ensure that training provided within the security industry is of sufficient quality.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is responsible for setting training standards for each of the roles within the private security industry that it licences; this training is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a licence. The SIA reviews its training standards every five years in accordance with its obligations under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, with the most recent changes coming into force in October 2021.

The SIA works closely with the sector to develop standards and promote industry-led continuous professional development. The Home Office is satisfied that the SIA has the expertise to set standards of the appropriate quality.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to ensure that the quality of services delivered in the security industry meet an adequate standard.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is responsible for its own daily operations, including monitoring compliance with the legislative regime under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

The SIA has independent inspection and enforcement powers to deliver this objective, along with an independent prosecution function. Anything that falls outside of the legislative regime is not within the SIA’s remit, and is therefore properly a matter for businesses.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the progress of its Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

Action we have taken since publishing our cross-Government Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy in June 2021 includes:

  • appointing transport champions to help make public transport safer for women;
  • awarded £30m to help make our streets safer through the ‘Safer Streets Fund’ and ‘Safety of Women at Night’ fund;
  • launched a pilot of ‘StreetSafe’ to enable the public to anonymously report areas where they feel unsafe; and
  • provided additional funding for specialist support services such as the Revenge Porn Helpline.

We are continuing to work with Departments across Government to drive progress in implementing the Strategy and are also working closely with Maggie Blyth who has been appointed as the National Policing Lead for VAWG to improve the policing response to these crimes.

In the coming months, we will also publish a complementary Strategy on tackling Domestic Abuse.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to reduce crime through the Safer Streets Fund.

We are delivering on the people’s priorities to cut crime and make our communities safe. The Safer Streets Fund enables Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Authorities across England and Wales to support interventions, including improved CCTV and streetlighting in areas experiencing high rates of neighbourhood crimes, such as burglary.

In total, £70 million has been invested; the first round worth £25 million and the second worth £20 million focused on preventing neighbourhood crimes, whilst third £25 million round, announced following the tragic death of Sarah Everard, aims to increase the safety of public spaces for all, with a particular focus on helping combat violence against women and girls.

As part of the October 2021 Budget, it was announced that £50 million per each for each of the three years of the Spending Review will be dedicated to the Safer Streets Fund, helping it continue its vital crime prevention role. Details of future rounds of funding will be announced in due course.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that the democratic right to protest is maintained through the provisions of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

The freedom to peacefully protest across the country is a fundamental right that this Government is proud to support. Most protest activity in this country does not require a police response and we expect that to continue. The public order measures in the PCSC Bill are targeted at non-violent protests that cause serious disruption to the lives of others.

As with all existing powers to manage protests the police must not act incompatibly with the European Convention on Human Rights, namely articles 10 and 11 on the freedoms of expression and assembly, when making use of these measures.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond substantively to correspondence originally sent by the hon. Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth on 28 January 2021, reference DA39000 and MPAM/0131372/21, which has since been followed up with her Department on 4 March 2021, 22 April 2021, 17 June 2021, 29 July 2021, 1 September 2021, 21 October 2021 and 9 December 2021.

I apologise for the unacceptable delay. The Home Office responded to the correspondence on 13 January 2022.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the full membership of the Scientific Advisory Board for age assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children will be made public.

The National Age Assessment Board will predominantly consist of qualified social workers who, through being dedicated to the task of conducting age assessments and the sharing of expertise, will seek to achieve a consistent and accurate approach to the task of age assessment.

The board will have responsibility for conducting age assessments on age disputed persons, upon referral from a local authority, although local authorities will still retain the right to conduct age assessments themselves if they prefer to do so.

Recruitment plans for the Board are still in development and will be in line with Civil Service recruitment policy and processes. The development of the recruitment plans will include engagement with relevant partners. There is no intention to publish the names of members of staff of the NAAB.

A gov.uk webpage is being created for the Age Estimation Scientific Advisory Council and will contain a list of committee members.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the recruitment process will be for membership of the Scientific Advisory board for age assessments.

The National Age Assessment Board will predominantly consist of qualified social workers who, through being dedicated to the task of conducting age assessments and the sharing of expertise, will seek to achieve a consistent and accurate approach to the task of age assessment.

The board will have responsibility for conducting age assessments on age disputed persons, upon referral from a local authority, although local authorities will still retain the right to conduct age assessments themselves if they prefer to do so.

Recruitment plans for the Board are still in development and will be in line with Civil Service recruitment policy and processes. The development of the recruitment plans will include engagement with relevant partners. There is no intention to publish the names of members of staff of the NAAB.

A gov.uk webpage is being created for the Age Estimation Scientific Advisory Council and will contain a list of committee members.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the membership of the proposed National Age Assessment Board will be made public.

The National Age Assessment Board will predominantly consist of qualified social workers who, through being dedicated to the task of conducting age assessments and the sharing of expertise, will seek to achieve a consistent and accurate approach to the task of age assessment.

The board will have responsibility for conducting age assessments on age disputed persons, upon referral from a local authority, although local authorities will still retain the right to conduct age assessments themselves if they prefer to do so.

Recruitment plans for the Board are still in development and will be in line with Civil Service recruitment policy and processes. The development of the recruitment plans will include engagement with relevant partners. There is no intention to publish the names of members of staff of the NAAB.

A gov.uk webpage is being created for the Age Estimation Scientific Advisory Council and will contain a list of committee members.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the recruitment process will be for members of the proposed National Age Assessment Board.

The National Age Assessment Board will predominantly consist of qualified social workers who, through being dedicated to the task of conducting age assessments and the sharing of expertise, will seek to achieve a consistent and accurate approach to the task of age assessment.

The board will have responsibility for conducting age assessments on age disputed persons, upon referral from a local authority, although local authorities will still retain the right to conduct age assessments themselves if they prefer to do so.

Recruitment plans for the Board are still in development and will be in line with Civil Service recruitment policy and processes. The development of the recruitment plans will include engagement with relevant partners. There is no intention to publish the names of members of staff of the NAAB.

A gov.uk webpage is being created for the Age Estimation Scientific Advisory Council and will contain a list of committee members.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to provide passenger locator forms in languages other than English.

The rapidly changing landscape of international travel health measure requirements has placed considerable pressure on maintaining the technical development of the Passenger Locator Form; therefore, translation of the form has not been possible.

Each language added to the system increases the technical development time required, meaning the system could not be accurately maintained given the pace of policy changes as we have dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have though introduced a guide to support the completion of the PLF which has been translated into 22 languages and is available on GOV.UK. An animated video to support guidance on how to complete the Passenger Locator Form is also in production. This will be placed on GOV.UK and social media platforms.

We will look to introduce translation of the PLF in the future, however this will be dependent on a long-term stable policy for it across the 4 nations of the United Kingdom given the devolution of public health regulations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of changing the BN(O) visa scheme to enable any persons from Hong Kong who have at least one parent who is a British national (overseas) to apply for the British National (Overseas) visa.

The BN(O) route is an unprecedented and generous offer reflecting the UK’s historic and moral commitment to the people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status. We are sympathetic to the circumstances of this cohort and are looking at whether more can be done to support them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to write the Common Travel Area into domestic UK law.

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is an administrative arrangement between the UK and Ireland, as well as the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

It allows British and Irish citizens to travel freely between the UK and Ireland and reside in either jurisdiction. It also facilitates the enjoyment of associated rights and privileges including the right to work, to study and to access social security benefits and health services.

We have always been clear on the shared commitment to protect the rights of our citizens in each other’s state and this is already underpinned by domestic legislation, which will be updated as necessary to ensure the agreed CTA rights and privileges are properly reflected.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what urgent steps she is taking to issue Biometric Residence Permits to Afghan nationals in the UK with pending job offers.

Those who arrived in the UK were granted limited leave to enter with access to public funds and employment. Communications have been issued advising individuals of next steps to progress permanent residence in the UK. Amongst the information provided, those communications confirm individuals’ rights to employment on their current leave. We have made arrangements to ensure prospective employers and landlords can contact the Home Office to confirm individuals’ right to take employment and rented accommodation prior to them receiving a Biometric Residence Permit.

The Home Office has established a dedicated caseworking team, which is working jointly with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence. This team will contact those here in the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy and those moving onto the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, in order to assist them to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain status.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were deprived of their British citizenships in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020, under Section 40(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

Figures for numbers of conducive deprivation orders, which are made under Section 40(2) of the 1981 British Nationality Act, have been published as part of the HM Government Transparency Report: Disruptive and Investigatory Powers. Four reports have been published to date in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020 which provide the number of deprivation of citizenship orders made up until the end of 2018.

The Home Office also intends to publish the figures of those deprived under Section 40(2) of the 1981 British Nationality Act in 2019 and 2020 in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to prevent the UK from acting as a safe haven for people accused of crimes against humanity that do not hold British citizenship or residency.

The UK is committed to upholding international law and to ensuring the UK does not provide a safe haven for those involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Immigration Rules provide for the mandatory refusal or cancellation of permission to enter or stay in the UK for those whose presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good, for example because of their conduct, character, associations or other reasons. A foreign national may also be excluded from the UK on the basis that it is conducive to the public good.

Whilst we have a proud history of providing protection to those who need it, we will deny the benefits of refugee status to those who have committed serious crimes, are a danger to the community, or who are a threat to national security. Those refused refugee status who cannot be removed because doing so would breach our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, may be granted shorter more restrictive leave, subject to regular review, until they can be removed at the earliest opportunity. They may also have conditions placed on residence, employment and study and be required to report until they can be removed.

The UK can also sanction individuals for human rights abuses using powers in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

For those foreign nationals who have gained British citizenship, Section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981 provides for the deprivation of that citizenship where it is conducive to the public good, and would not make an individual stateless. Deprivation of citizenship where it is conducive to the public good is taken where it is in the public interest on the grounds of involvement in terrorism, espionage, serious and organised crime, war crimes or unacceptable behaviour. Unacceptable behaviour could include activity such as inciting terrorist acts.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2021 to Question 72441 on Afghanistan: Refugees, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that no one is disadvantaged while their case is reviewed.

The Home Office has established a dedicated caseworking team, which is working jointly with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence. This team will contact all those who arrived to discuss their leave arrangements and ensure they get the right form of leave.

Communications have been issued advising individuals of next steps to progress permanent residence in the UK. The Home Office is contacting those here in the UK under the Afghan Relocation Assistance Policy, and also those moving onto the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, to assist them in obtaining indefinite leave to remain. Amongst the information provided, those communications confirm individuals’ rights to employment and to access services (e.g. medical treatment, school places). They also provide links to guidance and information on how prospective employers and landlords can contact the Home Office to confirm individuals’ right to take employment and rented accommodation, through the Employer Checking Service.

No one will be required to leave the United Kingdom, or be disadvantaged in any way, while we work through their cases.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether UNHCR referrals to the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will be available to Afghans currently within Afghanistan or whether they will take place through third party countries.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme commenced on 6th January and will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

From Spring, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection through the ACRS.

UNHCR refer refugees who, by definition, are outside their country of origin.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support is available to families in the UK with relatives in Afghanistan; and what steps Afghan nationals in Afghanistan, and under threat from the Taliban, can take to come to the UK.

Families in the UK with relatives in Afghanistan can access information to assess their relative’s eligibility for the following resettlement schemes on gov.uk:

From Spring, the UNHCR will refer refugees to the ACRS, based on assessments of protection of need. The Government will also offer ACRS places to the most at risk British Council and Gardaworld contractors and Chevening alumni. We are committed to working in step with the international community and continue to do all we can to enable those who are eligible to relocate to the UK.

The Minister for the Armed Forces recently visited the region, to identify what more we can do for applicants both in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries. We are working with a wide range of allies and partners and are exploring every avenue to help them reach safety.

The UK Government will work with international partners to put pressure on the Taliban to allow those with a right to leave Afghanistan to do so safely.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether direct relatives of (a) current Chevening scholars and (b) Chevening alumni will be fully eligible for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

The Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) will prioritise those who have assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for UK values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech and rule of law; and vulnerable people such as women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups (including ethnic / religious minorities and LGBT+).

As set out in the oral statement made on 6th January, Chevening alumni who are at risk will be eligible to be considered for resettlement under the ACRS in year 1.

Spouses, partners and dependent children under the age of 18 of identified eligible individuals will be eligible for the scheme.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to contact vulnerable Afghans to inform them that they are eligible for the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) commenced on 6th January. The ACRS will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

The first to be resettled under the new ACRS will be some of those already evacuated and in the UK. They include women’s rights activists, journalists, and prosecutors, as well as the Afghan families of British Nationals.

From Spring, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will refer refugees to the scheme, based on assessments of protection need.

In Year One we will also resettle individuals who supported the UK and international community effort in Afghanistan, including those British Council and GardaWorld contractors and Chevening alumni who are most at risk. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be in touch with those eligible to support them through the next steps.

There will not be an application process for the ACRS. More detail on the three referral pathways can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to provide information to hon. Members on whether the cases they have referred to her Department will be considered for resettlement under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.

The Home Office has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)