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Written Question
Bangladesh: Rohingya
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Yasmin Qureshi (LAB - Bolton South East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of a reported fire in cox bazar on Rohingya refugees.

Answered by Nigel Adams

The UK government is gravely concerned by the impact on Rohingya refugees of the large fire that took place on Monday 22 March in the Kutapalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. A number of refugees have lost their lives and others have been injured, although the numbers have yet to be verified. Others have been separated from their families, including children. A large number of shelters have been damaged affecting around 40,000 refugees on current estimates. Services including health facilities, community centres, food distribution points and learning centres have been badly damaged and in some cases completely destroyed. We are closely monitoring the impacts of the fire and are working alongside the UN and our implementing partners to fully understand the scale of the needs and how we can support the refugees' most immediate needs.


Written Question
Palestinians: Refugees
18 Mar 2021

Questioner: Lord Hylton (CB - Excepted Hereditary)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to work with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to support (1) distance learning for refugee children, and (2) families in economic hardship in Lebanon.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

In 2020, the UK provided £51 million in funding to UNRWA to support its unique role providing protection and core services to Palestinian refugees across Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

In response to the pandemic, UNRWA has strengthened remote learning, which includes a virtual learning environment, television broadcasts and websites for accessing links to learning materials.


Written Question
Refugees: Hong Kong
15 Mar 2021

Questioner: Janet Daby (LAB - Lewisham East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees from Hong Kong the UK has received since 31 January 2021; and what support the Government has put in place to help those refugees settle in the UK.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Tables Asy_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets include the number of asylum applications, broken down by nationality. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data is up to the end of December 2020.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Data on asylum applications for January – March 2021, as well as data on the Hong Kong BN(O) visa route will be published in the next quarterly Immigration Statistics on 27 May 2021. Further information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those that need it – and this Government is committed to ensuring that they can take positive steps towards integration as they rebuild their lives in the UK.

All refugees and those granted protection in the UK should be able to fully integrate into life here and become self-sufficient, providing for themselves and their families, and contributing to the economy.

Refugees in the UK have access to mainstream benefits and services to enable their integration; and we are working across Government to ensure these services meet the needs of refugees.


Written Question
Migrants: Finance
9 Mar 2021

Questioner: Harriet Harman (LAB - Camberwell and Peckham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the cost to (i) local authorities in the UK and (ii) Southwark of supporting households with no recourse to public funds.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office does not hold data on the total number of people rough sleeping in Southwark, London or across the UK who are subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to reduce the incidence of rough sleeping among non-UK nationals. The Home Office’s Rough Sleeping Support Service (RSSS) also offers an enhanced service for local authorities and registered charities to establish whether a rough sleeper has access to public funds. Part of this service includes the RSSS contacting Home Office casework teams (where there is an open application) to request that the case is prioritised.

The NRPF is a condition applied to most temporary migrants, who are required to demonstrate that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and their families in the UK when they make an immigration application. However, individuals whose basis of stay in the UK is based on their family life or human rights can apply to have the NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there are exceptional circumstances related to financial circumstances, to avoid destitution and rough sleeping. Other groups, such as refugees, are exempt from the condition.

The Home Office has published its policy equality statement on the impact of the No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) policy on migrants on the 10-year human rights route. It can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change

To avoid destitution and sleeping rough, those without immigration status, who also have no recourse to public funds, should regularise their stay or leave the UK. There is support available to do this through the Voluntary Returns Service which offers practical support for people who are in the United Kingdom with no right to reside, as well as those who have, or are claiming, asylum and have decided they want to return home. This is with the exception of Foreign National Offenders, who are not eligible for the service.

With regard to the cost to local authorities of supporting households with no recourse to public funds, the Government has provided unprecedented support of over £8 billion of funding to local authorities in England to help councils manage the impacts of Covid-19 to respond to the spending pressures they are facing, including £4.6 billion which is not ringfenced. Funding provided to local authorities under the Covid-19 emergency response will be paid through a grant, recognising that local authorities are best placed to decide how this funding is spent. The Government has also provided additional funding for the devolved administrations under the Barnett formula as part of the wider government response.

More information on the support available to migrants during the pandemic, including those with NRPF, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.


Written Question
Migrants: Rough Sleeping
9 Mar 2021

Questioner: Harriet Harman (LAB - Camberwell and Peckham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of No Recourse to Public Funds rules on levels of rough sleeping in (a) Southwark, (b) London and (c) the UK.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office does not hold data on the total number of people rough sleeping in Southwark, London or across the UK who are subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to reduce the incidence of rough sleeping among non-UK nationals. The Home Office’s Rough Sleeping Support Service (RSSS) also offers an enhanced service for local authorities and registered charities to establish whether a rough sleeper has access to public funds. Part of this service includes the RSSS contacting Home Office casework teams (where there is an open application) to request that the case is prioritised.

The NRPF is a condition applied to most temporary migrants, who are required to demonstrate that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and their families in the UK when they make an immigration application. However, individuals whose basis of stay in the UK is based on their family life or human rights can apply to have the NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there are exceptional circumstances related to financial circumstances, to avoid destitution and rough sleeping. Other groups, such as refugees, are exempt from the condition.

The Home Office has published its policy equality statement on the impact of the No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) policy on migrants on the 10-year human rights route. It can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change

To avoid destitution and sleeping rough, those without immigration status, who also have no recourse to public funds, should regularise their stay or leave the UK. There is support available to do this through the Voluntary Returns Service which offers practical support for people who are in the United Kingdom with no right to reside, as well as those who have, or are claiming, asylum and have decided they want to return home. This is with the exception of Foreign National Offenders, who are not eligible for the service.

With regard to the cost to local authorities of supporting households with no recourse to public funds, the Government has provided unprecedented support of over £8 billion of funding to local authorities in England to help councils manage the impacts of Covid-19 to respond to the spending pressures they are facing, including £4.6 billion which is not ringfenced. Funding provided to local authorities under the Covid-19 emergency response will be paid through a grant, recognising that local authorities are best placed to decide how this funding is spent. The Government has also provided additional funding for the devolved administrations under the Barnett formula as part of the wider government response.

More information on the support available to migrants during the pandemic, including those with NRPF, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.


Written Question
Refugees: Families
15 Feb 2021

Questioner: Lord Hylton (CB - Excepted Hereditary)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 2 February (HL12281), whether they publicise the availability of Family Reunion Visas in (1) Europe, (2) the Middle East, and (3) North Africa; and if so, whether they advertise such availability (a) at embassies, (b) through the UNHCR, or (c) through other organisations.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford

UKVI do not publicise visa services outside of GOV.UK, although it may raise awareness of specific routes via stakeholders and partners. Those who are granted asylum and humanitarian protection are informed of the Family Reunion visa.

All information on visa routes to the UK, including Family Reunion, are available on GOV.UK. Customers are able to check what visa type they may be eligible for and access guidance on applying.


Written Question
Immigrants: Rough Sleeping
10 Feb 2021

Questioner: Helen Hayes (LAB - Dulwich and West Norwood)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of no recourse to public funds rules on levels of rough sleeping.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office does not hold data on the total number of people rough sleeping in the UK who are subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to reduce the incidence of rough sleeping among non-UK nationals. The Home Office’s Rough Sleeping Support Service (RSSS) also offers an enhanced service for local authorities and registered charities to establish whether a rough sleeper has access to public funds. Part of this service includes the RSSS contacting Home Office casework teams (where there is an open application) to request that the case is prioritised.

The NRPF is a condition applied to most temporary migrants, who are required to demonstrate that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and their families in the UK when they make an immigration application. However, individuals whose basis of stay in the UK is based on their family life or human rights can apply to have the NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there are exceptional circumstances related to financial circumstances, to avoid destitution and rough sleeping. Other groups, such as refugees, are exempt from the condition.

The Home Office has published its policy equality statement on the impact of the No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) policy on migrants on the 10-year human rights route. It can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change

To avoid destitution and sleeping rough, those without immigration status, who also have no recourse to public funds, should regularise their stay or leave the UK. There is support available to do this through the Voluntary Returns Service which offers practical support for people who are in the United Kingdom with no right to reside, as well as those who have, or are claiming, asylum and have decided they want to return home. This is with the exception of Foreign National Offenders, who are not eligible for the service.

With regard to the cost to local authorities of supporting households with no recourse to public funds, the Government has provided local authorities with unprecedented support during the pandemic with a package of over £7.9 billion so far. This funding is designed to support communities in England, including those who may be sleeping rough. The Government has also provided additional funding for the devolved administrations under the Barnett formula as part of the wider government response.

More information on the support available to migrants during the pandemic, including those with NRPF, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.


Written Question
Refugees: Families
10 Feb 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to expand the refugee family reunion rules to allow wider family members to safely reunite.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Government provides a safe and legal route to bring families together through its family reunion policy. This allows a partner and children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country. Over 29,000 visas have been issued under this route in the last 5 years.

There are separate provisions in the Rules to allow extended family to sponsor children to come here where there are serious and compelling circumstances. Refugees can also sponsor adult dependent relatives living overseas to join them where, due to age, illness or disability, that person requires long-term personal care that can only be provided by relatives in the UK.


Written Question
Immigrants: Finance
10 Feb 2021

Questioner: Helen Hayes (LAB - Dulwich and West Norwood)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on the cost to local authorities of supporting households with no recourse to public funds.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office does not hold data on the total number of people rough sleeping in the UK who are subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to reduce the incidence of rough sleeping among non-UK nationals. The Home Office’s Rough Sleeping Support Service (RSSS) also offers an enhanced service for local authorities and registered charities to establish whether a rough sleeper has access to public funds. Part of this service includes the RSSS contacting Home Office casework teams (where there is an open application) to request that the case is prioritised.

The NRPF is a condition applied to most temporary migrants, who are required to demonstrate that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and their families in the UK when they make an immigration application. However, individuals whose basis of stay in the UK is based on their family life or human rights can apply to have the NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there are exceptional circumstances related to financial circumstances, to avoid destitution and rough sleeping. Other groups, such as refugees, are exempt from the condition.

The Home Office has published its policy equality statement on the impact of the No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) policy on migrants on the 10-year human rights route. It can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change

To avoid destitution and sleeping rough, those without immigration status, who also have no recourse to public funds, should regularise their stay or leave the UK. There is support available to do this through the Voluntary Returns Service which offers practical support for people who are in the United Kingdom with no right to reside, as well as those who have, or are claiming, asylum and have decided they want to return home. This is with the exception of Foreign National Offenders, who are not eligible for the service.

With regard to the cost to local authorities of supporting households with no recourse to public funds, the Government has provided local authorities with unprecedented support during the pandemic with a package of over £7.9 billion so far. This funding is designed to support communities in England, including those who may be sleeping rough. The Government has also provided additional funding for the devolved administrations under the Barnett formula as part of the wider government response.

More information on the support available to migrants during the pandemic, including those with NRPF, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.


Written Question
Refugees: Families
2 Feb 2021

Questioner: Lord Bishop of Durham (Bishops - Bishops)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 16 June 2020 (HL4993), how many visas have been granted to extended family members of refugees outside the Immigration Rules.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford

The Home Office are unable to state how many visas have been granted to extended family members of refugees outside the immigration rules as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office do publish data on the number of Family Reunion visa grants, by age and can be found in the published Immigration Statistics at, Fam_01.

An extract is contained in the table below;

Date of visa grant

Year ending Sept 2019

Year ending Sept 2020

Total grants

6,474

6,066

Under 18 (Age group for total family reunion grants)

3,236

3,197

18+ (Age group for total family reunion grants)

3,238

2,869


Written Question
Greek Islands: Asylum
28 Jan 2021

Questioner: Patrick Grady (SNP - Glasgow North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with international counterparts on helping to relocate refugees and asylum seekers at camps on the Aegean Islands in response to snowfall and below freezing temperatures in that region.

Answered by Wendy Morton

The UK recognises the challenges faced by Greece in dealing with the difficulties presented by the migration situation, including the conditions of migrant camps on the Greek islands. We regularly engage Greek ministers and senior officials on these issues and will continue to work with Greek and international partners to identify opportunities to further support improved conditions for migrants in Greece. The UK government responded to requests by the Greek Government for specific humanitarian goods after the Moria fire in September 2020 by providing kitchen sets to nearly 2,000 vulnerable families to prepare and cook food, and solar lanterns to help them stay safe. This is in addition to our commitment earlier last year of £510k worth of humanitarian supplies and equipment to help vulnerable migrants and refugees on Greek islands.


Written Question
Asylum: Greek Islands
28 Jan 2021

Questioner: Patrick Grady (SNP - Glasgow North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help relocate refugees and asylum seekers from camps on the Aegean Islands to the UK in response to snowfall and below freezing temperatures in that region.

Answered by Chris Philp

We regularly engage with Greek ministers and senior officials on the challenges presented by the migration situation in Greece including conditions in migrant camps. We will continue to work with Greek partners to identify opportunities to further support improved conditions for migrants in Greece.

We remain committed to the principle of family reunion and supporting vulnerable children. This Government has a proud record of providing protection to those who need it, including children, and of reuniting families under the existing Immigration Rules.


Written Question
Refugees: Resettlement
21 Dec 2020

Questioner: Chris Grayling (CON - Epsom and Ewell)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on resettling refugee families under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme; and how many people she plans to settle under that scheme in the next 12 months.

Answered by Chris Philp

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. These can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

To access the number of refugees resettled, access the latest statistical release using the link above, then “data tables”, “asylum and resettlement” and select either the summary or detailed resettlement tables. The latest set of figures were released on 26 November 2020.

We have been working closely with key domestic and international stakeholders on plans to safely resume UK resettlement arrivals against the backdrop of unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this work the UK has restarted UK resettlement arrivals to fulfil our commitment of resettling 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and we are working closely with partners to deliver this commitment.

Decisions regarding resettlement beyond the completion of this scheme are yet to be made and will need to take account of the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing pressures on the asylum system.


Written Question
Slavery: Libya and Sub-Saharan Africa
24 Nov 2020

Questioner: Richard Holden (CON - North West Durham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to (a) tackle human trafficking from sub-Saharan Africa and Libya and (b) educate and inform people about the resultant modern slavery.

Answered by Victoria Atkins

The Home Office is committed to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking internationally, and to raising awareness to help increase resilience against these crimes and prevent them from happening in the first place.

We work closely with the FCDO, who are working to protect those who are travelling on the dangerous migration route into Libya. As part of their current £70 million migration programme (2017-21), which works along the whole route from West Africa via the Sahel to Libya, they have allocated around £5 million to humanitarian assistance and protection for migrants and refugees in Libya, including targeted healthcare.

UK aid is also making those migrating aware of the dangers ahead and supporting them to return voluntarily. We are educating people before they decide to travel to Libya, informing them about the living conditions and the other risks they may face, such as falling into the hands of human traffickers.

As part of the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Fund, we are working globally including in sub-Saharan African countries, to tackle modern slavery and raise awareness about this crime:

  • In Nigeria, the Fund is delivering a £5 million programme between 2018 and 2021 to fund criminal justice capacity-building, victim support and prevention work in vulnerable communities. Our strategic communications campaign ‘Not For Sale’ reached over 1.1m people, with 93% of families who had heard of it responding positively.
  • In Ethiopia, our work includes projects to raise community awareness of exploitative domestic work and to negotiate better conditions for those who want to enter this sector.
  • In Sudan, our partners have advised the National Committee for Combatting Trafficking on how they can best deliver awareness raising campaigns on human trafficking and forced labour, tailored to their local context and based on UK experiences of similar communications campaigns.

In addition to these programmes, we continue to push for change on a global scale as part of our efforts to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking, by working with other countries and multilateral fora such as the G7, G20, Commonwealth and UN. We also work with partners to combat the criminal gangs who exploit and traffic people internationally.


Written Question
Refugees: Children
17 Nov 2020

Questioner: Abena Oppong-Asare (LAB - Erith and Thamesmead)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's policy is on providing support to child refugees made homeless by the recent fires at the Moria refugee camp.

Answered by Chris Philp

We were very concerned by the impact of the devastating fire that destroyed the Moria migrant facility. The UK government responded to requests by the Greek Government to provide specific humanitarian goods. The UK has provided kitchen sets to nearly 2,000 vulnerable families to prepare and cook food, and solar lanterns to help them stay safe.

Throughout the pandemic the UK has remained ready to receive those accepted for transfer under the Dublin Regulation. We remain in regular contact with sending Member States, including Greece, who are responsible for arranging transfers. Three group flights from Greece arrived on 11 May, 28 July and 6 August, and we have received further transfers from Greece in recent weeks.