27 August 2020

Statement on UK quarterly immigration statistics

  • Home Office statistics published today show that the number of applications (including dependents) for asylum in the during between April and June this year stood at 5,789, a fall of 41% from the same time a year ago.
  • According to British Red Cross, analysis of European statistics indicates that this is a situation mirrored across other European countries. Over the same period, applications in Germany fell by 58% (38,510 to 16,295); in France by 72% (35,585 to 9,985); and by 75% in Spain (28,795 to 7,340).
  • The statistics also show the impact Covid-19 has had on refugee families seeking to reunite in the UK. Between April and June of this year, 131 visas were granted for Refugee Family Reunion, a drop of 1,875 (93 percent) on the previous three months. 90% of refugee family reunion visas are granted to women and children.

Commenting, Naomi Phillips, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the British Red Cross, said:

“Today’s statistics paint a stark picture of the impact Covid-19 has had on refugees both here in the UK and around the world. While covid-19 won’t have decreased the number of people who have been forced to leave their homes due to war, persecution and violence, these statistics show that it has significantly impacted their ability to apply for asylum. This is hugely important right now in the context of debates around why people make dangerous journeys to seek safety.

“Access through other initiatives, like the family reunion process, have also been hit, meaning families can’t be reunited with their loved ones. Nine in every ten family reunion visas issued in the UK go to women and children, and if they’re unable to be reunited in safety they will often be left in incredibly precarious situations.

“It’s vital that, as the world continues to respond to this global health pandemic, steps are taken to ensure that families are able to reunite quickly. And these statistics should be an important reminder that international co-operation is needed urgently to ensure people are getting the support they need to feel safe no matter where they are."

For further information: 

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