Information on the policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda

Here's what we know so far.

What is the new plan? 

The government announced a new migration plan on 14 April 2022. It could see some people who came to the UK without a visa or other permission to enter the country sent to Rwanda to have their asylum claim processed and decided there.

When does the plan to send people to Rwanda start?

It can apply to anyone who came to the UK without a visa or other permission to enter the country from 1 January 2022.

How will the government decide who should go to Rwanda?

When people claim asylum in the UK, their application is considered by the UK government. If the government believes someone has travelled through other countries it deems ‘safe’ before reaching the UK, and that they could have claimed asylum along their journey, the government may decide that their asylum claim ‘inadmissible’.  

This means that the government can try to send the person to another country they consider to be safe, such as Rwanda.

Before someone with an inadmissible asylum claim is sent to another country, the government must have assessed that the other country would be safe.  

Who will be affected by this plan?

This plan could apply to everyone who came to the UK without a visa or other permission to enter the country, and then applied for asylum.

Does this affect people who crossed the channel in small boats?

Since most people crossing the channel in small boats do not have visas or other permission to enter the UK, the government could decide that their asylum claim is inadmissible in the UK. They may then be sent to Rwanda.

It could also apply to people who entered the country through other dangerous journeys, such as hidden in lorries.

I have family in the UK. Will I be able to stay here?

We are not sure yet. If you have family in the UK and have not been able to find them, please contact your nearest British Red Cross refugee service. We may be able to help.

If I am sent to Rwanda, who will assess my asylum claim?

People who are sent to Rwanda will have their asylum claims assessed by the Rwandan government. People would not be going through the UK’s asylum process in another country, and they would not be able to return to the UK.

Instead, they would be given permission to live in Rwanda.

What about people under 18?

Unaccompanied children will not be affected by this plan and will be able to stay in the UK while the government assesses their case.

Could this policy apply to people who have been trafficked?

Someone who has been trafficked, and then applied for asylum and had their claim deemed inadmissible, could potentially be sent to Rwanda.

The Home Office will assess each case individually to decide whether people are suitable to be relocated. The detail of these assessments has not been made public yet.

How the Red Cross can help

We will keep monitoring the situation and will update this page as soon as we know more.

If you are finding it hard to cope, you can use the information and activities on our website to help when you feel anxious, stressed or confused.

We have translated resources for people from Afghanistan and Ukraine on our website.