Asylum: Day one challenges for the next government (June 2024) - Refugee Council

Asylum: Day one challenges for the next government (June 2024)

The new government will need to take decisive action to address the cost, chaos and human misery that result from the existing state of the asylum system. This paper sets out the key challenges it will face, as well as a series of recommendations that should be followed from day one to fix the broken system, including:

  1. Reforming the asylum legal framework and improving the decision making process by:
    • Bringing forward legislation to repeal the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and restore the right to asylum.
    • Publish guidance to make it clear that leave can continue to be granted to refugees arriving irregularly after March 2023.
    • Use learning from the Streamlined Asylum Process to make quick grants to applicants from high grant countries.
    • Process all asylum applications that had been paused from the cohort of people targeted for removal to Rwanda.
  1. Reducing the backlog of asylum appeals:
  • Create a Home Office team to review and correct appealed and flawed asylum refusals without people needing to go to the courts.
  • Increase the capacity of the first-tier tribunal by recruiting more judges and ensure that appellants have legal representation.
  1. Expanding safe routes:
  • Develop a safe routes strategy, including a commitment to return resettlement to pre-COVID levels at a minimum.
  • Ensure family reunion applications are decided within 12 weeks by the end of 2024.
  • Improve refugee family reunion by allowing child refugees to sponsor close family members to join them.