The asylum backlog and asylum accommodation - June 2023 - Refugee Council

The asylum backlog and asylum accommodation – June 2023

In this briefing, we provide an update on the asylum backlog and the Government’s plans to clear the ‘legacy’ backlog by the end of the year.

Some key points covered:

  • Half of the people accommodated in hotels come from just five countries with high asylum grant rates – Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Sudan and Syria. Granting asylum to them and people from those countries who are in dispersal accommodation could end 89 per cent of hotel use overnight, saving just over £5million each day.
  • The Home Office would need to make over 10,600 decisions every month to meet the Prime Minister’s commitment to clear the “legacy” backlog by the end of 2023.
  • Over half of asylum decisions are currently withdrawals, rather than grants or refusals. This shows that rather than increasing the productivity of caseworkers by making faster and better decisions, people are instead effectively being forced out of the process by having their cases withdrawn before they are even considered.
  • The number of decision makers in the Home Office has fallen in recent months from 1,333 at the start of January 2023 to 1,280 on 1 May. The number of substantive asylum interviews carried out is no higher than it was at the start of 2020 when there was half the number of decision makers.
  • The Government needs to transform the decision-making process so that it focuses on the face-behind-the-case with claims dealt with effectively and efficiently.