Asylum seekers battling to be granted protection will be forced to travel to Liverpool to fight their case, thanks to changes to Home Office rules.
People will now no longer be able to submit further evidence which could help strengthen their claim at their local immigration centre. Instead, they will be required to travel to Liverpool to be seen in person when the rules change on 26 January 2015. There will be no assistance provided with transport costs.
Many of the people making further submissions will have had their asylum claims initially rejected by the Home Office. However, even the Home Office’s own guidance acknowledges that information can come to light at a further stage which can identify a person as actually being a refugee.
Refused asylum seekers often have no access to any financial support and are banned from working; making last minute travel to Liverpool for people scattered across the country extremely challenging.
The Home Office has claimed that the new system will be more efficient.
Refugee Council Policy Manager Judith Dennis said: “The Home Office appears oblivious to the fact that we live in an internet age; with high speed broadband and scanners which mean that people don’t need to hand deliver evidence to the precise office which will be considering it.
“It’s difficult to see why these changes are necessary; aside from to make it even more difficult for people in fear of their lives to secure the protection they are entitled to.”