We welcome the news that the UK government has U-turned on the Nationality and Borders Act’s two-tier refugee system.

This part of the law sought to deny asylum to people who arrived by so-called irregular routes – such as crossing the Channel on small boats. This would have made life extremely difficult for tens of thousands of people seeking asylum in the UK every year.

We are very relieved that this policy has been abandoned. The move means the government will be able to speed up the claims of around 55,000 people who have arrived in the UK since June 2022. In addition, people who arrived from countries with high refugee recognition rates such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Sudan can be now processed using streamlined questionnaires instead of interviews.

The change also means people who arrived by irregular routes will have improved rights, such as the ability to reunite with family members.

Welcoming the news, our CEO Sabir Zazai said: “The UK government is quietly admitting that its cruel and discriminatory asylum rules are unworkable.

“We the hope that government continues to re-examine their inhumane legislation and we urge them to invest in a fair and humane asylum system rather than the proposed Illegal Migration Bill.”

We will be updating the information on our website to reflect these changes.

Find out more about the support we offer people who have arrived in Scotland.

Gilly Furmage
Author: Gilly Furmage