Home Office abandons six-month target for asylum decisions

Legal Updates

The Home Office has confirmed that they are abandoning their target, brought in in 2014, of deciding straightforward asylum claims within six months.

The Home Office had previously said that in straightforward cases, you should be informed of the Home Office decision on your asylum claim within six months of your substantive interview.

It might take longer than this if your supporting documents needed to be verified, you needed to attend more interviews or your personal circumstances needed to be checked (for example if you have a criminal conviction or you’re currently being prosecuted).

However, the Guardian reported this week that the Home Office is abandoning this target.

The Home Office said that:

“We have moved away from the six-month service standard to concentrate on cases with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC).

Additionally, we will prioritise cases where an individual has already received a decision but a reconsideration is required. We are engaging stakeholders to help inform how we will prioritise decision-making in the future, which will result in a new service standard that will seek to address the concerns that have been raised with the current arrangements.”

The Home Office’s own statistics repeatedly showed that they were missing the six month target.

In 2017, only 75% of cases were decided within six months. 25% (over 14,300 people) were not.


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