Asylum seekers required to travel to Liverpool to submit documents

back of women in veil  c. Jenny Wicks

UPDATE: The Home Office has posponed implementing new rules which would require asylum seekers to travel to Liverpool to submit fresh claims. As yet, there is no indication from the Home Office of when this new rule will come into force. We will update our website with further information as it becomes available.

Asylum seekers in Scotland who have struggled to gather further evidence to support their claim for refugee protection will now have to travel from Glasgow to Liverpool in a change of policy by the Home Office.

The new rule, which comes into effect on 26 January 2015, will affect everyone wishing to supply the Home Office with fresh evidence that they are likely to be subject to persecution or human rights abuses if they return to their home countries.

Previously, people were able to submit these documents by post or in some cases at the Home Office's premises in Glasgow.

The Home Office will not provide travel expenses to enable people to make the 400-mile return journey.

Gary Christie, Head of Policy at Scottish Refugee Council said:

“It is often very difficult for people to gather the evidence the Home Office requires to prove that they will be subject to torture, persecution and human rights abuses if they return to their home countries. It can take time to gather this evidence, often years, and this slow, difficult process takes its toll on people who have to live with years of insecurity about their and their families’ futures.

The people affected by this new requirement have minimal and in many cases no means of support. The Home Office will not provide money for people’s bus fares to Liverpool or any other expenses so it is unclear how they expect people to travel those two hundred miles.

There are many serious problems with this change of policy. Requiring people to travel in person from Glasgow to Liverpool to submit new evidence to support their claims for asylum is obstructive and makes it more difficult for people to access the UK’s asylum system."

Take action

Has your MP signed this Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for the Government to abandon this new rule?

EDM 714: CHANGE TO RULES ON SUBMITTING NEW EVIDENCE IN ASYLUM CASES

If not, write to your MP and ask them to sign it. Click here to find out who your local MP is and how to get in touch with them.

Full text of EDM 714:

That this House expresses concern that the Home Office has made a rule change, due to be enforced on 26 January 2015, that asylum seekers who have been refused leave to remain will have to submit evidence in person in Liverpool regarding their case, regardless of where they are living; notes that asylum seekers who have been refused leave to remain can under current arrangements present evidence at a local centre; further notes that this means it is more affordable for charities, other organisations and individuals to help pay for an asylum seeker's travel fare or volunteer to take somebody who cannot use public transport due to a disability or other reasons; expresses further concern that the rule change will make it much harder for asylum seekers to present evidence which may be crucial to correctly resolving their case; and urges the Government to abandon this rule change and ensure that people seeking protection in the UK are able to present evidence relating to their case.