Number of people granted asylum in the UK falls in 2017

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 16 July 2018 in News

Office for National Statistics figures show there were 14,166 grants of asylum in 2017, compared with 15,973 the previous year

Image credit: Red Cross

The number of people granted asylum in the UK fell last year, according to new official statistics.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that in the year to March 2018 there were 14,166 grants of asylum, alternative forms of protection and resettlement, compared with 15,973 the previous year.

The publication shows 42 per cent of the grants of asylum were for those under 18.

The number of grants of asylum to main applicants and dependants was down 17 per cent, to 6,865, while 5,760 fewer people were given protection under a resettlement scheme – a 99 per cent drop on the previous year.

But 1,541 people were granted an ‘alternative form of protection’ – which includes those given full refugee status as well as people who came to the UK through the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme – a rise of 16 per cent on the year before.

The figures, provided by the Home Office, show 5,874 family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of those granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, a two per cent increase since last year.

Meanwhile, the ONS figures show the number of EU citizens who left the UK last year was the highest on record, with a total 139,000 emigrating from the UK in 2017.

Net migration to the UK from the EU was 101,000 in 2017, the lowest estimate in five years.

But net migration from non-EU states rose to 227,000, the highest level since 2011.

Nicola White, from the migration statistics division of the ONS, said: “With around 280,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving in 2017, these latest figures show that migration has continued to add to the UK population. Net migration fell following record levels in 2015 and early 2016 and has been broadly stable since. This is similar to the level recorded in year ending September 2014.

“Underlying this immigration has remained broadly stable at around 630,000 and emigration has shown a gradual increase since 2015 and is currently at around 350,000.”

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