Asylum routes

You may be pleased to hear that the Government has announced it will conduct a review of safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers, refugees, and their families. I also welcome the fact that the Government has made a statutory commitment to review safe and legal routes, and will also publicly consult on legal routes, including on family reunion for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.


The Immigration Act received Royal Assent in November. This means that, by February, ministers are required under the Act to make a statement providing further detail of the review and consultation relating to legal routes before Parliament. Following the review, ministers will also prepare a report on the outcome of the review, publish that report and present it before Parliament. I will continue to monitor this process as it develops.


I believe that the UK should recommence refugee resettlement as soon as it is safe to do so, and I am pleased that the Home Office has been working closely with international and domestic stakeholders on plans to safely resume resettlement to the UK. I understand that resettlement under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme for Syrian refugees is due to restart, with most refugees expected to start arriving early in the new year. While decisions on resettlement beyond this scheme have not yet been made and will, of course, need to take into account the ongoing pandemic, I will continue to follow this issue closely.