The number of asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their case has soared to record levels over the years with almost 75,000 claims in 2022 alone. The asylum backlog of claims has grown substantively by almost 10 times since December 2010. Clearly, dealing with the huge backlog is a priority for the Home Office, as well as the UK government at large.


Recently, the Home Office have announced that they intend to fast track asylum claims made by those that have come to the United Kingdom from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The Home Office will be sending 10-page Home Office questionnaires and deciding claims without face-to face interviews. They hope that this will help to decrease the huge backlog of around 166,000 claims.


On 7th March 2023, the Home Secretary announced the new proposed Illegal Migration Bill with the intention of stopping illegal entry to the UK. If passed, this will surely decrease the number of asylum claims every year and allow the Home Office to deal with the backlog.


More details about the Illegal Migration Bill can be found in our full breakdown here.


Our thoughts


With the need for the Home Office to reduce the backlog of claims, this raises the question of whether it is a good time for those in the UK without status to make an application for discretionary leave?


There are many who are residing in the UK who have children who have been living in the UK for less than 7 years. They are attending school and have fully integrated into the UK. There are also many who have been living in the UK for many years but under the 20 years requirement to make an application under article 8 – private life.


They not only suffer hardship due to immigration hostile environment, but there is also a significant cost to the taxpayer due to the  Home Office’s ever-increasing workload.


Rather than using taxpayers’ money in conducting reporting events, providing NASS support, and many other costs, for those who realistically cannot be removed as they almost meet the requirements, would it not be better to grant discretionary leave, allowing many to work and contribute to UK Society earlier?


I have no doubt that this will reduce cost to the Home Office long term and will help clear the number of migrants in the UK who remain illegally. Of course, if there is an internal policy regarding this it is unlikely to be publicised however in view of the recent actions made by the Home Office perhaps it is now a wise time to make an application based on discretion.


If you are in the UK without leave, and wish to discuss options available, and in particular whether discretionary leave could be worth an attempt then please get in touch.


Have questions about this article? Get in touch today!


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