Lord Hylton – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Hylton on 2015-11-09.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to enable refugees from the Middle East and other war zones who have close family connections with the UK to come to this country safely to apply for protection.

Lord Bates

There is no provision in our Immigration Rules for someone to be given permission to travel to the UK to seek asylum or humanitarian protection. However, we recognise that families may become fragmented because of the nature of conflict and persecution and the speed and manner in which those seeking asylum often flee their country of origin. Our refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of a person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status – that is a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18, who formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country of origin – to reunite with them in the UK.

We also operate three discretionary resettlement schemes for recognised refugees for whom resettlement is the most appropriate answer. We operate these schemes in partnership with the UNHCR: Gateway; Mandate; and the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme. Under the Syrian VPR Scheme we are working closely with the UNHCR to resettle close family groups where at least one member qualifies under the scheme.

We are also making a significant contribution to support refugees and their families in other ways. The UK has contributed over £1 billion in humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis and we intend to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees displaced to neighbouring countries over the lifetime of this Parliament.