HC Deb 03 November 1992 vol 213 cc128-9W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish the full terms and form of the entry clearance which can be issued abroad to those seeking entry clearance for the purpose of making an asylum application;

(2) if he will list the proposals brought forward since 1979 to make it easier for asylum seekers to gain pre-entry clearance;

(3) in what circumstances it is possible for a person to claim asylum in the United Kingdom having admitted to an entry clearance officer that this was the intention;

(4) if it is his practice for an individual who has been granted entry clearance abroad for asylum purposes to apply for asylum at the port of entry into the United Kingdom or at the port abroad;

(5) if he will bring forward proposals to make it easier for asylum seekers to gain pre-entry clearance in their home countries.

Mr. Charles Wardle

The obligations of the 1951 United Nations convention on the status of refugees are not at large but apply only when a refugee is in the territory of a state party to the convention. Nevertheless, the Government are prepared to grant entry clearance abroad to a person who wishes to travel to the United Kingdom in order to make an application for asylum, if he meets the definition of a refugee under the terms of article 1A of the 1951 convention and has close ties with the United Kingdom such as to make it the most appropriate country of refuge for him. Entry clearance would normally be granted in the form of a visit visa or its equivalent. The person would be free to apply for asylum at the port on arrival in the United Kingdom or direct to the Home Office after arrival. Close dependants of people recognised as refugees in the United Kingdom may apply for entry clearance in their country of origin to join the sponsor on the basis of family reunion. On arrival they may apply to be recognised as refugees. I have no plans to change these arrangements.