HC Deb 27 January 1993 vol 217 cc713-4W
Mr. Madden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people from the former Yugoslavia seeking to enter the United Kingdom as dependent relatives have been refused entry since January 1992; how many have lodged appeals against such refusal; what representations he has received concerning policy matters affecting the definition of dependency; and if he will make a statement;

(2) what recommendations he has made regarding policy in defining dependency with particular regard to those from the former Yugoslavia seeking to obtain visas to join relatives in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many dependent relatives originating from the former Yugoslavia have been permitted to enter or join other relatives in the United Kingdom since January 1992; how he defines the categories of dependents permitted to enter the United Kingdom, within or outside the immigration rules, to join relatives in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Charles Wardle

[holding answer 19 January 1993]: In the period 1 January to 30 November 1992 a total of 1,160 dependants accompanied principal asylum applicants from the former Yugoslavia who applied at the ports, and about 400 dependants were associated with applicants who were already in the United Kingdom at the time of their applications. Except for cases refused on safe third-country grounds, all these principal applicants and dependants are being allowed to stay while their applications are considered.

There is no entitlement under the immigration rules for a person to come to the United Kingdom, whether from former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, as the dependent relative of a person who is here as a visitor or as any asylum applicant. Dependent relatives are not normally permitted to join an asylum applicant until either he or she has been recognised as a refugee under the terms of the 1951 United Nations convention on the status of refugees or has completed a period of four years' residence in the United Kingdom with exceptional leave to remain.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary has, however, decided that close dependants of the 1,000 former detainees will be allowed to join them for the duration of their stay. Generally, close dependants are regarded as the spouse and children under 18. However, in respect of the former detainees we are also prepared to consider applications for visas from fully dependent and unmarried daughters over 18 and under 21; from elderly or sick parents; and from other relatives living in the most exceptional compelling compassionate circumstances.

The available information on other dependants of asylum applicants is that since the introduction of the visa requirement for nationals of certain parts of the former Yugoslavia on 6 November 1992 about 20 people from the former Yugoslavia have been granted entry clearance to join relatives in asylum-related cases.

In addition, under the arrangements I announced to the House on 30 November 1992, 130 close dependants of former detainees have so far been granted clearance to come to the United Kingdom. Sixty-five applications by more distant relatives have been refused.

Applications from other people from the former Yugoslavia for a visa to join a relative in the United Kingdom will be decided in accordance with the immigration rules.

Available information on other people from the former Yugoslavia admitted to the United Kingdom as spouses or dependants is given in the following table. Information on refusals and appeals is not identifiable separately in the statistics.

Persons1 from the former Yugoslavia admitted2

to the United Kingdom as spouses and dependants

in non-asylum related cases by certain3 categories

January to July4 1992

Spouses admitted for probationary year prior to settlement
Wives 20
Husbands 15
Children 5
Fiancé(e)s 15
Elderly relatives
Dependants accompanying work permit holders 70
Dependants accompanying students 25
1 Figures rounded to nearest 5.
2 Including also those accepted for settlement on arrival.
3 Information for other categories is not separately identifiable.
4 Information since July 1992 is not yet available.

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