HC Deb 22 March 2004 vol 419 cc528-31W
Julie Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers from Zimbabwe were refused asylum in the UK(a) in 2002–03 and (b) since April 2003; and how many failed asylum seekers have been deported to Zimbabwe in each period. [157437]

Beverley Hughes

The following table shows the number of asylum applications and initial decisions for nationals of Zimbabwe (excluding dependants) in(a) 2002–03 and (b) for each month between April 2003 and December 2003, the latest period for which published data are available. Initial decisions do not necessarily relate to applications received in the same period.

Applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, and initial decisions1,2,3, nationals of Zimbabwe
Principal applicants
Initial decisions considered under normal procedures
Applications received Total initial decisions Grants of asylum Grants of ELR Grants of HP Grants of DL Total refusals
2002–03 7,220 6,405 2,385 85 n/a n/a 3,930
April 2003 335 310 90 n/a 5 215
May 2003 230 430 95 n/a 5 * 330
June 2003 250 405 90 n/a * 315
July 2003 285 285 50 n/a 5 230
August 2003 185 270 35 n/a * 235
September 2003 240 345 50 n/a 5 290
October 2003 265 335 55 n/a 280
November 2003 220 360 40 n/a 5 320
December 2003 200 250 25 n/a * 230
1 Figures are provisional and rounded to the nearest five, with *= 1 or 2.
2 Decision figures do not necessarily relate to applications received in the same period.
3 information is of initial determination decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other decisions.

The following table shows the available data, for outcomes of adjudicator appeals at the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) for nationals of Zimbabwe in (a) 2002–03 and (b) for each month between April 2003 and December 2003, the latest period for which published data is available. Appeals may relate to initial

Outcome of appeals1,2determined by adjudicators of the Immigration Appellate Authority, excluding dependants, nationals of Zimbabwe
Number of principal appellants
Appeals determined by adjudicators
Allowed Dismissed Withdrawn
Total determined Total As percentage of determined Total As percentage of determined Total As percentage of determined
2002–03 2,785 1,010 36 1,635 59 140 5
April 2003 380 115 31 250 66 10 3
May 2003 405 115 29 265 65 25 6
June 2003 315 95 30 205 64 20 6
July 2003 405 145 36 245 60 15 4
August 2003 305 70 23 220 72 15 5
September 2003 400 105 26 280 70 15 4
October 2003 375 105 28 260 69 15 3
November 2003 345 80 23 250 72 15 5
December 2003 330 80 24 245 74 10 2
1 Provisional figures rounded to nearest five (except percentages), with '*'=1 or 2. Figures may not add up due to independent rounding. Data on appeal outcomes by nationality in this table are derived from Immigration and Nationality Directorate electronic sources.
2 Figures include cases withdrawn by the Home Office, as well as the appellant.

Deportations are a specific subset of removals alongside persons subject to administrative removal, removal due to illegal entry action or those refused entry at port and subsequently removed.

Estimates of the number of nationals of Zimbabwe who had sought asylum at some stage and who were removed from the UK between April 2002 and September 2003 (the latest date for which figures are available) are shown in the following table. These figures include persons departing 'voluntarily' after the initiation of enforcement action against them, persons leaving under Assisted. Voluntary Returns Programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration and removals to a safe third country.

decisions made in earlier periods. Corresponding information on appeals to the Immigration Appellate Tribunal (IAT) relating to Zimbabwean nationals (including appeals made by the Secretary of State) is not available and could he produced only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case files.

Removals and voluntary1departures of principal asylum applicants (excluding dependants), nationals of Zimbabwe2,3,4
2002–03 100
April to June 2003 15
July to September 2003 20
1 Includes persons departing "voluntarily" after enforcement action had been initiated against them, persons leaving under Assisted voluntary return programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration, and removals on safe third country grounds.
2 Figures rounded to the nearest five and may not sum to total due to rounding.
3 Data have been estimated due to data quality issues.
4 Provisional figures.

Removal of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe was suspended on 15 January 2002; we did not at the time consider that it was unsafe to return them but in view of the rapidly changing circumstances it was appropriate not to enforce returns. The suspension has been maintained since that date and although we still consider it would not be unsafe to return failed asylum seekers there, enforced returns would be inappropriate in the wider context of the Government's position on Zimbabwe. An exception to the suspension policy in cases where a failed asylum seeker has a serious criminal record or their presence in the United Kingdom is not otherwise conducive to the public good was announced on 5 February 2004. In such circumstances enforced return to Zimbabwe would be considered by Ministers on a case by case basis.

Information on asylum applications, initial decisions, appeals and removals are published quarterly. The current publication covering the fourth quarter of 2003, and provisional 2003 data, are available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigrationl.html. Data on the nationality of removals are published a quarter in arrears. Data for the final quarter of 2003 will be published at the end of May.

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