- Bangladeshis are tenth in seeking asylum in the UK, while Iran is on top
- Around 1000 Bangladeshi claimed asylum in the UK from Sept 2020 to Sept 2021
- Approximately 70 thousand Bangladeshis residing in the UK in 2021
- Bangladeshi migrants from UK sent $1560.4M remittance in 2021
- Nationality and Borders Act 2022 has come into force from 28 June this year
Asylum seekers and undocumented Bangladeshis living in the UK fear strict measures from the authorities as the country has adopted a tougher Nationality and Borders Act, which came into effect from 28 June.
Immigration experts say the asylum seeking process as well as the removal and deportation systems have changed fundamentally with the new Nationality and Borders Act.
Migrants who are staying without legal entry permits as well as asylum seekers in the UK will face harsh consequences under this new Act, they warned.
"Two important changes – new two-stage refugee status verification and automatic deportation policy, may affect Bangladeshi citizens living in the UK," MdMahbubur Rahman, a Bangladeshi origin solicitor, Supreme Court of England and Wales, United Kingdom, told The Business Standard.
"The government has adopted a new asylum policy where temporary refugees will have to extend their visas after every 2.5 years and after 10 years of lawful residence they will get a settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain). Most importantly, the temporary refugees will not be able to sponsor their family members unless compassionate grounds are available. It means they will not be able to bring their spouses or children. However, it is very easy for the refugees in the traditional system," he said.
"Secondly, Section 40 of the Act gives the Secretary of State for the Home Department power to deport any migrants who entered the UK illegally or have overstayed," added the solicitor.
The act also allows the authority to convict them for up to 4 years in prison (it was up to 6 months before 28 June 2022) and if anyone receives a conviction of more than 12 months, the Secretary of State for the Home Department must make a deportation order against them under Section 32(5) of the UK Borders Act 2007, Mahbubur Rahman further elaborated.
In 2021, the UK received a total of 48,540 asylum applications, which is 63% more than the previous year.
Bangladeshis are tenth in seeking asylum in the UK, while Iran is on top.
Due to Covid restrictions and the current war in Ukraine, the UK Home Office is deciding on a few claims made as prior as January 2020.
As per recent statistics, the initial decision success rate is 27% for Bangladeshis, which is 80% for Iranian and 47% for Pakistani. It is better than earlier.
According to UK government statistics, from September 2020 to September 2021 around one thousand Bangladeshis claimed asylum in the UK.
During this time, the government decided on a very few claims and 27% of the claims were successful in the first instance.
Individually in 2021, only 26 Bangladeshis received refugee status from the UK Home Office in their first application. However, this number is much higher following appeals made before the Immigration Tribunal.
In the first three months of 2022, only seven Bangladeshis obtained refugee status from the UK Home Office. However, 36 Bangladeshis were granted visas in other categories though they claimed asylum in the UK.
Following the US sanctions against the Bangladesh police and RAB, the UK courts (immigration Tribunals) have been allowing more appeals than before.
Abdul Karim (not his real name), 27, from Madaripur went to the UK in January this year.
He applied for asylum on political grounds in February this year. Now he is waiting for the feedback from the authority as the process is yet to be completed.
"I applied before the new act came into effect. Therefore, I am quite optimistic about securing asylum," he told The Business Standard on 7 July.
"Bangladeshis who applied after 28 June are quite anxious as the UK authorities have toughened the law," he added.
In 2017 and 2018 a total of 1712 and 1294 Bangladeshis respectively claimed asylum in the UK. In 2020 the number was 876.
The initial decision success rate was only 5 %, but following appeals, this rate rose to above 24%.
According to recent statistics, the initial decision success rate is 27% and following appeals, this rate is above 39%.
There were approximately 70 thousand Bangladeshi nationals residing in the United Kingdom in 2021. The migrants from the UK sent $1560.4m in remittances last year.
SolicitorMahbubur Rahman said, "I understand Bangladeshis living in the UK, documented or undocumented, are contributing in sending remittances to Bangladesh. In my observation, there are hundreds of Bangladeshis for around 10–18 years, who are illegally living in the UK and serving the UK economy and sending money every month to their families in Bangladesh, though they cannot live in the country according to UK standards."
Requesting to go unnamed, an official at the Bangladesh High Commission in the UK, told The Business Standard, "We cannot talk about the internal immigration policy of a country. However, we help out the Bangladeshi asylum seekers in all possible ways when they reach out to the High Commission."
Why does the UK want to fly migrants to Rwanda?
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has recently taken up the "Migration Partnership" move with Rwanda, aiming to "see those arriving dangerously, illegally, or unnecessarily into the UK are relocated there", reports the Daily Mail.
Under a £120 million deal, Rwanda will process asylum claims and "settle or remove" them in line with Rwandan and international law. The Home Office reportedly expects about 300 people to be deported to Rwanda each year.
However, the first flight scheduled to take asylum seekers to Rwanda did not take off last month after the European Human Rights Court issued last-minute injunctions to stop the deportation of the handful of people on board.
The government says it welcomes refugees who come through approved immigration routes, but wants to put criminal smuggling gangs which operate dangerous Channel crossings out of business.
Home Office statistics show that 36,792 people were found to have entered the UK by irregular routes last year.