How many asylum claims are made?

In 2012, Britain registered asylum claims for 27,486 persons, placing the UK fourth in Europe in terms of receiving countries (after Germany, France and Sweden). This figure is made up of 21,785 applicants, with the rest consisting of main applicants' dependent family members. When one considers the number of asylum claims registered per head of the population (as opposed to actual numbers registered), the UK falls down to 13th place in Europe.

The top asylum-receiving country in the world is the United States of America with 83,400 asylum claims registered, while the rest of the top 5 was made up of Germany (64,500 claims), France (61,200 claims) Sweden (43,900 claims) and the UK (27,500 claims).

The number of claims received in the UK has fallen dramatically since 2002, when it stood at over 80,000. A number of factors may have contributed to this decrease, including tighter restrictions such as a process preventing certain nationalities from appealing decisions while in the country (introduced in 2002), immigration controls operated by UK immigration officers being opened in France and Belgium (introduced in 2002 and 2004) and certain claims being disposed of using a fast-track procedure (introduced in 2003).

Where do asylum seekers come from come from?

The country that produced the most asylum seekers worldwide in 2012 was Afghanistan, with 8% of the total. This was followed by Syria (6%), Kosovo (5%), China (5%), Pakistan (5%), Russia (5%) and Iraq (4%).

However, in the UK, the top 5 common countries of origin are:

  1. Pakistan (3,439 claims)
  2. Iran (2,722)
  3. Sri Lanka (1,768)
  4. Syria (1,166)
  5. India (1,107)

The rest of the UK top 10 is made up of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Albania and Eritrea. It is notable that, perhaps contrary to expectations, neither Iraq nor Somalia appear in the British top 10. It is these statistics that year to year show how the globe is changing. For instance, countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Turkey no longer appear on the lists.

How many claims succeed?

In the year ending March 2013, 37% of claims were granted at the initial stage. Of those who were refused asylum by the UK Border Agency and subsequently appealed to the courts, 26% were successful.

How much do asylum seekers and refugees receive from the government?

While their claim is undecided, asylum seekers do not have the right to work, but are provided with accommodation and £36.62 per week, which is calculated on the basis that they require £5.23/day for food, sanitation and clothing. They are not permitted any other benefits or to supplement their income by working.