Written Question – Home Office [18/06/2018]

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he is taking steps to expand the scope of the refugee family reunion rules. (153364)

Tabled on: 13 June 2018

Caroline Nokes:

The Government’s approach to refugee family reunion has provided a safe and legal route for more than 25,000 partners and children of those granted protection here in the last five years. Our family reunion policy allows immediate pre-flight family members of those granted protection here to reunite with them. The Immigration Rules also provide for relatives with protection in the UK to sponsor children in serious and compelling circumstances and there is provision in the policy to grant visas outside the Rules in exceptional circumstances, which caters for family members who otherwise do not qualify under the Rules.

We are listening carefully to calls to expand the scope of the refugee family reunion rules and are reviewing our approach as part of the Government’s wider asylum and resettlement strategy. We continue to follow the passage of two Private Members’ Bills on refugee family reunion closely and will continue our productive discussions with non-governmental organisations in this area.

However, expanding the policy without careful thought could risk more people being put in harms’ way. We also remain committed to focussing our support, and local authority resources, on the most vulnerable refugees. It is important that we think carefully before expanding the scope of family reunion to those who may not need protection.

The answer was submitted on 18 Jun 2018 at 18:05.