Asylum queue nine times longer than 10 years ago

2 July 2021: BBC: The number of migrants waiting in the UK for their asylum claims to be processed was nine times higher by the end of last year than it was in 2010.

One is Patricia, 19, who fled war and abuse in Liberia and says her mental health has suffered during the two years she has waited for a decision.

There are currently 65,000 people in the queue, official figures obtained by the Refugee Council suggest. [Read the report here:]

The Home Office said it had a plan to “fix the broken asylum system”.

The Refugee Council obtained the figures from the Home Office under Freedom of Information legislation.

The organisation’s analysis shows the pandemic has contributed to a backlog which rose by a quarter in 2020.

The figures show:

  • the number of people waiting for an initial decision for more than a year rose almost tenfold from 3,588 in 2010 to 33,016 in 2020
  • the number of children awaiting an initial decision for more than a year rose more than twelvefold from 563 children in 2010 to 6,887 in 2020
  • and 55 applicants who applied as children have been waiting five years or more for a decision.

Asylum seekers have told the BBC how being in limbo has affected their mental health.

Read more here: