Asylum applications to the UK down for 2007, processing becoming faster

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Asylum applications to the United Kingdom for the first quarter of 2007 are down 10% from the same quarter of the previous year. 5,680 applications have been lodged so far this year, with the top nationalities being Afghan (755), Iranian (600) and Chinese (480).

3,370 failed asylum seekers were deported between January and March 2007, a 4% drop in removals compared to 2006. According to the UK Home Office, the drop is largely attributed to a decision by the Border and Immigration Agency to prioritize removing people who were seen as "dangerous to the public."

<$adv0> The deportation of foreign national prisoners from Britain during the first quarter of 2007 nearly doubled compared to the same quarter last year. About 1,000 have been deported in this category for this year.

The number of cases being fully resolved within six months increased for 2006 from 2005. 74% of applications received a final determination in this time frame, including the appeal process, for 2005/2006, up from 67% of asylum cases for 2004/2005.

Afghan asylum seekers were up 7% from the fourth quarter of 2006. Applications also increased for China (10%), Zimbabwe (40%), Sri Lanka (73%), Pakistan (7%) and Nigeria (27%).

Applications for asylum fell for nationals of Iran (-19%), Somalia (-5%), Eritrea (-43%) and Iraq (-11%).

The Home Office is proposing to add ten more countries to the list of nations to which individuals applying for asylum with claims determined to be unfounded can be returned without appeal. The government hopes this will speed up the process of deportation in many cases.

If the proposal is successful, nationals of Bosnia, Mauritius, Montenegro and Peru who are determined to have filed unfounded claims of asylum can be deported with no right of appeal. Males from Sierra Leone, Mali, Malawi, Liberia, Gambia and Kenya will also have no right to challenge their deportation orders.


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