To ask Her Majesty’s Government which are the designated dispersal areas for asylum seekers in the UK; how many asylum seekers are currently registered as living in Northern Ireland; how many asylum seekers have been refused leave to stay in Northern Ireland; and what social security benefits asylum seekers are entitled to (1) while awaiting a decision, and (2) after a refusal to remain decision has been made.
11 December 2015
The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, introduced the policy of national dispersal and was designed to introduce an equitable distribution across the country such that no one area was overburdened by the obligation of supporting asylum seekers. In accordance with that Act a number of local authorities across the UK, including those within the devolved administrations, have volunteered to participate in accomodating asylum seekers. There are currently 99 areas signed-up to participate.
The Home Office publish figures on the number of asylum applicants living in dispersed accommodation (under Section 95), by local authority, in the quarterly Immigration Statistics release. The latest release for July-September 2015 is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2015/asylum
Figures on Section 95 support by local authority (including those in dispersed accommodation) are published in table as_16q, in volume 4 of the Asylum data tables: Asylum vol. 4: tables as 14 to as 19 q. These tables show that Northern Ireland is currently accommodating 497 applicants in dispersed accommodation. All will have claimed asylum in Northern Ireland.
National figures are also published on decision outcomes at the above link.
Home Office supports Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute until their claim is fully determined and they have exhausted their appeal rights. Failed asylum seekers may be able to receive short-term support whilst preparing to return to their home country under section 4 of the 1999 Act.