To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Home Secretary on 24 March (HC Deb, cols 921–36), what are the (1) family reunion rights, (2) associated timescales, for asylum seekers who are granted asylum, and (3) the family reunion rights for illegal arrivals from a safe country.
26 April 2021
The current family reunion policy allows a partner and children under 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them here, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country. Over 29,000 visas have been issued under this route in the last 5 years.
Currently, a person is eligible to sponsor a family reunion application as soon as they have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection. There is no limit or timescale when they stop becoming eligible, other than if they become naturalised and obtain British citizenship. Once someone overseas applies for a family reunion visa, our customer service standard is 60 UK working days for straightforward cases.
As set out in the New Plan for Immigration policy statement published on 24 March, we are committed to review the refugee family reunion routes available to refugees who have arrived through safe and legal routes. Subject to considering consultation responses, those who are granted the new temporary protection status are proposed to have limited family reunion rights.
We have initiated a comprehensive consultation and engagement process which is open now until 6 May. We will use this opportunity to listen to a wide range of views from stakeholders across the sector, as well as members of the public. All policy development will be undertaken in line with the law, including our equalities duties and international obligations.