Documents to download

The Covid-19 pandemic interrupted the UK’s refugee resettlement activities and led to uncertainty over its future resettlement plans.

Resettlements to the UK were put on hold in March 2020 and only began to resume at the end of the year. The Government has recently confirmed that the remaining small number of people due to be resettled in the UK from the conflict in Syria are expected to arrive in early 2021.  

The Government has also reaffirmed its intention to launch a new ‘UK Resettlement Scheme’ after the end of the Syrian scheme. There is some uncertainty about whether the Government’s plans for the new scheme will resemble the model previously outlined. The timescale, number of places to be offered, and funding arrangements, also remain unconfirmed. Local authorities and other stakeholders are warning that without certainty of the Government’s intentions and funding commitments to the new scheme, they may have to scale back their own commitments in respect of resettled refugees.   

This short briefing gives an overview of recent Government statements on the resumption of resettlement in the UK and its plans for the new UK Resettlement Scheme. Commons Library briefing Refugee Resettlement in the UK (6 March 2020) has more detailed information about the development of refugee resettlement programmes in the UK over the past five years, including the background to the new scheme.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Asylum Statistics

    An analysis of asylum statistics and trends in the UK and EU countries. Statistics on asylum seekers and refugees in the UK are published by the Home Office, while statistics on asylum in EU27 countries are published by Eurostat. These statistics contain data on the number of people applying for asylum, the outcomes of asylum applications, and the number of people being resettled to the UK. This edition contains a new section on asylum applications and Channel crossings in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Asylum Statistics
  • Asylum seekers: the permission to work policy

    The Government is reviewing its policy on restricting asylum seekers' rights to work. The current position is that people seeking asylum can only apply for permission to work if they have been waiting for an initial decision on their asylum claim for over 12 months. Those who are given permission can only do skilled jobs on the Shortage Occupation List.

    Asylum seekers: the permission to work policy