(CHA0064)

 

Supplementary written evidence submitted by Dr Peter Walsh, Migration Observatory (CHA0064)

 

 

This document provides three items of additional written evidence, as follows.

 

 

1.      A clarification of Abi Tierney’s statistics on Channel migrants and asylum claims in the UK

 

At the Home Affairs Committee oral evidence session of 3 September 2020, on Channel crossings, Abi Tierney provided statistics on the number of detected Channel migrants and the number of asylum claims in the UK.

 

In response to Question 39, Tierney gave data on the number of Channel migrants detected in Q1 2020 and Q2 2020: 465 and 2,012, respectively. I presented the same numbers to the Committee on 18 November 2020.

 

Tierney also provided the number of all asylum claims for those quarters (Q1 2020 and Q2 2020): 8,455 and 4,850, respectively. Tierney then stated that: “Yes—the non-small boats in Q2 was 4,850, and in Q1 it was 8,455.” This implies that these numbers exclude Channel migrants (i.e., migrants detected crossing, or having recently crossed, the English Channel in small boats). Tierney was asked to clarify that these numbers indeed refer to those claiming asylum in the UK who did not arrive by small boat, and said that they do.

 

However, I understand that these figures instead refer to all asylum applications, including those made by those who arrived in the UK via small boat. The numbers match perfectly with those provided in Home Office quarterly immigration statistics datasets on asylum applications (specifically, Table Asy_D01); and as far as I am aware, asylum seekers who arrived in small boats are not excluded from these Home Office counts.

 

One final point of clarification: the numbers Tierney cites on asylum claims in Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 are different those which I presented in the evidence session of 18 November. This is because Tierney is referring to the number of asylum applications made in those quarters. These numbers refer to main applicants only and exclude dependants. The larger numbers I gave to the Committee – 10,569 for Q1 2020, and 5,789 for Q2 2020 – refer to the number of people seeking asylum, and therefore comprise both main applicants and any of their dependants.

 

These data are summarised in Table 1.

 

Table 1 Number of Channel migrants, asylum applications, and people seeking asylum, UK, per quarter, Q1 2020 and Q2 2020

 

2020 Q1

2020 Q2

Channel migrants detected1

465

2,012

Tierney’s figures: Asylum applications (main applicants only; includes asylum applications of those who arrived by small boat)2

8,455

4,850

My figures: Asylum seekers (main applicants + dependants; includes asylum seekers who arrived by small boat)3

10,569

5,789

Notes:

(1)     Source: Letter of 2 September 2020 from the Home Secretary to the Home Affairs Committee. Information is from a live operational database and is therefore provisional and subject to change. Includes individuals detected at sea and brought to the UK and those detected in the UK, including where authorities suspect individuals arrived by small boat, even if no boat was found. Excludes individuals prevented from departing France, or who were intercepted by French authorities and returned to France.

(2)     Source: Migration Observatory analysis of Home Office Immigration Statistics, Asylum and Resettlement - Applications, Initial decisions, and resettlement dataset, Table Asy_D01.

(3)     Source: Migration Observatory analysis of Home Office Immigration Statistics, Asylum and Resettlement - Applications, Initial decisions, and resettlement dataset, Table Asy_D01.

 

 

2.      Statistics on asylum seekers and asylum grants across Europe, YE June 2020, with numbers adjusted for country population

 

Table 2 presents statistics on the number of people (absolute numbers) who claimed asylum in the EU-27, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, in YE June 2020. The counts refer to the number of people who claimed asylum, and therefore include both main applicants and their dependants.

 

Table 2 Number of people who claimed asylum in European countries in the year ending June 2020

For the EU-27, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland

Rank

Country

Number of people who claimed asylum

1

Germany

133,280

2

France

117,225

3

Spain

107,055

4

Greece

71,785

5

United Kingdom

39,480

6

Italy

34,370

7

Sweden

23,875

8

Belgium

21,725

9

Netherlands

19,335

10

Austria

12,285

11

Switzerland

11,770

12

Cyprus

10,450

13

Finland

3,885

14

Malta

3,680

15

Poland

3,535

16

Slovenia

3,495

17

Ireland

3,360

18

Romania

3,285

19

Denmark

2,080

20

Norway

1,920

21

Bulgaria

1,660

22

Croatia

1,645

23

Luxembourg

1,625

24

Portugal

1,560

25

Czechia

1,275

26

Iceland

750

27

Lithuania

530

28

Hungary

325

29

Slovakia

205

30

Latvia

190

31

Estonia

65

32

Liechtenstein

40

Source: Eurostat, Asylum and first time asylum applicants by citizenship, age and sex - monthly data (rounded) (migr_asyappctzm). Date of data extraction: 17 November 2020.

Notes: Includes main applicants and dependants.

 

 

Table 3 provides statistics that adjust the numbers in Table 2 by each country’s resident population as at 1 January 2020.

 

Table 3 Number of people who claimed asylum in European countries in the year ending June 2020, per 1,000 resident population

Rank

Country

Estimated population

(as at 1 Jan 2020)

Number of people who claimed asylum per 1,000 resident population

1

Cyprus

888,005

11.8

2

Malta

514,564

7.2

3

Greece

10,709,739

6.7

4

Luxembourg

626,108

2.6

5

Sweden

10,327,589

2.3

6

Spain

47,329,981

2.3

7

Iceland

364,134

2.1

8

Belgium

11,549,888

1.9

9

France

67,098,824

1.7

10

Slovenia

2,095,861

1.7

11

Germany

83,166,711

1.6

12

Austria

8,901,064

1.4

13

Switzerland

8606033

1.4

14

Netherlands

17,407,585

1.1

15

Liechtenstein

38,748

1.0

16

Finland

5,525,292

0.7

17

Ireland

4,963,839

0.7

18

United Kingdom

67,025,542

0.6

19

Italy

60,244,639

0.6

20

Croatia

4,058,165

0.4

21

Norway

5,367,580

0.4

22

Denmark

5,822,763

0.4

23

Bulgaria

6,951,482

0.2

24

Lithuania

2,794,090

0.2

25

Romania

19,317,984

0.2

26

Portugal

10,295,909

0.2

27

Czechia

10,693,939

0.1

28

Latvia

1,907,675

0.1

29

Poland

37,958,138

0.1

30

Estonia

1,328,976

0.0

31

Slovakia

5,457,873

0.0

32

Hungary

9,769,526

0.0

Source: Eurostat, Asylum and first time asylum applicants by citizenship, age and sex - monthly data (rounded) (migr_asyappctzm). Date of data extraction: 17 November 2020. Population estimates are from Eurostat, ‘Population on 1 January (tps00001)’.

Notes: Includes main applicants and dependants. Population estimate as at 1 January 2020.

 

 

Table 4 presents statistics on the number of positive initial asylum decisions (absolute numbers) for the EU-27, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, in YE June 2020. Positive decisions includes a grant of refugee status, authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons, or any other kind of permission to stay. These are positive initial decisions and so exclude appeals, which will increase the number of grants over time.

 

Note that these statistics on positive decisions cannot be compared with the numbers of applicants in Table 3 to calculate the success rate of applications, because these grants are made in respect of applications submitted in any year. That is, applications and decisions will often not take place during the same year.

 

Table 4 Number of people who received a positive initial asylum decision in European countries in the year ending June 2020

Rank

Country

Number of people receiving positive initial asylum decisions in YE June 2020

1

Germany

64,755

2

Spain

62,660

3

Greece

29,435

4

France

22,775

5

Italy

14,875

6[1]

United Kingdom

13,425

7

Switzerland

11,375

8

Belgium

6,255

9

Austria

6,175

10

Sweden

5,125

11

Netherlands

4,990

12

Norway

1,650

13

Finland

1,535

14

Cyprus

1,420

15

Denmark

1,140

16

Ireland

855

17

Bulgaria

555

18

Romania

550

19

Luxembourg

545

20

Malta

440

21

Iceland

430

22

Poland

305

23

Hungary

150

24

Czechia

125

25

Slovenia

115

26

Lithuania

80

27

Croatia

60

28

Portugal

50

29

Estonia

40

30

Slovakia

30

31

Latvia

25

32

Liechtenstein

15

Source: Eurostat, First instance decisions on applications by citizenship, age and sex - quarterly data (rounded) (migr_asydcfstq). Date of data extraction: 17 November 2020.

Notes: Includes main applicants and dependants. Positive decisions’ includes a grant of refugee status, authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons, or any other kind of permission to stay. This is at initial decision, and so excludes the results of appeals, which will increase the number of positive grants over time. The success rate of applications at initial decision in YE June 2020 cannot be calculated by dividing the number of positive decisions by the number of applications made in that period, because some grants will be made with respect to applications made in previous years.

 

 

Table 5 adjusts the positive decision statistics in Table 4 by each country’s resident population as at 1 January 2020.

 

Table 5 Number of people who received a positive initial asylum decision in European countries in the year ending June 2020, per 1,000 resident population

Rank

Country

Number of people receiving a positive initial asylum decision, per 1,000 population

1

Greece

2.75

2

Cyprus

1.60

3

Spain

1.32

4

Switzerland

1.32

5

Iceland

1.18

6

Luxembourg

0.87

7

Malta

0.86

8

Germany

0.78

9

Austria

0.69

10

Belgium

0.54

11

Sweden

0.50

12

Liechtenstein

0.39

13

France

0.34

14

Norway

0.31

15

Netherlands

0.29

16

Finland

0.28

17

Italy

0.25

18

United Kingdom

0.20

19

Denmark

0.20

20

Ireland

0.17

21

Bulgaria

0.08

22

Slovenia

0.05

23

Estonia

0.03

24

Lithuania

0.03

25

Romania

0.03

26

Hungary

0.02

27

Croatia

0.01

28

Latvia

0.01

29

Czechia

0.01

30

Poland

0.01

31

Slovakia

0.01

32

Portugal

0.00

Source: Eurostat, First instance decisions on applications by citizenship, age and sex - quarterly data (rounded) (migr_asydcfstq). Date of data extraction: 17 November 2020. Population estimates are from Eurostat, ‘Population on 1 January (tps00001)’.

Notes: Population estimate as at 1 January 2020. Includes main applicants and dependants. Positive initial asylum decision includes a grant of refugee status, authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons, or any other kind of permission to stay. This is at initial decision, and so excludes the results of appeals, which will increase the number of positive grants. The success rate of applications in YE June 2020 cannot be calculated by dividing the number of grants by the number of applications, because grants will be made with respect to applications made in previous years.

 

 

3.      Statistics on the success rate of asylum applications in the UK by selected nationalities

 

Table 6 shows how asylum application success rates differ depending on applicants’ nationality. It shows the ‘final’ success rate (i.e., taking into account appeals) of asylum applicants of eight nationalities. These are the top eight nationalities of Channel migrants detected from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2020. Note, however, that these asylum statistics refer to all asylum applications from nationals of these countries, rather than the asylum applications of Channel migrants in particular. The data do not include applications made in 2019 and 2020, as a large share of these have not yet received a final decision.

 

Table 6 Final success rate of UK asylum applications received in 2016 to 2018, selected nationalities

Main applicants only, excludes dependants

Country of nationality

Final success rate of applications received in 2016 to 2018

Iran

73%

Iraq

49%

Syria

88%

Afghanistan

68%

Yemen

90%

Sudan

76%

Pakistan

36%

Eritrea

80%

Source: Migration Observatory analysis of Home Office Immigration Statistics, Outcome analysis of asylum applications, Asy_D04.

Note: Final success rate of applications is the share of applications received in 2016 to 2018 inclusive with a grant of asylum or other form of leave as at May 2020, taking into account successful appeals to the First-tier Tribunal but not higher courts, and excluding pending and withdrawn applications.

 

 

 

December 2020


[1] Note that in the evidence sessions I said, erroneously, that the UK ranked fifth in the number of positive initial decisions in YE June 2020. The correct ranking is sixth.