On 23 July 2019, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid made an official written statement in the House of Lords on a number of issues related to immigration. One of the issues covered in his statement related to Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (“Section 67”).
In his speech, the then Home Secretary tackled the challenge of dealing with unaccompanied children seeking sanctuary in the UK but who do not qualify for international protection in line with the Refugee Convention 1951 or humanitarian protection leave.
The ‘Dubs’ amendment, also known as Section 67, requires the Secretary of State to ‘make arrangements to relocate to the United Kingdom and support a specified number of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe’.
Under the current rules, children who qualify for Section 67 leave have the right to study and work in the UK, and access public funds (claim benefits and housing support) and healthcare, provided they meet the residence requirements. In addition, they would be granted a total of 5 years’ continuous leave.
Importantly, however, Section 67 leave is currently only granted to those children whose refugee or humanitarian protection applications have been refused. The change discussed by the then Home Secretary would allow those transferring to the UK under Section 67 to receive this status immediately, guaranteeing their status in the UK as soon as they arrive. Children whose asylum status is under consideration will also be granted this leave automatically and all those who are granted leave under Section 67 will still be able to claim asylum in the UK.
This amendment to the rules will provide more security to the 480 unaccompanied children the UK government has committed to transferring to the UK under Section 67.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
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