Headline data

National Statistics1 show that, in 2019, the UK received 31,589 asylum applications from main applicants. This was an 18% increase on the previous year. The UK ranked 7th in the EU28 for number of asylum applications received, and 19th in terms of asylum applicants per head of resident population.2

In 2018 1 the top 10 countries of origin for asylum claims made in the UK were 1) Iran 2) Iraq 3) Eritrea 4) Pakistan 5) Albania 6) Sudan 7) Afghanistan 8) India 9) Bangladesh 10) Vietnam3

bmeAt end of March 2018, for the North East this was, by country of origin, 1) Iraq 2) Iran 3) Albania 4) Pakistan 5) Eritrea 6) Afghanistan 7) Sudan 8) Nigeria 9) Other/Unknown 10) China and by region of the world 1) Middle East 2) Sub-Saharan Africa 3) South Asia 4) Europe (non EU) 5) North Africa.4

At January 2019, 142 of the UK's 407 Local Authorities were participating in Dispersal, including 11 of the North East region's 12 Local Authorities. At the end of March 2019, the national dispersal population was 42,597, with 4,899 being housed in the North East.5 This is an increase on 2016 Q1 3,160, 2017 Q1 3,105, and 2018 Q1 3,853.

In the year ending March 2019, nationally, there were 9,191 grants of asylum to main applicants and dependants (up 34% on the previous year). There were also 2,319 grants of alternative form of protection to main applicants and their dependants (up 50%). Together this meant that 29% of determined asylum claims were granted, though grant rates vary considerably between nationalities. This compares to 25% in the previous year.6 Additionally, 5,662 Family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of those granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, a 2% decrease since last year. Of these, 2,766 (49%) were issued to children.7 There is no tracking data kept or statistics as to how many refugees live in the North East, or where they reside. Refugees can choose where to live, although in relation to social housing, they may only have local connection to the area where they were dispersed to.

In the year to March 2019, 62% of refusals were appealed and 39% of appeals determined were allowed. For the previous year this was 36%. At March 2019, 62% of refusals were appealed, with 31% being successful.8 There were 2,009 voluntary returns and 1,554 enforced removals from the UK relating to asylum cases.9

childfemaleIn the year ending March 2019, there were 3,223 asylum applications made in the UK by unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC), a 31% increase compared to the previous year. Applications from Eritrean and Sudanese nationals together account for 37% of all UASC applications, followed by Iraqi nationals (12%), Iranian nationals (10%) and Vietnamese nationals (10%). UASC receive assistance from the Local Authority as children in need under the Children's Act 1989. 89% of applicants were male, and 76% of all applicants were aged between 16 and 17.10

At February 2018, 36 UASC were hosted across the 6 North East Local Authorities participating in the NTS. All were 16 to 17 year olds. UASC may also arrive into an area spontaneously, and will be looked after by the relevant Local Authority.11 Of the 2,381 initial decisions relating to UASC made by the Home Office in the year ending March 2019, 1,429 (60%) were grants of asylum or another form of protection, and an additional 268 (11%) were UASC leave, which is granted to UASCs refused asylum, but eligible for temporary leave.12

In the year to March 2019, 5,015 people were provided with protection under a resettlement scheme (up 1% on the previous year). The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) is one of the 4 schemes operated by the Home Office. People accepted by the UK under this scheme arrive into the UK with 5 year's Leave to Remain already granted - so arrive as 'Refugees'. At March 2019, 1,368 resettled refugees were being hosted across the 8 North East Local Authorities participating in VPRS.13

In summary, in the year to March 2019, there were a total of 17,304 grants of asylum, alternative forms of protection and resettlement made in the UK to individual people, up 22% on the previous year.14

At March 2019 there were 801 asylum seekers housed in Gateshead under the COMPASS contract.5 This is an increase on 2017 Q1 357 and 2018 Q1 480.

To March 2019, 337 refugees have been resettled by Gateshead Council under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS).13 All are family units.


1 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table as_01_q, 24 May 2019 (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

2 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table as_07 (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

3 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table as_01 (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/summary-of-latest-statistics)

4 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 4 as_17_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

5 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 4 as_16_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

6 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 2 as_02_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

7 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 5 as_21_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

8 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 4 as_14_q and volume 2 as_02_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

9 Home Office, National Statistics, Returns data table vol 1 rt_01_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

10 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 3 table as_08_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

11 Regional Refugee Forum North East, Feb 2018

12 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 3 table as_09_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

13 Home Office, National Statistics, Asylum data table volume 4 table as_20_q (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables)

14 Home Office, National Statistics, Summary of latest statistics (GOV.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/summary-of-latest-statistics)

Last modified on 8th July 2019

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