Published on : November 10, 2023
In a significant move, the United Kingdom has decided to include India in its list of “safe states”, aiming to expedite the deportation process for individuals entering the UK illegally and seeking asylum.
The UK Home Office asserts that this step is crucial to fortify the immigration system and curb misuse by those making unsubstantiated protection claims.
As part of its commitment to the “Illegal Immigration Act 2023”, the UK Government has chosen to designate India and Georgia as “safe states”, a decision that aligns with its strategy to deter illegal boat arrivals.
The UK’s classification of India as a safe country implies that asylum claims from Indian nationals arriving via small boats or other illegal means will be deemed inadmissible. This decision removes the possibility of appeals, ensuring a swift return.
According to the UK Home Office, the assessment of India’s safety status adheres to specific criteria. For a country to be included in the “safe states'' list (Section 80AA), the Home Secretary must ascertain that there is generally no serious risk of persecution for its nationals. Additionally, the removal of nationals to that country must align with the UK’s obligations under the Human Rights Convention.
Similar countries already deemed safe by the UK include Albania, Switzerland, and members of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The Home Office has rigorously evaluated India and Georgia, concluding that both meet the established criteria.
The proposal to include India in the list of safe states will undergo parliamentary scrutiny through debates in both Houses of Parliament before it takes effect. This move is part of the broader strategy outlined in the Illegal Migration Act 2023, which aims to “stop the boats” by enabling the detention and swift return of individuals entering the UK illegally. Additional measures, including the legal duty to remove, will be implemented in the coming months.
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