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Three big legal changes affecting asylum seekers in 2015


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A short presentation describing 3 big legal changes affecting asylum seekers in 2015

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Three big legal changes affecting asylum seekers in 2015

  1. 1. Big legal changes affecting Asylum Seekers in 2015 Jon Beech, Director Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network
  2. 2. Download this presentation from
  3. 3. The Doughnut of Hope 180 1645 Days since last election Days til next election
  4. 4. The Big Three • The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 – April 2015 (Which was enabled by the Immigration Act 2014) • Asylum Support (Amendment No.3) Regulations 2015 – August 2015 • Immigration Bill 2015-16 – currently going through the Lords
  5. 5. NHS Charging – the legislation • Primary care remains free for all • Only those who are “ordinarily resident” will be eligible for secondary care • Urgent or necessary treatment (including maternity treatment) will be given, but charges will be made for secondary care • “Non-urgent treatment should not be provided unless the estimated full charge is received in advance of treatment.” • People exempt from charging: • Refugees, people with humanitarian protection or temporary protection • Asylum seekers whose claims (including appeals) have not yet been determined • Refused asylum seekers receiving support Section 4 or Section 21 support from a local authority • Children who are looked after by a local authority • People in detention • Immigration (Health Charge) Order 2015 establishing a £200 a year fee for people with limited leave to remain
  6. 6. NHS Charging – the legislation 2 • What’s still free? • TB and measles treatment • Treatment under Mental Health Act • STIs, HIV and Family planning • Emergency services (for the time being) • Everything else is chargeable, and usually payable in advance • Recovery/payment falls to secondary care providers themselves
  7. 7. NHS charging – the impact
  8. 8. NHS charging – the impact • The rules are complicated and different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland • Access to Refugees and asylum seekers are exempt but people whose claim for asylum has been refused (and not on Section 4/21) are not. • One of the grounds for claiming Section 4 support is on grounds of poor health • Section 4 applications can take weeks to come through and require original documents to be sent through • People without money or support are the ones being pursued for payment. • Patients need to carry proof of immigration status • Proof comes in a range of forms and documents • People may not always have their original documents
  9. 9. Asylum Support Rates –the legislation Asylum support rates payable to parents with children under 16 were reduced in August 15 • £36.75 per week • 50% of the amount of support offered to most British single parents Single Parent +1 Single Parent +2 Couple +1 Couple +2 Old amount £96.90 £149.86 £125.48 £178.44 New amount £73.90 £110.85 £110.85 £147.80 Difference £23.00 £39.01 £14.63 £30.64
  10. 10. Asylum Support Rates – the impact • 40% of asylum seekers cannot buy sufficient food for themselves or their families* • 43% were unable to buy toiletries* • 88% struggle to buy clothes* • Increased reliance on foodbanks – although some foodbanks in Leeds are unable to take referrals for people who do not have recourse to public funds • A Day Rider bus ticket costs £4 *Refugee Action, 2014
  11. 11. Immigration Bill – the proposed legislation There’s a lot in here 1. Labour Market and Illegal working 2. Access to services 3. Enforcement 4. Appeals 5. Support 6. Border Security 7. Language requirements for public sector workers 8. Fees & Charges 9. Commencement and territorial extent
  12. 12. Immigration Bill – the proposed legislation Section 6 proposes to • Remove support to refused asylum seeking families and their children • Remove a right of appeal against a Home Office decision to refuse or discontinue support from refused asylum seekers who face a genuine obstacle to leaving the UK
  13. 13. Immigration Bill – the potential impact • Families will be made destitute • Central Government will no longer provide support • A duty will still remain with Local Authorities under s17 of the Children Act to ensure children are not homeless • The cost will be passed from central to local Government • Evidence from a number of serious case reviews shows the highly negative effects of withdrawing support • It won’t have the intended impact
  14. 14. Oh Dear-ism
  15. 15. How to combat Oh Dear-ism • Strategic optimism – do not accept that the world is getting worse • Start close to home – there is always something you can do • Be modest, and overachieve – you won’t solve things on your own, but you can make things less awful
  16. 16. The Doughnut of Hope - Part 2 15 123 LASSN Volunteer Applications May 15 - July 15 LASSN Volunteer Applications August 15 - October 15
  17. 17. • Download this presentation at • Do something to help refugees and asylum seekers @lassnleeds