British government expands list of safe countries allowing more removals

The Government will add India and Georgia to a list of safe states to speed up process of returning people who have travelled from either country illegally.

Draft legislation laid in Parliament on Wednesday 8 November will strengthen the immigration system and help prevent abuse, including by people making unfounded protection claims. This marks another next step in the delivery of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and Government’s plan to stop the boats.

Indian and Georgian small boat arrivals have increased over the last year despite individuals not being at obvious risk of persecution. Deeming these countries safe will mean that if an individual arrives illegally from either one, we will not admit their claim to the UK asylum system.

Other countries deemed safe by the UK include Albania and Switzerland, plus the EU and EEA states.

A country can only be added to the safe states list (known legislatively as Section 80AA), if the Home Secretary is satisfied that there is, in general, no serious risk of persecution of its nationals, and; removal of nationals to that country cannot go against the UK’s obligations under the Human Rights Convention. The Home Office has rigorously assessed India and Georgia and determined that both meet these criteria.

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