North West Statistics

In March 2022 there were a total of 10,035 Asylum Seekers placed in dispersed accommodation in the North West. The figures reflect the number of people in receipt of support as at the end of the period, rather than the total supported throughout the period. The figures do not include people in initial and contingency accommodation.

A bar chart entitled 'A number of Asylum Seekers placed in Dispersal Accommodation in the North West'. There are five bars, the first one is the highest and is labelled Greater Manchester, the second one is Cumbria and is the shortest one, the third is Liverpool City Region an is the second highest, the fourth one is Cheshire and it is the fourth highest, and the fifth one is Lancashire and is third highest.

The number of asylum seekers per North West sub-regions:

Greater Manchester 5261

Cumbria 11

Liverpool City Region 2663

Cheshire and Warrington 348

Lancashire 1752

The number is an increase of 1396 compared to March 2021 figure.

A line chart showing the number of asylum seekers in the North West from March 2015 to March 2022. The line starts at about 7 thousand people in March 2015 and steadily rises and reaches the peak of just above 10223 people in March 2019. It falls slightly in the next two years to just over 8600 people in March 2021 and goes back up to 10035 in March 2022.

The North West share of the overall UK Asylum population in March 2022 was 20.9%, a decrease of 0.5% from the March 2021 figure.

A line chart showing the North West share of the national asylum population between March 2015 and March 2022. The charts shows a steady downward trend from over 25% in March 2015 to just over 20% in March 2022

In March 2022, the North West had a rate of 13.6 asylum seekers per 10,000 people in the region.

National Statistics

This section has been reproduced from How many people do we grant asylum or protection to?

Data relate to the year ending March 2022 and most comparisons are with the year ending March 2020 (two years previous, reflecting a comparison with the period prior to the Covid-pandemic). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the UK immigration system, both in terms of restricting migrant movements to and from the UK and the impact on operational capacity.

An asylum application may relate to more than one person, if the applicant has family members (or ‘dependants’) which they request to be covered by the same application. This release features data on both the number of asylum applications or initial decisions (‘main applicants only’), and the number of people related to asylum applications and initial decisions (‘main applicants and dependants’).

Statistics on the number of applications and decisions of those applying to enter or remain in the UK under the new Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) route are included in the ‘How many people come to the UK each year (including visitors)’ section.

1. People granted protection and other leave through asylum and resettlement routes

The UK offered protection, in the form of asylum, humanitarian protection, alternative forms of leave and resettlement, to 15,451 people (including dependants) in the year ending March 2022. Of these:

  • 82% were granted refugee status following an asylum application (‘asylum’)
  • 6% were granted humanitarian protection
  • 2% were granted alternative forms of leave (such as discretionary leave, UASC leave)
  • 11% were granted refugee status through resettlement schemes

Additionally, 6,000 partners and children of refugees living in the UK were granted entry to the UK through family reunion visas, 19% fewer than in the year ending March 2020.

The resettlement data in this section does not include data relating to the individuals relocated under the Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) or Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). Statistics on these schemes will be included in future editions of Immigration Statistics.

The number of people offered protection in the year ending March 2022 (either following an application for asylum or through an established resettlement scheme) was 24% fewer than the year ending March 2020, but similar to levels seen from 2015 to 2018. This decrease (from 20,295 in the year ending March 2020 to 15,451 in the year ending March 2022) is largely accounted for by the pause in resettlement during the pandemic and which has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

2. Asylum applications

There were 55,146 asylum applications (relating to 65,008 people) in the UK in the year ending March 2022. This was 56% more than in the year ending March 2020 and the highest number for almost two decades. It is, however, around a third of the level of the previous peak in asylum applications in 2002 (84,132 applications), which was partly driven by conflict and political unrest in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Somalia.

3. Outcomes of asylum applications

3.1 At initial decision

In the year ending March 2022, there were 14,603 initial decisions made on asylum applications. Although the number of decisions has increased in the last year, they remain 29% below numbers in the year ending March 2020, before the pandemic.

Three quarters (75%) of the initial decisions in the year ending March 2022 were grants (of asylum, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave), which is a substantially higher grant rate than previous years. For much of the past decade, around a third of initial decisions were grants. The grant rate in the year ending March 2022 is the highest grant rate in over thirty years (since 82% in 1990).

In the year ending March 2022, the number of refusals was roughly a third of what it was two years prior (3,719 in the year ending March 2022 compared to 9,447 in the year ending March 2020). All types of refusals have decreased, including third country refusals (with a 95% decrease, from 1,268 in the year ending March 2020 to 66 in the year ending March 2022). A third country refusal refers to the UK determining that it is not the country responsible for considering a person’s asylum claim, to return them to the safe third country in which the person was previously present or with which they have some other connection. The use of this decision outcome has been affected by the UK leaving the EU. Prior to leaving the EU, the UK processed most third country cases in accordance with the Dublin Regulation (which applies to all EU member states as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein); however, this ceased to apply to the UK from 1 January 2021. New inadmissibility rules, which in part aim to replace the previous operation of the Dublin Regulation, were introduced on 1 January 2021.

Of nationalities that commonly claim asylum in the UK, Sudanese, Eritreans and Syrians have typically had very high grant rates at initial decision (95%, 97% and 98% respectively), while nationals of India, for example, have low grant rates (3%).

3.2 At appeal

Some initial decisions (mainly, but not entirely, refusals) will go on to be appealed.

There were 3,741 appeals lodged on initial decisions in the year ending March 2022. This is 57% fewer than in the year ending March 2020, in part reflecting the smaller number of applications refused in the latest year, but also continuing a downward trend in numbers of appeals lodged since 2015 (when there were 14,242 appeals lodged).

Of the appeals resolved in the year ending March 2022, around half (49%) were allowed (meaning the applicant successfully overturned the initial decision). The proportion of appeals allowed has risen from 29% in 2010, when the time series began.

3.3 Applications awaiting outcomes

At the end of March 2022, there were 89,344 cases (relating to 109,735 people) awaiting an initial decision, over double the number of applications awaiting an initial decision at the end of March 2020 (40,830, relating to 51,906 people). The number of cases awaiting an initial decision has increased in the last 10 years, and risen more rapidly since 2018 when there were 27,256 cases awaiting an initial decision at the end of that year. The number of initial decisions made in the year ending March 2022 fell from the year ending March 2020 (down 29%, to 14,603), while asylum applications increased (up 56%, to 55,146 applications). This means more cases entered the asylum system than left it, resulting in an increase in cases awaiting an initial decision.

Data on the total number of cases in the asylum system (‘asylum work in progress’), including the initial decisions and also cases awaiting appeal outcomes and failed asylum seekers that are subject to removal from the UK, is published in the ‘Immigration and Protection’ data of the Migration Transparency Data collection. The latest data available (for the end of June 2021) shows a total of 125,316 cases as ‘work in progress’ in the asylum system.

4. Inadmissibility

From 1 January 2021, following the UK’s departure from the EU, new inadmissibility rules came into effect. The inadmissibility rules provide the grounds for treating an asylum claim as inadmissible to the UK asylum system, if a person has earlier presence in, or connection to, a safe third country. It also provides for the person to be removed to that or another safe third country, with that country’s permission.

Between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2022:

  • 13,473 asylum claimants were identified for consideration on inadmissibility grounds
  • 12,277 ‘notices of intent’ were issued to individuals to inform them that their case was being reviewed in order to determine whether removal action on inadmissibility grounds was appropriate and possible
  • 75 individuals were served with inadmissibility decisions, meaning the UK would not admit the asylum claim for consideration in the UK system, because another country was considered to be responsible for the claim, owing to the claimant’s previous presence in, or connection to a safe country
  • There were 15 enforced returns of individuals considered for removal on inadmissibility grounds
  • 6,573 individuals were subsequently admitted into the UK asylum process for substantive consideration of their asylum claim

The 15 returns were made to Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

5. Support provided to asylum seekers

People in the asylum system who are destitute are entitled to a level of support from the Home Office. This could be the provision of accommodation, subsistence (cash support) or both.

At the end of March 2022, there were 85,007 individuals in receipt of support, 39% higher than at the end of March 2021. This continues the long-term trend of increasing numbers in receipt of support, and which grew more rapidly following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when the Home Office temporarily ceased ending asylum support for those whose claims have been either granted or refused, to ensure people were not made homeless during lockdown. This increase is also in part related to the recent increases in asylum applications.

Of the 85,007 individuals in receipt of support:

  • 95% were in receipt of support in the form of accommodation and subsistence (including 26,859 in receipt of temporary support under Section 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act (1999))
  • 5% were in receipt of subsistence only

Sources and Update information

Asylum seeker data is taken from the Immigration Statistics Year Ending March 2022  provided by the Home Office.
Population data is taken from the 2020 Mid-Year Population Estimates provided by the Office for National Statistics.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

This page was last updated in June 2022. The next update is expected in August 2022.