North West Statistics

In December 2019, there were a total of 9381 asylum seekers placed in dispersed accommodation located in the North West. The following graph shows the distribution by sub-region.

This number is a decrease of 567 from the December 2019 figure. The asylum trend from 2004 onwards can be seen below:

The North West share of the overall UK asylum population is 23.0%, a decrease of 1.1 points from the September 2018 figure. The change in overall share from 2004 is shown below:

In June 2018, the North West had a rate of 14.01 asylum seekers per 10,000 people in the region, the second-highest regional density in the UK.

National Statistics

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

Asylum, resettlement and protection

The UK offered protection – in the form of asylum, humanitarian protection, alternative forms of leave and resettlement – to 20,703 people in 2019, up 30% compared with the previous year and similar to levels seen in 2003. This included:

  • 12,565 grants of asylum, up 64% compared with the previous year, with notable increases in grants to Iranian (up 143% to 2,723), Sudanese (up 168% to 1,625) and Eritrean (up 113% to 1,785) nationals
  • 1,241 grants of humanitarian protection, down 4% – over half of these (56%) were granted to Libyan nationals
  • 1,285 grants of alternative forms of leave following an application for asylum, up 11%
  • 5,612 grants of protection through resettlement schemes, down 3% – three-quarters of which were to Syrian nationals

In addition to those granted asylum, humanitarian protection and alternative forms of leave at initial decision following an asylum application, a further 3,969 had an appeal allowed following an initial refusal of asylum over the same period. This accounted for 44% of the total appeals resolved in the period.

Additionally, 7,083 Family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of those previously granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, up 24% compared with the previous year.


The Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) accounted for over three-quarters (4,408) of those resettled in the UK in 2019. Since it began in 2014, 19,353 people (mainly Syrian nationals) have been resettled under the scheme.

A further 489 people were resettled under the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme (VCRS) in 2019, bringing the total to 1,747 since the scheme began in 2016.

Of those resettled under the VPRS and VCRS in 2019, 205 refugees were resettled in the UK through the Community Sponsorship scheme. Since the Community Sponsorship scheme began in July 2016, 424 refugees have been resettled by community sponsor groups.

Details of the schemes can be found in the ‘About the statistics’ section.

Asylum applications

There were 35,566 asylum applications (main applicants only) in the UK in 2019, 21% more than the previous year, but lower than the recent peak in year ending June 2016 (36,546). Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs) accounted for 10% of total asylum applications in the latest year.

Iran was the top nationality claiming asylum in the UK in 2019 (4,853 applications, up 46% compared with the previous year), followed by Albania (3,453, up 72%). The UK has seen an increase in Iranian nationals applying for asylum since the year ending June 2018 (2,432), but numbers are just below the peak in year ending June 2016 (4,905). Prior to the increase from early 2018, applications from Albanian nationals have been relatively stable since the year ending March 2014.

Eurostat Asylum statistics show the total number of asylum applications across the EU member states has increased by 5% in year ending September 2019 compared with the previous year, although there were falls in applications to Italy and Germany. Some of the UK’s near neighbours such as France, Netherlands and Belgium, along with Greece and Spain, all saw increases. The UK received a number of applications equivalent to the 5th largest of the EU member states in year ending September 2019; this would equate to the 19th largest per head of the population.

In 2019, 52% of initial decisions on asylum applications were grants of asylum, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave (such as discretionary leave or UASC leave), compared with 33% in the previous year.

Data from the Home Office ‘cohort’ analysis, published annually in Asy_D04, show that the final grant rate typically increases by 10 to 15 percentage points following appeal. More detailed analysis can be found in the August 2019 edition of Immigration statistics.

Grant rates vary considerably by nationality as the protection requirements of specific nationalities or individuals vary. Of those nationalities that commonly claim asylum in the UK, Libyans (95%) and Syrians (90%) typically have high grant rates at initial decision, while nationals of India (5%), China (12%) and Bangladesh (16%) typically have low grant rates.

Support provided to asylum seekers

At the end of December 2019, 43,549 asylum seekers in the UK were in receipt of support under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, down 2% from the same time the previous year.

Of these, 40,702 (93%) were in receipt of both accommodation and subsistence, and 2,847 (7%) in receipt of subsistence only. The majority (83%) were located in England, with smaller supported populations in Scotland (9%), Wales (6%) and Northern Ireland (2%).

An additional 3,804 individuals were in receipt of support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (down 6% from the previous year) and 2,738 individuals were in receipt of support under Section 98 (29% more than the year before). Section 98 support is provided to asylum seekers on a short-term basis while their application for section 95 support is considered.

In 2019, there were 20,009 applications for Section 95 support, an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. This increase comes at a time when asylum applications have increased, by 21%, over the same period.

Dublin Regulation

In 2019, there were 2,236 requests from other member states to transfer individuals into the UK under the Dublin Regulation. There were 714 transfers into the UK under the Dublin Regulation. The majority (496) of these transfers came from Greece.

Over the same period, there were 3,258 requests from the UK to transfer individuals out of the UK to other member states. There were 263 transfers out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation. Of these transfers, 104 (40%) were transfers to Germany and 53 (20%) were transfers to France.

About the statistics

This section provides information on those applying for and granted protection in the UK through both asylum and resettlement routes, as well as information on the numbers in receipt of asylum support.

The data are used to assess the trends in numbers of people seeking and being granted protection, the impact of policy changes, and to understand the demographics of those coming to the UK to claim protection. Data on resettlement and support, broken down by local authority, can help local authorities understand the demands on their services and resources to aid with planning.

Asylum, resettlement and protection

The total number of individuals granted protection includes grants related to an asylum application (grants of asylum or alternative forms of leave) and resettlement. Alternative forms of leave include humanitarian protection, discretionary leave, UASC leave, leave outside the rules, and grants under family and private life rules. Further details can be found in the user guide.

Data on asylum applications relate to the period in which the application was lodged, and initial decisions relate to the period in which the decision was made. Initial decisions may, therefore, relate to an application made in an earlier period, and thus the two are not directly comparable.

Data on initial decisions will not reflect the total number of people granted protection through asylum routes as some initial decisions may be overturned following appeal. Data on the number of appeals lodged, and their outcomes, are published in Asylum appeals lodged and determined – Asy_D06 and Asy_D07.

UASC data includes those treated as an unaccompanied minor for at least one day between the date of application and the date of initial decision. Some UASC applicants may subsequently be found to be an adult following conclusion of an age dispute. Data on age disputes are published in Asylum applications, initial decisions and resettlement – Asy_D01 and Asy_D02.

Eurostat asylum statistics can be used to compare asylum statistics with EU member states. The methodology used to compile Eurostat data differs from that used in this release. Further details can be found in the user guide.

The UK Community Sponsorship scheme was launched on 19 July 2016. The scheme allows community groups to support refugee families directly and aims to help them become self-sufficient and integrated members of the community. These figures are a subset of those published under the VPRS and VCRS and are not in addition to those resettled under these schemes. Further details can be found on the GOV.UK page.

Family reunion visas are a subset of the ‘Family – other’ visa category, published in the visa tables. The vast majority of ‘Family – other’ visas related to family reunion visas. Data on Family reunion visas come from a different administrative system to other visa data so are not directly comparable. Further details can be found in the user guide.

Support provided to asylum seekers

Section 95 support is provided to destitute asylum seekers until their claim is finally determined, which may encompass either accommodation or subsistence, or both. ‘Invalid applications for support and support type not yet known’ are cases that have been deemed invalid or which have not yet been assessed.

Section 4 provides support for individuals whose claim has been refused and who have exhausted their appeal rights, but who are destitute and are temporarily unable to leave the UK.

Section 98 support provides accommodation for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute and who are either awaiting a decision on an application for Section 95 support or are supported under Section 95 and are awaiting transfer to their accommodation.

The data show the number of people in receipt of support on a given day, but do not show the length of time for which someone receives support or the amount of support they receive.


Dublin data are published on an annual basis in February.

The Dublin Regulation is EU legislation that establishes the criteria and mechanisms for determining which single state is responsible for examining an application for international protection. The criteria for determining the Dublin state responsible for examining the asylum claim, along with further details on the Dublin Regulation, are set out in the user guide.

The data show the number of requests from EU member states to transfer an individual into the UK, and the number of individuals transferred into the UK under the Dublin Regulation. They also show the number of requests from the UK to EU member states to transfer an individual out of the UK, and the number of individuals transferred out of the UK.

Data on arrivals relate to the period in which the individual arrived in the UK, removals relate to the period in which the individual was removed from the UK, and requests for transfer in/out relate to the period in which the request was made.

Data on transfers out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation are a subset of the published returns data found in ‘How many people are detained or returned?’.


Asylum seeker data is taken from the Immigration statistics, year ending December 2019 provided by the Home Office.
Population data is taken from the 2018 Mid-Year Population Estimates provided by the Office for National Statistics.

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

Update information

This page was last updated in February 2020. The next update is expected in May 2020.