Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 6 April 2023

In the news this week the Home Office continues to be under fire due to mounting criticism over the conditions of asylum accommodation.

The Home Office decision to house asylum seekers on a large barge off the coast of Dorset, has been met with opposition from various quarters. In a statement, the Home Office confirmed that the Bibby Stockholm would be used to accommodate single men with “basic and functional accommodation” and healthcare, citing cost-effectiveness as a driving factor. However, 171 organisations, including the Refugee Council and faith groups, have written to Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak urging him to reconsider the plans.

Critics have raised concerns about the suitability and conditions of using a barge as accommodation for vulnerable asylum seekers. Human rights groups have highlighted potential risks related to safety, security, and access to essential services, as well as the impact on mental health and well-being. A Conservative council and MP have also expressed opposition, citing concerns about local communities and lack of transparency in the decision-making process.

The Home Office has defended its decision, stating that the use of the barge is a cost-effective solution, and that basic facilities and healthcare will be provided. However, critics argue that more needs to be done to uphold the rights and dignity of asylum seekers, and to explore alternative solutions that prioritise their well-being and integration into local communities.

As the Home Office and stakeholders continue to clash over the use of a barge for asylum accommodation, it is clear, that this issue is complex and contentious. Balancing cost-effectiveness with the rights and well-being of asylum seekers remains a significant challenge, and further dialogue and action are needed to find sustainable and compassionate solutions for accommodating asylum seekers in the UK.

The Government plans to curb asylum seekers in the country is reflected in several Guidance updates this week. Even though the Home Secretary has stayed silent on removal flights to re-commence this summer, the current actions and policy updates indicate otherwise.

This is indeed a time when all immigration advisors are required to be vigilant to safeguard the interests of their vulnerable clients. Considering the influx of changes to Rules to follow under the recent Statement of Changes, our Director, Mark Symes, is delivering Live Webinar on The New Immigration Rules on 11th April 2023 to cover the latest updates. For more information and or to book, click here

Lastly, we would like to wish our followers a very Happy Easter break and look forward to bringing you the latest immigration updates and the best of courses in the new season.


Vessel to accommodate migrants – Home Office

A berthed vessel will, for the first time, accommodate asylum seekers in the UK. It will reduce the reliance on expensive hotels and deliver a more orderly, cost effective and sustainable asylum accommodation system. To read the full article, click here 

Plans for new sites in UK for asylum seekers ‘risk humanitarian catastrophe’ –  The Guardian 

Approximately 171 organisations – including the Refugee Council, Choose Love, faith groups, city of sanctuary representatives and law centres – have written to Rishi Sunak urging him to “listen to common sense” and scrap plans for asylum camps at former RAF bases at Scampton in Lincolnshire, Wethersfield in Essex and Catterick in North Yorkshire and the site of a former prison in Bexhill in East Sussex, along with proposals to use ferries and barges. To  read the full article, click here

Asylum seekers to be housed on Dorset barge despite local opposition – The Guardian 

Home Office is on a collision course with a Conservative council and MP, as well as human rights groups, after confirming it will house about 500 asylum seekers on a giant barge off the Dorset coast.

In a statement, the Home Office said the Bibby Stockholm, to be berthed in Dorset’s Portland port, would accommodate single men with “basic and functional accommodation” and healthcare, and would be cheaper than housing them in hotels. To read the full article, click here

New board will strengthen age assessments of small boat arrivals – Home Office 

The National Age Assessment Board brings together a hub of specialist social workers, who will support local authorities and the Home Office to resolve age disputes by conducting age assessments. The board will set the national standard for age assessments, acting as a centralised team for local authorities and providing expert advice and training to improve the consistency and quality of how age assessments are carried out. To read the full article, click here 

Civil rights group launches legal action over ‘shattered’ Windrush promises – The Guardian 

A leading civil rights group has launched legal action against the home secretary over her decision to abandon several crucial reform commitments made as a result of the Windrush scandal. The action by the Black Equity Organisation (BEO) comes as a petition with 50,000 signatories urging Suella Braverman to reconsider is to be delivered to Downing Street later on Thursday. To read the full article, click here

Nepalese guards airlifted from Kabul to UK now face deportation – The Guardian

Nepalese security guards who protected British embassy staff in Afghanistan, who were airlifted to safety in the UK in August 2021, are now in detention and facing deportation. Thirteen security guards – 11 Nepalese and two Indian – were brought to the UK as Kabul fell to the Taliban. Some were granted indefinite leave to remain while others have been awaiting decisions. To read the full article, click here 

Suella Braverman won’t say Rwanda deportation flights will start by summer – The Guardian 

Suella Braverman has been unable to confirm that the first promised deportation flights to Rwanda will take off this summer, as the controversial policy continues to face scrutiny in the courts. The home secretary, whose officials briefed that plans were on track during her trip to the African country last month, played down the prospect of the flights going ahead shortly. To read the full article, click here

Statistics watchdog rebukes Sunak over inaccurate asylum backlog figures – The Guardian 

Sunak and his immigration minister have been scolded by the UK statistics watchdog for using inaccurate figures to back up spurious claims about asylum seekers. In a statement to the House of Commons in December, the Prime Minister claimed that the asylum backlog – 132,000 cases at the time – was half the size of the backlog left by the departing Labour government in 2010. This implied the backlog in 2010 would have been about 260,000. To read the full article, click here 


  • Guidance Ask the Home Office to check your immigration status is correct has been updated on 6th April 2023. To access the Guidance, click here
  • Guidance Domestic violence disclosure scheme has been updated on 5th April 2023.  To access the Guidance, click here
  • Asylum accommodation factsheets have been updated on 5th April 2023. To download the full collection, click here 
  • Statutory guidance on Controlling or coercive behaviour has been published on 5th April 2023. To access the Guidance, click here 
  • Transparency data on Migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boats has been updated on 5th April 2023. To download the data, click here
  • Home Office Social value and SME case studies has been updated on 5th April 2023. To view the reports, click here
  • Guidance Clandestine entrant penalty scheme: check and secure your vehicle has been published on 4th April 2023. To view the Guidance, click here 
  • Collection of Home Office circulars for 2023 has been released on 4th April 2023. To view the full collection, click here 
  • Guidance on Afghan resettlement has been updated on 3rd April 2023.  To view the Guidance, click here 
  • Guidance on Offshore workers has been published on 3rd April 2023.  To view the Guidance, click here
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