Posted on December 18, 2022

UK Toughens Criteria for Albanians Seeking Asylum

Cristina Gallardo, Politico, December 13, 2022

Rishi Sunak will seek to reduce the spike in Albanian citizens claiming asylum in Britain, with tough new laws on illegal arrivals and tighter criteria around modern slavery claims.

Speaking in the House of Commons Tuesday, Sunak unveiled a package of measures designed to reduce the backlog of unresolved claims clogging the U.K.’s asylum system.

In the first six months of 2022, Albanian nationals made up 18 percent of undocumented migrants arriving in the U.K. on small boats across the English Channel, according to U.K. government data. Many claim asylum on arrival, arguing they have been trafficked as slaves. According to Home Office figures, the backlog of pending asylum applications from all nationalities topped 143,000 as of September.

As part of the new package of measures, Home Office officials will receive new guidance making it “crystal clear that Albania is a safe country,” Sunak said. This will allow claims from Albanian citizens to be processed in “weeks, instead of months,” he added, with many more being swiftly rejected.

“One of the reasons we struggle to remove people is because they unfairly exploit our modern slavery system,” Sunak said. {snip}


Ministers will then bring forward legislation early next year to “make unambiguously clear that if you enter the U.K. illegally, you should not be able to remain here,” Sunak said. {snip}