Legal Update: Rwanda

With the first batch of asylum seekers’ imminent transfer from the UK to Rwanda becoming a closer prospect, the government’s asylum agreement with the latter has become an increasingly relevant topic. Our immigration team has been consulted by a number of clients on what the new policy entails and whether it may affect them. This article provides clarity on the most common queries. 

What Is the Agreement with Rwanda?

In April 2022, the UK signed an agreement with Rwanda where, under a new immigration scheme, asylum seekers and their respective claims would be processed in Rwanda. Described as a way to “tackle unlawful cross border migration”, the Memorandum of Understanding between the two states effectively allows the relocation of asylum seekers in the UK to Rwanda. Any claims of asylum will be processed there and arrangements for settlement in Rwanda (as opposed to the UK itself) will be made for successful applicants.

Will the Asylum Agreement with Rwanda Affect Me?

The asylum agreement applies to asylum seekers arriving illegally in the UK only. Statements from the Home Department have repeatedly stressed that the agreement will only apply to illegal immigrants arriving in the UK to seek asylum, particularly those who have arrived crossing the Channel. The Prime Minister has stated that the policy is aimed at single, young men illegally arriving in the UK. 

Despite this, it is important to note that specific details surrounding the policy have not yet been released to the general public. The agreement has been cited as “uncapped” with the ability to effectively relocate “tens of thousands of people”. With uncertainty in the air regarding the specific details of the new policy, our team of highly-qualified immigration barristers and solicitors can assist you in determining what can be done to protect you from any arbitrary relocation.

I am Facing Removal from the UK towards Rwanda: What Can I Expect?

Any potential resettlement in Rwanda will only proceed after an initial screening by the UK and with the prior approval of the Republic of Rwanda. Any special needs such as those related to health or security will also be communicated to Rwanda. The UK has assumed responsibility for your safe transport to Rwanda in case of relocation. Accommodation will be provided, and you will be free to leave and enter such premises within the domestic legal framework of the state. 

If the need arises, you are, under the agreement, entitled to an interpreter as well as legal assistance. Thus, if you want to appeal a decision made on your case, legal assistance is available as a right. It is important to note, however, that such appeals will be handled in Rwanda, under international and Rwandan domestic law.

The immigration agreement has been assailed by a number of legal claims that stress the incompatibility of such a policy with numerous articles provided in the European Convention of Human Rights. While issues of societal integration and community remain a hotly contested line of argument against the policy, it is, notwithstanding the result of such challenges, vital to prepare and get ahead of the matter. If you have received a ‘notice of intent’ informing you of the Home Office’s decision to consider your potential relocation to Rwanda, our highly qualified team of barristers and solicitors are readily available to offer you bespoke legal assistance so that you can challenge such measures and safeguard your future. 

Successful Representation

The key ingredient to success is having the right support. Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest.

We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of the merit of your application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your work-checks as well as any appeals and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA and LEXLAW are just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is integral to success. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements that the agreement with Rwanda has brought into place. We regularly assist with making representations to prevent deportation and removal orders and are able to make Judicial Review applications in emergency situations on a case by case basis.

If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and develop a timely strategy for your successful application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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