UK reports significant decrease in irregular arrivals, asylum applications in 2023

UK reports significant decrease in irregular arrivals, asylum applications in 2023

Data reveals 33% decrease in irregular arrivals compared to 2022, with 36,704 detections recorded

By Aysu Bicer

LONDON (AA) - The UK saw a notable decline in irregular arrivals and asylum applications in 2023, according to figures released Thursday by the UK Home Office.

Data revealed a 33% decrease in irregular arrivals compared to 2022, with 36,704 detections recorded.

One of the most significant drops was in small boat arrivals, which plummeted 36% from the previous year, totaling 29,437 individuals.

Afghans constituted the largest group for small boat arrivals, comprising 20% of the total.

The number of returns of small boat arrivals increased dramatically, nearly quintupling from 379 in 2022 to 1,889 in 2023.

Immigration detention figures reflected a downward trend, with 15,864 individuals entering detention -- a 24% decrease compared to the previous year.

Moreover, the data indicated shifts in detention outcomes, with 33% of individuals leaving detention in 2023 due to removal from the UK -- a notable increase from 20% in the previous year. The rise was largely driven by heightened returns of Albanian nationals.

In terms of asylum, the UK reported 67,337 asylum applications representing 84,425 individuals in 2023, marking a 17% decrease from the previous year.

By the end of December, there were 95,252 cases awaiting initial decisions -- a 28% reduction compared to December 2022.

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