Migrants notified of removal to Rwanda as first flight is set for June 14

Home Secretary Priti Patel says it is expected that ‘attempts will now be made to frustrate the process’, but she ‘will not be deterred’.

31 May 2022

The Home Office has begun formally notifying migrants of their removal to Rwanda, with the first deportation flight expected to depart in two weeks.

The Government described the move as the “final administrative step” in its partnership with the east African nation, whereby people who are deemed to have entered the UK illegally will be encouraged to rebuild their lives thousands of miles away.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said it is expected that “attempts will now be made to frustrate the process and delay removals”, but she “will not be deterred” in her plans.

The Home Office said it started issuing “notices of intent” earlier this month, informing some individuals they were “in scope for relocation”.

The removal directions confirm to people that they are being sent to Rwanda, and when, with the first flight expected to depart on June 14.

The department said officials are working to ensure individuals are given the “appropriate support” ahead of departure.

Those being relocated to the east African nation include people who have taken “dangerous, unnecessary, and illegal journeys”, including crossing the Channel, it said.

Described by Ms Patel as a “world-first” agreement when it was announced last month, the deportation policy will see asylum seekers deemed to have entered the UK by illegal means sent to Rwanda, where their claims will be processed.

If successful, they will be granted asylum or given refugee status in the country.

Those with failed bids will be offered the chance to apply for visas under other immigration routes if they wish to remain in Rwanda, but could still face deportation.

Ms Patel said: “Our world-leading partnership with Rwanda is a key part of our strategy to overhaul the broken asylum system and break the evil people smugglers’ business model.

“Today’s announcement is another critical step towards delivering that partnership and, while we know attempts will now be made to frustrate the process and delay removals, I will not be deterred and remain fully committed to delivering what the British public expect.”

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