What are the new changes to the Nationality and Borders Act 2022?

Recently, one of the most talked about, and controversial Immigration topics right now is the changes to the  Nationality and Borders Act 2022. This Act affects anyone who entered the country and claimed asylum after the 28 June 2022. 

The aims of the new changes are to prevent asylum seekers entering the UK using illegal methods and encouraging them to claim asylum in the correct way. Asylum seekers who enter the UK not using approved methods or without permission are said to receive a lesser protection status and will receive less rights. These changes are contained in section 12 of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and aim to split refugees into 2 groups. These groups are summarised below:

  • Group 1 refugees: have come directly to the United Kingdom from a country or territory where their life or freedom was threatened and they have presented themselves to the authorities without delay. 
  • Group 2 refugees: those who do not fall into the requirements in group 1, this includes those who enter the United Kingdom and have a delay in claiming asylum, or who have travelled either through safe countries before coming the UK or who enter the UK without permission (i.e., through illegal methods). 

Depending on what group refugees are classified as, will depend on the type and duration of settlement they are given. Group 1 refugees (if granted) are given 5 years leave to remain, and settlement after 5 years under Appendix Settlement Protection, as well as full refugee family reunion rights. Whereas group 2 refugees are only granted temporary refugee permission of 30 months (or 2.5 years) leave to remain unless exceptional circumstances apply, they also have to wait 10 years until they can apply for settlement for continuous lawful residence (under paragraph 276B of the Immigration Rules) and their family reunion rights are limited. 

Regardless of the group that refugees fall under, Humanitarian Protection has been reduced to 2.5 years under paragraph 339QB of the Immigration rules. 

Under paragraph 339QA, the permission to stay provisions have also been revised, as such if a group 1 refugee is granted asylum, they are granted “Refugee permission to stay”, and this is valid for 5 years. If a group 2 refugee is granted asylum, they are granted “Temporary refugee permission to stay”, and this is valid for 2.5 years. Humanitarian protection across both groups is 2.5 years. 

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