On Monday 22 April 2024, the UK government passed the Safety of Rwanda Bill, which now allows the Government to proceed with sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, where their asylum claims will be considered.

The Government can send anyone that meets the below 3 criteria:

  1. Anyone who arrived without a visa and claimed asylum on or after 1 Jan 2022 AND
  2. Came on a dangerous journey and passed through another country where they could have claimed asylum AND
  3. Has not yet had an interview or questionnaire and or decision.

The only claimants excluded from being removed, are:

  1. Children
  2. Families
  3. Rwandan nationals

Sydney Mitchell has a large LGBTQI+ asylum client base and is deeply concerned for many facing removal and amongst others, the LGBTQI+ community who despite homosexuality being claimed to be “legal” in Rwanda, will face huge societal discrimination, harassment and a lack of protection, based in deep rooted homophobia. Human Rights Watch reports of widespread evidence of ill-treatment and abuse faced by LGBTQI+ people in Rwanda.

According to evidence by the UNHCR submitted to the Home Office, LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in Rwanda have been given immediate verbal rejections by officials responsible for registering applications, who said it “is not the place for them, or Rwanda does not deal with such issues”.

If you or anyone you know receive a letter of inadmissibility to claim asylum or a letter of intent that you may be removed to a safe third country, like Rwanda, you must take legal advice immediately.

We may be able to challenge your removal based on personal grounds, why you as an individual will face a real and imminent risk of serious harm if you were to be sent to Rwanda.

Please speak to Andre Minnaar, Partner and Head of Immigration Law at Sydney Mitchell, a.minnaar@sydneymitchell.co.uk on 08081668860.


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