UK government to pay asylum seekers to leave the country

Migrant crisis in Europe

Published 22 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The UK government is trying to find solutions to the country's migration problems ahead of the autumn elections.

The UK government has announced plans to offer financial compensation of up to £3,000 to asylum seekers whose applications to stay in the country have been rejected.

The plan is part of a voluntary agreement with Rwanda to address the problems faced by failed asylum seekers and the legal uncertainty surrounding refusals and deportations.

The new policy changes a previously debated and rejected proposal and instead offers a voluntary option for asylum seekers to move to Rwanda with financial support, Reuters and others report.

The government is now trying to avoid further legal problems by proposing a law that would recognise Rwanda as a ‘safe country’ for asylum seekers. Despite some concerns expressed by human rights organisations, the government is working hard to convince parliament that Rwanda is a safe option.

Rishi Sunak wants to implement the project before the general election, which the UK must hold by 28 January 2025. He has indicated that the elections will take place in the second half of 2024, but no date has yet been set.


The policy has been criticised for using public money to tackle the UK’s long-running migration crisis by encouraging asylum seekers to leave the country voluntarily.

However, Kevin Hollinrake, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, has defended the policy, stressing its cost-effectiveness compared to keeping failed asylum seekers in the UK.

Sunak has stated that he wants the first deportation flights to leave within the next few months – before the planned election.

The UK government claims that Rwanda currently has the capacity to receive a few hundred asylum seekers from the UK each year, but that “capacity could be increased”.

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