Q and A: asylum seekers and refugeesOn 9 May 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. There is a lot of confusion surrounding asylum seekers and refugees. Personnel Today addresses the key questionsQ: How is an asylum-seekerdefined? A: An asylum-seeker is a person who hasfled from his or her home country and is seeking refugee status in anothercountry. Q: What is meant by refugee? A: For an asylum-seeker to gainrefugee status they must: – Be outside their country of origin or outside the country where they usuallylive, and be at genuine risk and in fear of serious harm – Prove their own government does not want to or is failing to protect themfrom harm – Prove that their fear is linked to their civil, political or social status.For example, they are being persecuted by the state because they are affiliatedto an opposition political party or because they are of different ethnic origin– Need and deserve protection. Q: How many asylum-seekers enterthe UK? A: There were 77,040 applicationsreceived last year. This is an increase of over 5,000 on 1999. Nearly 6,000, (5,815), applications forasylum were received in March 2001. The March figure, the last to be published,is 5 per cent up on February’s figure of 5,520. Q: How many asylum-seekers aregranted refugee status in this country? A: Last year, 10,185 asylum-seekerswere given refugee status – 10 per cent of the 110,065 asylum decisionsmade. In 1999 only 7,815 refugee statues were granted from 33,720 decisions made, or33 per cent. In March of this year, 1,700 people were recognised as refugees, up from 1,205in February. Q: Where do UK asylum-seekerscome from? A: The most common nationality foran asylum-seeker in the UK last year was Iraqi, with 7,080 applicants. This wasfollowed by Sir Lankan with 6,040. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iran supplied the UK with 5,695, 5,230 and5,170 asylum-seekers respectively in 2000. In March 2001 the most applicants for asylum came from Afghanistan, with680. Somalia was second with 470 applicants for asylum. Q: What do immigrant workerscontribute to the UK’s economy? A: In a Home Office report publishedthis year, immigrants put £2.5bn back into the economy, 10 per cent more moneythan British-born residents do. Thereport also claims that immigrant workers do not take jobs away from Britishpeople, they fill gaps. Q: How skilled are the UK’srefugees? A: More than a third of refugeesquestioned by the Home Office in 1995 held a degree, postgraduate orprofessional qualification. More than 90per cent could speak two languages, while 65 per cent spoke at least threelanguages. Q: What are the regulationsgoverning employing asylum-seekers in the UK? A: Under the Asylum and ImmigrationAct of 1996, it is a criminal offence for employers to take on employees whoseimmigration status prevents them from working in this country. Employers areliable for fines up to £5,000.