News by email Donate

Suggestions

Bishop picbanner.jpg
Diocese of Chelmsford
Bishop pic.jpg
Diocese of Chelmsford
World News

Bishop calls for humanitarian visas for people seeking sanctuary in the UK

by Donna Birrell

The Bishop of Chelmsford has proposed legislation to provide a safe and legal route to the UK for those seeking asylum, as part of attempts to crack down on illegal people smuggling across the Channel in small boats.

Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani introduced a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Lords on Wednesday, which would permit an annual number of humanitarian travel visas to the UK.

The visas would allow people to safely enter the UK where there is a high chance that their asylum claim will be granted. The nationalities currently most likely to travel to the UK on small boats and have their asylum claim granted are Afghan, Syrian, Iranian, Eritrean and Sudanese.

The Bill also proposes that their asylum claim would then be considered in the UK through an accelerated process.

Under the terms of the Asylum Application (Entry to the United Kingdom) Bill, up to 10,000 asylum travel visas would be granted in the first year of its operation with subsequent limits set by the Home Secretary. Nationalities eligible to apply would be named by the Home Secretary.

Bishop Guli said:

“I am pleased to bring forward this Private Members' Bill on the introduction of a Humanitarian Visa Scheme, which will provide a much-needed opportunity to discuss safe routes into the UK for refugees fleeing conflict, persecution and disasters.

“Such a scheme can help to undercut the business model of people smugglers encouraging refugees to take dangerous journeys across the Channel and the Mediterranean, by providing a safe, accessible and controlled route.

“A humanitarian visa scheme is just one of many workable proposals to offer safety, welcome and community to those fleeing danger here in the UK.”

The Bill has had its First Reading today in the House of Lords. It will be timetabled for a Second Reading at a later date to be confirmed.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he remained "completely committed to stopping the boats", and was determined to "end the merry-go-round" of legal challenges.

He told MPs that the government was negotiating a new treaty to ensure that anyone entering the UK illegally would be sent to Rwanda. After that policy was ruled unlawful, he said he was prepared to change the law to ensure the policy went ahead.

 

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate