Home UK Immigration Home Office “chaos” leaves up to 55,500 asylum seekers stuck in perma-backlog

Home Office “chaos” leaves up to 55,500 asylum seekers stuck in perma-backlog

by source
  • Tens of thousands not allowed to work, stuck in temporary accommodation and unable to be removed to Rwanda
  • Home Office legacy backlog has been replaced with new perma-backlog, costing the taxpayer millions
  • The only feasible solution is for the government to start processing asylum claims

The government has replaced the legacy backlog of asylum seeker applications, with a new perma-backlog of people who can’t have their claims processed, are unable to be deported to Rwanda and risk being left indefinitely in taxpayer funded temporary accommodation, finds the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The Illegal Migration Act means that everyone seeking asylum who arrives in the UK via irregular means after 20 July 2023 can’t have their claim processed by the Home Office, and instead will be removed to their home country or to a third country like Rwanda. While the Act has not yet been implemented in full, the Home Office has signaled these claims are pending until the Rwanda plan is working.

At the same time, the legislation means that any irregular arrival since 7 March 2023 cannot in general be given permission to stay. Reports suggest that these claims are also on hold.

In the long run, it is highly doubtful the small country of Rwanda will ever be able to accept tens of thousands of people. This in effect leaves up to 55,500 people in a new perma-backlog, and the number is only growing.

The perma-backlog is going to cost an increasingly large sum of money. As this group are unable to work, the Home Office is responsible for providing accommodation and financial support. In 2022/23 the asylum system cost £3.97 billion, compared with £500 million a decade earlier.

Additionally, the Home Office now has 2,405 members of staff whose job is to process asylum claims, but with very few claims they are actually able to process.

IPPR is calling for the government to start processing claims, so asylum seekers can either get leave to remain and start working, or be removed back to their home country.

Marley Morris, associate director for migration at IPPR, said:

Chaos in the home office has led to tens of thousands of asylum seekers stuck in a perma-backlog, unable to get on with their lives and costing the taxpayer millions. This was an entirely predictable outcome of the Illegal Migration Act. The only way to escape this situation is for the Home Office to start processing claims.”


Marley Morris is available for interview


David Wastell, Director of News and Communications: 07921 403651 d.wastell@ippr.org

Liam Evans, Senior Digital and Media Officer: 07419 365334 l.evans@ippr.org


  • Embargoed copies of the paper, The asylum backlog: job done?, are available upon request.
  • TABLE: Asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by backlog type
    A graph of a number of applicationsDescription automatically generated with medium confidence
  • IPPR’s previous report, The asylum in-tray in 2025, by Marley Morris, sets out the various issues with the asylum system the government needs to deal with: https://www.ippr.org/articles/the-asylum-in-tray-in-2025
  • IPPR (the Institute for Public Policy Research) is an independent charity working towards a fairer, greener, and more prosperous society. We are researchers, communicators, and policy experts creating tangible progressive change, and turning bold ideas into common sense realities. Working across the UK, IPPR, IPPR North, and IPPR Scotland are deeply connected to the people of our nations and regions, and the issues our communities face. We have helped shape national conversations and progressive policy change for more than 30 years. From making the early case for the minimum wage and tackling regional inequality, to proposing a windfall tax on energy companies, IPPR’s research and policy work has put forward practical solutions for the crises facing society.
  • Source ; https://www.ippr.org/media-office/home-office-chaos-leaves-up-to-55-500-asylum-seekers-stuck-in-perma-backlog

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