Refugees

The issues faces by refugees fleeing violence and warfare is something I saw for myself when I visited Jordanian refugee camps on the Syrian border last year. The people I spoke to wanted an end to the war and the opportunity to return home and were grateful for the British aid contribution to the running of their camps. I've also been to Calais to help support the effort to help those unaccompanied asylum-seeking children with close relatives in the UK overcome the bureaucratic barriers to them joining those relatives here.

The Government's refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of a person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status - that is a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18, who formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country of origin - to reunite with them in the UK. I am very glad that such a scheme exists, which makes sure that family members that have been divided can once again be reunited.
 
I appreciate some believe the Government should expand the scheme, however as I understand it there are no plans to widen the criteria. The criteria are fully compliant with the UK's international obligations, and enable thousands of people each year to be reunited with their families in the UK. Three discretionary resettlement schemes are also in place for recognised refugees for whom resettlement is the most appropriate answer. These schemes are operated in partnership with the UNHCR: Gateway; Mandate; and the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme.