New national asylum data released at launch of UK-IMR

23 April 2015

Leading British professionals in migration came together this week for the launch of the UK Institute for Migration Research (UK-IMR).

This new independent research institute, created from a unique partnership between Migrant Help and Canterbury Christ Church University, will provide a new source of asylum data, which will be regularly analysed, explained and reported. The UK-IMR will also conduct and report research findings on human trafficking and modern day slavery, migration and local governance.

The UK-IMR has exclusive access to asylum data, now collected by Migrant Help, through their national contract with the Home Office. Once this rich new data source has been fully analysed, the UK-IMR will be able to give updates on the changing patterns of advice and guidance being requested and provided, age and gender differences by nationality of applicants, information about their dependents, the localities across the UK where services are sought and provided and more. This information, along with UK-IMR researchers’ findings on human trafficking, migration and local governance, will be used to inform policy discussions and public debate on the impact of migration in the UK today; as well as to enable frontline service providers and practitioner decision makers to match the resources available to specific needs.

Dr Joeseph Costanzo, UK-IMR Director, said about the new source of ‘real-time’ asylum data: “Migration is one of the most hotly contested issues of our time. As the data are collected on an ongoing basis, the UK-IMR will be uniquely positioned to analyse and release information to highlight and inform today’s issues and discussions for use by various audiences including service providers, policy makers and local authorities.

"The aim of this institute is to help improve the quality of life of individuals and communities touched by migration.”

The launch event, held at the Museum of London Docklands, laid out the aims and research focus of the new Institute and provided highlights from the UK-IMR’s first look at the new data source which included the following compelling insights:

  • About 20,000 people seeking asylum in the UK have become active clients of Migrant Help’s Asylum Help service since April 2014. Active clients are people who request asylum-related support from Asylum Help of whom about 70 percent are men.
  • Asylum seekers requesting support from Asylum Help in the past year come from across the globe. The following top five nationalities make up over 50 percent of the asylum client population with Asylum Help: Eritrea, Iran, Syria, Sudan and Pakistan.
  • People requesting asylum support through Asylum Help since April 2014 speak 117 languages of which nearly 60 percent are Arabic (26%), Tigrinya (12%), Farsi (11%) or English (10%).
  • Since April 2014 slightly more than a third of all requests to Asylum Help for advice and guidance has been on housing matters, 17 percent on financial questions.
  • As of April 2015, the average active asylum-seeking client is male and has less than one dependent when seeking asylum in the UK.
  • The majority of all referrals made to asylum clients have been legal referrals followed by health service-related referrals.
  • Since last April, nearly 1,000 vulnerability assessments (for people assessed as needing extra care) have been conducted for a range of issues including: torture (21%), pregnancy (18%), abuse (12%) and human trafficking (12%).
  • In the past year Asylum Help has provided over 14,000 individual and group briefings about the asylum process from the point of claiming asylum (21%), prior to screening (19%), prior to substantive interview (33%), post-interview/prior to decision (15%) and post decision (12%).

“This is the beginning of an extremely exciting journey for us here at UK-IMR. These insights are just a very small snippet of the type of content rich data that will be provided on an on-going basis.

“As our Institute grows we’ll continue to release data and analysis based on the needs and direct input of service providers, local authorities and the public who seek quality information to contextualise their understanding about migration in the UK. I am excited by the challenges and the opportunities creating this new Institute will bring to migration in the UK,” concluded Dr Costanzo.

For further information on the UK Institute for Migration Research, please visit:

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 97% of our UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

 *2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Migrant Help

Migrant Help is a UK charity with more than 50 years’ experience of delivering support and advice services to migrants in the UK. We provide individuals with the resources and support they need to find safety, access appropriate services and information and develop greater independence. Migrant Help provides a wide range of services across the UK working with the following client groups: asylum claimants and refugees, Victims of modern day slavery (human trafficking), EU nationals, foreign national prisoners and detainees.


Connect with us

Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:29:00