UK Rwanda Bill New Updates | More People Liable for Deportation

UK Rwanda bill


The UK’s Plan to Send Asylum Seekers to Rwanda

The UK government has introduced new updates to their Rwanda bill plan. The Rwanda bill, known as the “Migration and Economic Development Partnership”, aims to manage asylum seekers by relocating them to Rwanda and is designed to deter illegal immigration and alleviate the strain on the UK’s asylum system. Under this plan, certain asylum seekers arriving in the UK would be sent to Rwanda, where their asylum claims would be processed.

Expansion to Include Previous Asylum Applicants

Initially, the plan to deport illegal immigrants only targeted those who arrived in the UK on or after January 1, 2022. However, the UK government has recently expanded the policy, meaning that the new agreement with Rwanda now includes asylum seekers whose claims have been previously refused or withdrawn, regardless of their arrival date into the UK. The Government’s rationale for the expansion is that they’re aiming to address their backlog of unresolved asylum cases and increase the efficiency of the whole immigration process.

Limitations of the Original Rwanda Bill

The original Rwanda bill had quite a limited scope in relation to who it could send to Rwanda for processing. It applied only to asylum seekers who arrived in the UK on or after January 1, 2022. This restriction meant that many individuals who entered the country before this date were not subject to deportation under the bill. The fundamental goal of the original Rwanda Bill was to target recent arrivals and deter future illegal immigration through this deterrence strategy.

Expansion to Include Failed Asylum Seekers with No Right to Appeal

The recent expansion of the bill is a significant factor as the policy will now include individuals who have already had their asylum claims refused or withdrawn and have no right to appeal. This much broader scope aims to deal with a larger number of failed asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal avenues to remain in the UK. According to government figures, there were 24,310 refusals of asylum claims and 24,027 withdrawals last year alone.


Key Changes in the Plan Details
Original Bill Applied only to illegal immigrants who arrived after January 1, 2022
New Bill’s Expanded Scope Will Include individuals with previously refused or withdrawn claims with no right to appeal
Number of Affected Individuals 24,310 asylum claim refusals and 24,027 withdrawals last year


For more detailed information the Rwanda bills’ impact and affects in asylum seekers in the UK and who exactly it can deport/ send to Rwanda, please read our page on how the Rwanda Bill will impact on asylum applicants and who can be deported under the Rwanda Bill.


Rwanda Bill Criticism and Potential Human Rights Violations

The UK Rwanda plan has faced significant criticism after it was announced. Critics argue that the plan could lead to potential human rights violations, as it involves sending vulnerable individuals to a country with different human rights standards. There are concerns about the safety and well-being of asylum seekers relocated to Rwanda, and whether their claims will be handled fairly.

Campaign groups, such as Asylum Aid, have announced plans to launch a legal challenge against the expanded policy. These organisations argue that the plan is not only inhumane but also potentially illegal under international human rights laws

Recent Northern Ireland High Court Ruling

The Northern Ireland High Court recently ruled that significant parts of the Illegal Migration Act, which act as a foundation to the UK Rwanda plan, should not apply in Northern Ireland because it would breach their  human rights laws. This ruling has subsequently raised questions about the long-term viability of the Rwanda bill and its implementation across the UK. The Home Office has stated that the judgement does not affect the cohort currently being detained, as they fall under existing legislation rather than the new act.

If you need more information about what the Rwanda Bill actually is be sure to read our Rwanda Bill Explained page.


Home Secretary’s Justification for the Rwanda Bill

Home Secretary James Cleverly has defended the expansion of the UK Rwanda plan. In a statement, he emphasised that those who have no right to remain in the UK should not be allowed to stay. He asserted that Rwanda is a safe third country, ready and willing to accept people, offer them comprehensive support, and help them rebuild their lives. This expansion is seen by the government as a necessary step to address the issue of illegal immigration and ensure that the UK’s immigration system is fair and efficient.

Support Package for Failed Asylum Seekers

The UK government has outlined a support package for failed asylum seekers who are relocated to Rwanda. This package includes provisions for education, training, employment, and accommodation, lasting up to five years. The goal is to provide a sustainable and supportive environment for individuals to rebuild their lives in Rwanda. Additionally, the Home Office has offered up to £3,000 to those who agree to voluntary removal, although it has not disclosed how many have taken up this offer.

Timeline for First Flights to Rwanda

The government initially announced that the first flights to Rwanda are on track to take off between 9-12 weeks, however PM Rishi Sunak announced on May 22nd, 2024 that no Rwanda flights will take place before the UK general election on June 4th, 2024. Despite this, preparations have already begun, with the Home Office detaining migrants in anticipation of the first flight scheduled for the summer. 



The UK Rwanda Bill is a significant policy aimed at managing asylum seekers by relocating them to Rwanda. Initially targeting individuals who arrived after January 1, 2022, the policy has been expanded to include those with previously refused or withdrawn asylum claims. This expansion seeks to address the backlog of unresolved cases and improve the efficiency of the immigration process.

However, the plan has faced substantial controversy and legal challenges, with critics arguing that the policy could lead to human rights violations, and campaign groups are preparing legal action to oppose the expansion. The recent Northern Ireland High Court ruling adds further uncertainty to the plan’s future. Despite these challenges, the UK government remains committed to implementing the policy, with the first flights to Rwanda scheduled within nine weeks and a comprehensive support package in place for relocated individuals.