UAE Asylum Seekers Facing Deportation: Some Notes on the Legal Position

By Together Against Genocide (TAG, formerly Tamils Against Genocide), Tuesday, April 09 2013
These notes are intended to guide relatives, friends and well-wishers of the UAE refugees as well as other advocacy groups. For further information please contact TAG: by email at, by twitter via @tagadvocacy or @Jan_Jananayagam or by Facebook via Jan Jananayagam.
19 Refugees currently facing deportation in the UAE have been recognized by the UNHCR as refugees. However it is required for host nations to accept them. Each country that has signed the UN refugee convention will have a domestic process for applying for refugee status.
UK Position (for other countries please contact us)

Mandate Refugee Scheme (MRS)

If a UNHCR recognized refugee has ‘close ties’  to the UK then they can a be refered by the UNHCR for resettlement under the UK's Mandate Refugee Scheme (MRS).The MRS policy is published here:
It says on eligibility:

"Mandate – Like the GPP those applying for resettlement under the MRS must have been recognised as refugees within the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. They must also have close ties with the UK through family or possibly also historical links to the UK (e.g. periods spent here as a student)."

Close ties are usually taken to mean spouse, minor child or parents/grandparents over the age of 65. In exceptional circumstances other relationships will be considered; parent/grandparent (in the singular) under 65, family members aged 18 or over: son, daughter, sister, brother, uncle, aunt. No other categories of family relationship will meet the close ties requirement. The family members in the UK do not need to have been accepted as refugees but must be settled here or have limited leave in a category leading to settlement and this includes family members here under the Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave provisions.

Those who are here in a temporary capacity (e.g. visitors, students, for medical treatment etc) would not normally provide the mandate refugee with a close tie with the UK. The relative in the UK must confirm that they are willing to provide initial accommodation and help with the integration of the resettled refugee(s).

Alternatively a relative could sponsor an application for entry clearance outside the Immigration Rules. This process does not have a high chance of success but relatives should contact us to see what is possible.