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Channel migrants: What happens to people crossing to the UK?

The “what happens to migrants crossing the channel” is a question that has been asked for years. The answer is quite complicated, but in short, people crossing the channel are not granted UK citizenship.

Home and legal reporter Dominic Casciani

PA Media is the source of this image.

At least 27 individuals have perished while attempting to cross the English Channel by boat.

In recent months, a record number of migrants have tried the voyage.

What steps are being taken to prevent Channel crossings?

The UK sends Border Force ships out to look for tiny boats, but they can only save those who are in danger.

France stated earlier this week that it will spend an additional €11 million (£9.3 million) on equipment and 100 vehicles to combat smuggling along the coast.

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Beach-ready quad bikes and zodiac boats, which are incredibly fast tiny watercraft used by the military, are among the equipment. More night-vision equipment has also been handed to teams to aid in the detection of persons hiding in sand dunes.

Following Boris Johnson’s publication of a letter to President Macron, France has decided to postpone negotiations on the subject until next weekend. In it, the Prime Minister said that France should accept migrants who have crossed the English Channel.

France says that it is doing all possible to prevent border crossings. On Wednesday alone, French officials halted 671 migrants, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

Given that “it just takes five to ten minutes to seize a boat and load it with migrants,” Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont told the that it was unrealistic to expect police forces to monitor 200-300km [125-186 miles] of coastline 24 hours a day.

PA Media is the source of this image.

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A Border Force vessel arrives in Dover with a group of guys.

The UK has committed to provide France €62.7 million (£54 million) between 2021 and 2022 to assist expand police patrols, improve aerial surveillance, and bolster port security. It’s being paid in monthly installments, which have already begun.

In addition, the two nations formed a collaborative intelligence organization, which has assisted in 94 investigations.

Since 2020, there have been 65 small boat charges in England, and approximately 300 arrests in France.

How many migrants make it over the English Channel?

For the first time in November, over 1,000 individuals came in a single day.

So far this year, more than 25,000 individuals have crossed the Channel, yet that number does not tell the entire picture.

In the most recent year for which we have statistics, about 45,000 persons applied for asylum in the United Kingdom. As a result, the number of people that cross the Channel by boat is just a fraction of the total.


The United Kingdom receives fewer than half of the asylum requests that France receives.

The majority of refugees arrive in the nation closest to their home: Turkey has roughly 3,700,000 displaced Syrians. Since 2014, the UK has taken in fewer than 1% of that number through resettlement or asylum from Syria.

What happens if a migrant is discovered in the channel?

If migrants are discovered in UK national seas, they will very certainly be transported to a British port.

If they are found in international seas, the UK will collaborate with French authorities to determine where they should be sent. There are search-and-rescue zones in every nation.


There are just 20 miles between Dover and Calais, where many people pass, and none of it qualifies as international seas.

Migrants are frequently brought to short-term detention centers after they arrive in the UK.

Is it possible to deport migrants back to France?

People have the right to seek refuge in whatever country they arrive in under international law. They are not required to seek refuge in the first safe nation they come across.

However, an EU-wide legislation known as Dublin III permits asylum seekers to be deported to the first EU member state they were found in.

231 migrants who crossed the Channel were returned to continental Europe using Dublin III between January 1, 2019 and October 1, 2020.

However, since exiting the European Union, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of this agreement. The UK has yet to agree on a replacement program, making migrant transfers more onerous.

Only five individuals have been returned to mainland Europe in 2021, according to Immigration Minister Tom Pursglove, who told MPs on November 17th.

Is it possible that migrants in the Channel will be sent back?

Priti Patel has given Border Force agents limited authority to turn back boats transporting migrants to the UK.

In Australia, a method known as “push back at sea” is used. France, on the other hand, has refused to cooperate with the UK’s strategy.

According to Prof Andrew Serdy, a maritime law expert, as soon as the boats leave French seas – which the UK authorities cannot access without France’s approval – and reach UK waters, they are protected by UK law.

“If France refuses to accept them back after they’ve departed, it can’t be coerced, and a standoff develops.”

A boat may only be pulled back if it is apparent that doing so would not jeopardize life, which might be difficult to show with a tiny dinghy.

However, addressing in the House of Commons, the home secretary claimed she “had not ruled anything out” and cited “Greece in terms of push-backs,” adding that the Greeks utilize the military, including special forces and the coastguard, to do this.

What are the current asylum laws in the United Kingdom?

Many migrants who cross the English Channel seek refuge in the United Kingdom. Asylum seekers expect to be granted refugee status, which allows them to remain in the country.

They must demonstrate that they are unable to return to their home country because they are afraid of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, gender identity, or sexual orientation.


If they have children under the age of 18, they may include them in their asylum application.

A caseworker makes the decisions. They look into items like the asylum seeker’s place of origin or proof of prejudice.

This is expected to be completed in six months, although most people take longer.

What happens if your application is approved?

Anyone awarded refugee status is allowed to stay in the nation for five years with their dependents. They may then apply to settle in the United Kingdom.

They may also be granted permission to remain for humanitarian grounds. This implies they do not meet the criteria for refugee status, but they are nonetheless at danger of significant harm if they return to their home country because of:

  • the punishment of death
  • wrongful homicide
  • Torture or cruel or degrading treatment are examples of inhumane or degrading treatment.
  • Armed warfare poses a hazard to civilian life.

Family members who have not yet arrived in the United Kingdom may seek to join individuals who have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection.

They may also be allowed to remain for other reasons, such as being an unaccompanied youngster or a victim of human trafficking. The length of time they may remain will be determined by their circumstances.


More than 36,000 individuals, including dependents, sought for asylum in the United Kingdom in 2020.

Approximately 10,000 people were given refugee status or other forms of protection.

Both of these statistics were lower than the previous year, owing to the coronavirus’s effect.


What kind of financial assistance do asylum seekers get?

People are offered financial assistance to cover their living expenses while their asylum petition is being processed.

Unless they have waited more than a year for a judgment, asylum seekers are not authorized to work or accept formal unpaid employment such as internships. They may, however, aid charities or community organizations by volunteering.

This contentious law aims to prohibit individuals from seeking asylum as a way to work in the United Kingdom. Critics argue that it hinders refugees’ integration into communities and wastes the talents they bring with them.

Getty Images is the source of this image.

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On the Isle of Bute, Syrian migrants arrive.

Asylum seekers are unable to choose their residence. Most are first housed in hostels before being moved to longer-term housing.

The immigration monitor has already criticized much of this accommodation.

Asylum seekers may get a weekly financial allowance of £39.63 for each member of their family, with additional assistance available for vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women.

Children must attend school and asylum seekers with an ongoing application are entitled to free healthcare.

What happens if your asylum application is denied?

If no refuge is provided and no alternative reason to remain in the UK is approved, the individual will be requested to leave the country, either willingly or forcibly.

They have the right to appeal the judgement. Between 2004 and 2020, over 30% of appeals were granted, allowing those persons to remain in the country.

Migrants may get legal help with these appeals, which can take years, as well as financial and housing assistance.

Watch This Video-

The “migrants returned to france” is the process that happens when people cross from one country to another. This article will explain what happens when migrants are returned to France.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many refugees have died crossing the English Channel?

There have been many attempts at crossing the English Channel by boat. More than 10,000 people have died in these attempts from drowning or hypothermia over the last 300 years.
The French channel is also known for a series of shipwrecks causing thousands of deaths during World War II and since then as well.

Do immigrants get free housing in UK?

A: Unfortunately, the program for giving immigrants free housing in UK has been discontinued.

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