UK and Bangladesh sign agreement to tackle illegal migration

By Government of United Kingdom

UK and Bangladesh sign agreement to tackle illegal migration

At the first Joint Working Group on Home Affairs in London, both countries committed to strengthening their partnership and intensifying cooperation on economic, cultural, and social issues.

The returns agreement will streamline the returns process by removing a mandatory interview for cases where there is good supporting evidence for removal.

Failed asylum seekers, foreign national offenders, and individuals who have overstayed their visas will all be returned sooner as a result.

Minister for Countering Illegal Migration, Michael Tomlinson MP said: ”Speeding up removals is a vital part of our plan to stop people coming or staying here illegally. Bangladesh is a valued partner and it is fantastic that we are bolstering our ties with them on this and a range of other issues. We have already seen clear evidence that these agreements have a significant impact on illegal migration. Global issues require global solutions and I look forward to working with Bangladesh and other partners to create a fairer system for all”.

The Joint Working Group also committed to:

  • continue to facilitate legal migration through existing visa routes
  • tackle illegal migration with enhanced cooperation on visa abuse, strengthening data sharing, and building capacity
  • develop each other’s understanding of our respective approaches to tackling serious organized crime

The working group builds on the recent meeting between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the UK’s Minister for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan in Dhaka. Prime Minister Hasina emphasized that Bangladesh has a zero-tolerance approach to illegal migration, whilst Minister Trevelyan thanked Prime Minister Hasina for her support in agreeing on the new returns agreement.

Last year 26,000 people who had no right to be in the UK were returned to their home countries, 74% more than in 2022. A deal signed with the government of Albania to expedite returns reduced the number of small boat arrivals from Albania by over 90%.

A nationwide increase in Home Office activity to tackle illegal migration saw enforcement visits rise by 68% last year and arrests more than double. Detentions have commenced ahead of the first flights to Rwanda in 8 to 10 weeks. The government’s Rwanda plan will deter vulnerable migrants from making perilous journeys across the Channel and ensure those who come to the UK illegally cannot stay.