Legal update: Urgent notice – Rwanda ‘voluntary departure’ scheme

We have received reports that the Home Office is calling people to offer ‘voluntary departure’ to Rwanda. 

This scheme is separate to the initial Rwanda policy (which was defeated in the Supreme Court), the Rwanda Treaty which was recently signed by the Home Secretary, and the Safety of Rwanda Bill which is currently being rushed through Parliament. 

Instead, this ‘voluntary departure’ scheme is similar to the current ‘voluntary returns’ procedure where the Home Office offers people money to return to their country of origin, except, instead of returning to their country of origin, the Home Office is offering people £3,000 each to move to Rwanda and start a new life there instead. We believe that this scheme is being offered to people whose asylum claims have been ‘refused’ in the UK. 

We have limited information about this initiative at this time, but we recommend the following if the Home Office calls you with this offer:

  1. You do NOT have to say yes. It is a ‘voluntary’ scheme (it is optional). 
  2. Do NOT respond until you have legal advice. 
  3. Ask the Home Office to send the offer to you in writing (via a letter or email).
  4. Try to find legal representation. 

We know that it is hard to find a lawyer at this time, but you come to our drop in to get help meeting a lawyer. 

Details of drop in times can be found here.