Rwanda Receives First Migrant from the UK

The Rwandan government has stated that it has received its first migrant from the UK under one of now two different migration deals the east African nation has with the UK.

Voluntary Relocation

The migrant that was sent from the UK to Rwanda is a part of a newer deal that the UK has signed with Rwanda. Notably, the migrant was not sent to Rwanda under the UK’s illegal migrant deportation plan, but a different, voluntary plan.

The deal signed with Rwanda builds upon an existing UK policy. In essence, those who had legally transited to the UK as either refugees or asylum seekers, but had their status of being a refugee or asylum seeker denied, were eligible for financial assistance from the UK in order to resettle in a third nation, or return to their home country.

In the case of Rwanda, however, not only is the UK offering financial assistance in moving there, but also paying migrants to do so. Migrants who choose Rwanda to relocate to will receive up to 3,000 pounds (3757 USD) in order to help build themselves up with Rwanda.

This differs distinctly from the UK’s illegal migrant deportation plan in several ways. Namely, this plan is voluntary, and for migrants who had legally gone through the UK’s asylum process but had their applications denied.

The UK’s illegal migrant deportation plan is for illegal migrants and illegal asylum seekers who had reached the UK in small boats, through illegal crossings via the English Channel.

The legislation meant to bring this plan into effect just passed in the UK’s parliament last week, and deportations will not begin until approximately late June or early July, according to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The migrant received by Rwanda was confirmed to have been African in origin, but no other information has been given as to his identity except for that his asylum claim in the UK was rejected at the end of 2023. He arrived in Rwanda on April 29th.

The program to provide financial assistance for migrants to relocate is largely for the UK to attempt to clear a large backlog of migrants within the nation that have had applications denied, but that cannot be deported due to ongoing insecurity, oftentimes war, in their home nations.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.

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