Urgent notice: Home Office offers of ‘voluntary departure’ to Rwanda

14 March 2024: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. 

Read more: https://righttoremain.org.uk/urgent-notice-home-office-offers-of-voluntary-departure-to-rwanda/

16 March 2024: Home Office condemns ‘cruel’ Rwanda phone scam targeting asylum seekers

Scammers claim they can help people go to Rwanda in exchange for £3,000 government payment

The Home Office has condemned scammers who “cruelly attempt” to trick people by pretending they can help them go to Rwanda in exchange for a £3,000 government payment.

The reported scam is the latest blow to government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The main scheme involves forcibly sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda who arrive in the UK via irregular means such as small boats.

On Tuesday news of a second Rwanda scheme was reported in the Times and later announced by government. This one is a voluntary returns programme for refused asylum seekers. The Home Office is offering £3,000 incentive payments to encourage this group to go to Rwanda. Asylum seekers who started to receive calls from Home Office officials on Tuesday asking them to go to Rwanda were left in a state of panic with some saying they thought they had no choice but to get on a plane.

On Friday there was a further development suggesting that the new voluntary Rwanda scheme is being targeted by fraudsters. In a highly unusual move, Migrant Help, the charity that runs a free helpline for asylum seekers on behalf of the Home Office, issued a tweet saying: “It has come to our attention that a number of fraudulent calls purporting to be from Migrant Help have been made to our clients pretending to offer them voluntary return to Rwanda. The calls are made on a number which is withheld by the caller. Please be aware that these are NOT from our organisation and are fraudulent.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/mar/16/home-office-condemns-cruel-rwanda-phone-scam-targeting-asylum-seekers

inews: Home Office begins calling failed asylum seekers with £3k offer to go to Rwanda

​​​Lawyers received ‘panicked’ calls from clients contacted by Home Office ‘out of the blue’ who did not understand scheme was voluntary

Home Office staff started phoning refused asylum seekers on Tuesday afternoon offering them £3,000 to fly to Rwanda before the new scheme was even announced, i can reveal.

Lawyers have described receiving “panicked” calls from clients who had been contacted by the Home Office “out of the blue” and did not understand that the scheme was voluntary.

They were left “baffled” because the policy was not made public until an official statement was released on Tuesday night.

Read more: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/home-office-begins-calling-failed-asylum-seekers-offering-3k-to-go-to-rwanda-2955256