This section provides information on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (SVPR).
The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme was launched January 2014 to relocate Syrians to the UK. Priority is given to victims of sexual violence, the elderly, torture victims and the disabled. The first group of around 10-20 individuals arrived on 25th March 2014, with 216 by June 2015. After a public call, for the expansion of the scheme, the Government announced September 2015 that it would commit to accepting up to 20,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the current parliament, though this conformed to the existing policy of not encouraging dangerous migration by accepting refugees from camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Following this expansion of the program, there were 2898 Syrians resettled in the UK under this scheme by June 2016 across 118 local authorities (Figures released in the Home Office Quarterly Migration Statistics – available here).
Role of the local authorities
Prior to arriving in the UK Syrians are matched to local authorities and the cost of the first year of resettlement is paid through the international aid budget so as to limit financial pressure on local authorities.
Role of WMSMP
The West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership (WMSMP) is currently coordinating the pledges from local authorities and a compiling a regional offer to the Syrian VPR Scheme in the West Midlands. The WMSMP works with central and local government and regional and national stakeholders, seeking to promote understanding and cooperation between all parties.
What Syrian refugees receive:
- 5 Years humanitarian protection
- Ability to apply for family reunification under immigration rules
- After 5 years, the ability to apply for permanent settlement