Tens of thousands of asylum seekers, including Afghans, have arrived in the UK by boats from France in recent years. Photo: PA

Afghan asylum seekers among thousands selected to be fast-tracked by the UK

Scrambling to ease a backlog of over 150,000 asylum applications, the UK government is to fast-track 12,000 by sending applicants 10-page questionnaires, which will be used to decide their cases, instead of face-to-face interviews.

The UK Home Office has selected asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Eritrea who have high chances of success for the fast-tracking process.

According to the Independent, selected applicants will receive the questionnaires containing around 40 questions and are given 20 working days to reply with supporting evidence.

The British Refugee Council who has seen the questionnaires said: “Moves to reduce the backlog are welcome but the answer is not yet more bureaucratic hurdles and threats of applications being withdrawn.

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“After living in worry and uncertainty for months and even years without hearing anything about their claims, it cannot then be fair or reasonable to expect people to complete a lengthy form only in English in a matter of weeks.”

The British government has come under increasing pressures for its management of asylum applications, especially housing applicants in hotels across the UK.

Far right groups have protested outside hotels housing asylum seekers in some cities. On 10 February, hundreds of far right protestors clashed with police in Liverpool outside a hotel housing asylum seekers.