What is the Rwanda asylum plan?

The U.K. government struck a deportation agreement with Rwanda that is intended to deter migrants from trying to reach the U.K. on risky journeys across the English Channel.

The government says any asylum seeker entering the UK "illegally" after 1 January 2022, from a safe country such as France, could be sent to Rwanda. They would have their asylum claims processed there, rather in than the UK.

If successful, they could be granted refugee status and allowed to stay in the landlocked east-central African country. If not, they could apply to settle in Rwanda on other grounds, or seek asylum in another "safe third country".

No asylum seeker would be able to apply to return to the UK. The government says the plan will deter people from arriving in the UK on small boats across the English Channel.

Rwanda is a landlocked republic lying south of the Equator in east-central Africa. It is bounded by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and Lake Kivu.