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Over 2,000 asylum seekers caught lying about their age: Definitely not children


More than 2,000 adult asylum seekers arriving in the UK have lied about their age to be processed less harshly in the system as children.  

Of the 3,755 'children' investigated over their age by UK immigration since 2015 more than half were found to have been lying.

Latest Home Office figures reveal that 2,203 cases resulted in the migrant's age being verified as over 18, which can mean they are processed more harshly by the system.

If a refugee does not have a birth certificate or other travel documents, a Home Office screening officer must decide whether or not they are a child based on their 'physical appearance and demeanour'.

Unless the person appears 'significantly' over 18, they should be 'afforded the benefit of the doubt and treated as children' until they are age-assessed by local council social workers, official rules state.

But on many occasions it meant adults were treated as children, potentially posing a risk to school pupils, foster families or children in care.

Home Office statistics show Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Sudan had the most adult asylum seekers claiming to be children in 2020.