Immigration minister Caroline Nokes says up to 600 foreign nationals every month fail to report to authorities

Ms Nokes made the admission as Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed he wanted to review the ban on asylum seekers working in the UK as they wait for claims to be decided.

The Home Office minister made the revelation as she gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

She said: “We have management information – (they are) not published statistics, so therefore would require some quite cautious verification – but we think in the region of five to six hundred people might miss a reporting incident or otherwise abscond during the course of every month.”

She said she wanted to be “very clear” about the term abscond.

“When we’re looking at absconders then actually that might just be that somebody has missed one reporting incident.”

While some foreign nationals who are subject to removal procedures are held in detention, the majority live in the community while their case progresses.

As part of these arrangements, they can be required to report to authorities at a specific location at set times.

A report from the chief inspector of borders and immigration last year disclosed the Home Office had a reporting population of nearly 80,000.

Among those who could be made subject to reporting requirements are people who entered the country unlawfully or breached their original conditions of entry, and individuals facing deportation as a result of committing a crime.

Official figures published last week revealed the number of individuals held in immigration detention has fallen to the lowest level since comparable records started nearly a decade ago.

There were 2,049 detainees at the end of September, a 41% drop compared with the same date 12 months earlier.

Last night a Home Office spokesman said: “Individuals classified as absconders include those who are placed on a reporting regime but do not comply with their restrictions, for example, reporting to a police station or immigration reporting centre.

“When their current whereabouts is unknown individuals are referred to a dedicated absconder tracing team which works closely with the police, other government agencies and commercial companies to bring them back into contact with the Home Office.

“Many come back into contact after a period of time being recorded as an absconder while others receive additional information to support their cases to remain or simply return to their home country voluntarily.”

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