An image showing the sign board of the Home Office in the UK - Immigration staff to show empathy An image showing the sign board of the Home Office in the UK - Immigration staff to show empathy


Immigration staff to be trained to show empathy towards applicants.

United Kingdom
#immigration #asylum

Getting into the UK can be troublesome, especially for asylum seekers. One of the reasons they have to go through all this is a poor collaboration from the Home Office staff, but that is about to change. 

All UK Visas and Immigration personnel are now required to take a new training course termed "The Face Behind the Case". The Windrush affair, which exposed the UK government's handling of Commonwealth citizens' descendants who immigrated to the UK between 1948 and 1971, led to the introduction of the training programme.

Objectives of the course

The basic goal of the workshop is to persuade immigration officers to view asylum cases in a more sympathetic and practical manner. Regardless of a person's rank or situation, the training materials stress the value of recognising their human face when dealing with the Home Office.

With a variety of games and exercises aimed at enhancing staff members' empathetic abilities, the training course is created to be educational and participatory. For instance, employees are encouraged to picture themselves being compelled to flee persecution in Britain in order to find safety in Iraq. 

Asylum seekers in the UK -  Immigration staff to show empathy toward applicants


Key Components of the Training Course

The primary teaching materials for the course, which was introduced in 2020, were provided to the Guardian after a freedom of information request, despite the Home Office's prior refusal to divulge information about it. The following are some of the course's major components:

Referring to Asylum-seekers as "Customers"

One of the main takeaways from the training is to stop using terms like "cases" or "subjects" and start using the term "customers" instead. The course demands that border patrol agent consider the "human face" of the asylum seekers they are dealing with. 

Immigration personnel are urged to recognise the human face of every person who interacts with the Home Office, even in areas like enforcement where people may not be getting or asking for a service as a consumer.

Imperialist Past Training Course 

A training programme created by the Home Office to educate civil servants about Britain's imperial heritage has been launched. Although the course's content has not been made public, it is thought to concentrate on the colonial past of the UK and how it has affected immigration laws.

This is to encourage officials to view British history more critically and to make sure that prejudiced and out-of-date attitudes do not affect their judgements.

Encouragement of practical judgement: 

The significance of making rational decisions that account for the particulars of each case is emphasised throughout the course. All asylum seekers should be treated with respect and decency, and immigration officials should take the time to understand each applicant's unique situation in order to make more informed choices.


The Home Office's Face Behind the Case training programme attempts to increase the empathy of immigration office members. In order to avoid reputational harm to the agency, authorities should be able to imagine a human face behind every case file and reference number.



What exactly is the Face Behind the Case course?

All UK Visas and Immigration personnel are required to do the Face Behind the Case course, which aims to increase their empathy.

What is the reason behind the course?

After the Windrush incident, the course was created to prevent further "reputational damage" to the department and to foster greater empathy for asylum applicants.


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