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Entry Certificates (Indian Subcontinent)

Volume 885: debated on Friday 31 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the approximate length of time prospective immigrants must wait for an interview in Pakistan; what steps are being taken to speed up the procedures; and if he will make a statement.

The interval between receipt of an application for settlement and the interview appointment is currently 22 months. As stated in my reply of 29th January to my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Scotland Exchange (Mr. Parry)—[Vol. 885, c. 163.]—we have strengthened our immigration staffs in the Indian subcontinent and must now assess the effectiveness of these increases over a period of time.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the average waiting time for intending immigrants attempting to obtain interviews in Dacca and Islamabad.

The interval between receipt of an application for settlement and the interview appointment is currently 22 months in Islamabad. It is approaching four years in Dacca, but the appointments schedule is being reorganised to take into account the reinforcement of the immigration section, and I hope that the waiting time will be reduced.