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Short-Stay Visitors

Volume 950: debated on Wednesday 24 May 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of short-stay visitors to the United Kingdom who illegally overstay their permitted period.

As I informed the House last year, an investigation is being made into the extent of overstaying by people admitted for temporary purposes. I expect the results to be available in the autumn.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many short-stay visitors arriving at Heathrow during the periods of one month and one year for which the most up to date figures are available were: (a) refused entry, (b) returned to their country of origin within 24 hours, (c) held at Heathrow or a detention centre, (d) given temporary admission after investigation, and (e) given temporary admission but subject to strict "report" conditions.

Information about the treatment of people seeking entry for short visits is not collected in the form requested. Following is the available information for March 1978 and the year ended 31st March 1978 relating to all persons refused entry, detained and granted temporary admission at Heathrow:

Number of persons
March 1978Year ended 31st March 1978
Refused entry4796,297
Returned within 24 hours2222,860
Held at Heathrow or at Harmondsworth detention centre*72811,551
Given temporary admission†1411,952
* These figures include some people detained pending further examination, but subsequently given leave to enter; and some temporarily detained pending departure, including some refused at other ports and those to be deported or removed as illegal entrants.
A small number of persons refused entry at Heathrow but held at other detention accommodation may be excluded.
† Information about the numbers given temporary admission subject to reporting conditions is not available, but the numbers are known to be small.