asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for British citizenship are awaiting a decision; what is the average length of time taken to deal with such an application; and what steps he proposes to take to reduce this delay.
Some 35,000 applications are currently under consideration. They are of different types, some needing more inquiries and consideration than others. The average length of time is about 1314 months, but some applications take considerably longer and many of the more straightforward ones are dealt with in three or four months. Every effort consistent with the Government's policy of exercising strict economy in the staffing of Government Departments is being made to reduce the waiting time for a decision.