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Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 16 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what will be his immigration policy towards citizens of the independent Republic of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabweans will in general be expected to qualify for leave to enter or to remain in the United Kingdom under the immigration rules. Applications for exceptional treatment outside the rules will continue to be considered on their individual merits. Those who were admitted between 1 January 1973 and 16 October 1975, and have remained here lawfully, will, on application, be given one further exceptional leave to remain of six months' duration at the end of which, unless they qualify to remain under the rules, they will normally be expected to depart. A desire to avoid conscription into the Armed Forces of Zimbabwe will not be regarded as a reason justifying exceptional treatment. Zimbabwean students already granted leave to remain without restriction on taking employment in order to further their studies will be allowed to remain on those conditions until their courses are completed. All applications for leave to remain should be made to the Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office in the normal way.