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Volume 86: debated on Monday 11 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present time lag between the application for a special voucher to settle in the United Kingdom and the interview in New Delhi; why Mr. Shailesh Mehta's application on 24 January 1978 will not get an interview until February 1986; and if he will make a statement.

Applicants for special vouchers interviewed and issued with their vouchers in New Delhi last month applied in October-November 1977.The annual quota for special vouchers for India has remained at 600; demand has exceeded this figure. In recent years the number of new applicants has declined which we anticipate will be reflected in a shortening of waiting times.The position relating to Mr. Mehta was explained to the hon. Gentleman in my letter of 30 October.