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Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why there is a time lag of eight years in New Delhi between an application for a special voucher to settle in the United Kingdom and the date for the applicant to be interviewed; how many applications are now outstanding; how many entry clearance officers are at present in post at the high commission; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 11 November at column 63. The issue of vouchers in India is regulated by the quota. Demand has exceeded the quota resulting in a queue. Waiting times are falling.At 31 July there were 3,137 applications outstanding. There are four entry clearance officers in New Delhi; a further entry clearance officer will join the establishment in December. There are also five entry clearance officers in Bombay.