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Indian Immigrants

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long people are waiting on average for (a) interviews and (b) second interviews in queues 1, 2, 3 and 4 at each British post on the Indian sub-continent; what were the comparable figures for 1988, 1987 and 1986; and what are the projected waiting times in 1990.

Waiting times to first interview for settlement applications in the month of October in the four years 1986 to 1989, which are given in the table, show a reduction in waiting times.Few applicants in the queues require a further interview. The waiting times between first and second interviews vary considerably depending upon how quickly the applicant returns with the additional documentation requested.I cannot, at this stage, anticipate what waiting times will be in 1990.before their interview. Actual waiting time is the time an applicant will have waited since lodging his or her application.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to improve the arrangements at the British High Commission in Dhaka for interviewing those applying for settlement in the United Kingdom; and if he will arrange for security glass to be removed from interviewing booths.

The arrangement for interviewing settlement applicants in Bangladesh are satisfactory and we have no plans to change them. Glass screens are provided for the security of interviewers and interpreters. They are no different from those in many public and commercial offices in this country and will not be removed.