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Immigration And Nationality Department

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 26 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to introduce (a) computerised file tracking in the immigration and nationality department and (b) computerisation of the immigration appellate authorities.

The immigration and nationality department plans to start implementation of the file tracking system in December 1990. Responsibility for the immigration appellate authorities rests with my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many passports and letters were awaiting acknowledgement in the B1 division of the immigration and nationality department on (a) 28 March, (b) 27 April and (c) 31 May.

The number of passports and letters in IND awaiting acknowledgement was 3,471 on 30 March; 5,134 on 27 April; and 4,437 on 1 June. On 1 June the waiting period before acknowledgement was two working days for passports and four for letters.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the standard cost of processing applications in respect of citizenship applications.

Fees for citizenship applications are set at a level intended to cover processing costs. The present fees, set in 1986, are:

£
Registration60
Naturalisation on grounds of residence170
Naturalisation as the spouse of a British citizen60
These fees are under review to take account of prevailing cost levels.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to review staffing levels at the immigration and nationality department in Lunar house; and if he will make a statement.

Staffing levels at the IND in Lunar house are reviewed regularly in the light of up-to-date workload, staffing and financial information. In the process of review the Government will also be taking account of the recommendations about staffing levels at IND made by the Home Affairs Committee in its fifth report on "Administrative Delays in the Immigration and Nationality Department", published on Wednesday 20 June. The Government's formal response to these, and the other recommendations in the committee's report, will be made in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average time between receipt of application for naturalisation in the immigration and nationality department and determination of such applications as at 31 May or the nearest available date.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Stretford (Mr. Lloyd) on 20 June at column 574.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many letters currently await acknowledgement by the immigration and nationality department; what is the comparable figure for each quarter since 1 January 1988; what is the average time taken by the immigration and nationality department to acknowledge correspondence; and if he will make a statement.

On 15 June the number of items of mail awaiting acknowledgement in IND was 4,850. The comparable figures for each quarter since 1988 were:

Items of mail awaiting acknowledgement
198819891990
January181,8921,2285,622
April122,5464,5233,774
July1,0862,165
October3,1265,844
On average letters are being acknowledged within three days and citizenship applications within seven days of receipt in the Department.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases in the past year the immigration and nationality department has admitted to the loss of a case file; in how many cases applicants in all categories have been asked to re-submit documents when the originals were lost or mislaid; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) the categories of application received by the immigration and nationality department and (b) the number of applications, in each category, which are currently (i) unopened, (ii) allocated to a caseworker, (iii) subject to inquiry, (iv) decision recommended and (v) awaiting dispatch; and if he will make a statement.

The principal categories of applications received by IND are:

  • Variation of leave
  • Refugee status
  • Political asylum
  • Referred entry clearance
  • Travel documents
  • Re-entry visas
  • Citizenship applications
The information requested at (b) is not fully or readily available. I shall reply as soon as possible providing such information as is available.