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Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 26 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the posts at which delays of more than nine months elapse between receiving applications for entry clearance and first interview taking place.

As at 30 April 1990, overseas posts with estimated waiting times to first interview of nine months or longer are:

Post and categoryWaiting time (months)
Settlement reapplicants10.0
Settlement reapplicants19.0
Non-resident applicants19.5
1 Mainly Iranians.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the latest estimated waiting times for interviews in all categories of applicants for entry clearance at posts on the Indian subcontinent; and if he will make a statement.

As at 30 April the estimated waiting times (in months) are:—

New Delhi0358
MadrasAll settlement applicants 2 months.
CalcuttaNo settlement queues.
Setlement queues are organised as follows:Q1. Persons with a claim to the right of abode, dependent relatives over 70 years, special compassionate cases.Q2. All spouses, and all children under 18 years.Q3. Fiancé(e)s and others applying for the first time for settlement.Q4. Re-applicants.


Due to seasonal high demand applicants for visit visas in Islamabad requiring a full interview can expect to wait up to five days. Elsewhere they are dealt with on day of application.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the present estimates, when he expects the main queues of those applying for entry clearance to the United Kingdom from the Indian sub-continent will be cleared; and if he will make a statement.

It is not possible to forecast how many applicants will apply for settlement entry clearance in future years nor therefore to predict the length of settlement queues.