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Family Visitor Visas

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the reasons are for the change in the overall rate of refusal of family visitor visa applications; and what the reasons are for the changes in rates of refusal of family visitor visa applications made at entry clearance posts (a) in the Middle East, (b) in South Asia, (c) in Western Europe and (d) in Central Europe since 1 August 2002. [103143]

The number of refusals in Islamabad has increased with the resumption of interviews of family visit applicants on 2 December 2002. Previously these applications were being decided on the papers alone: many applications that would normally have resulted in an interview were therefore returned to the applicants unresolved.

These figures do not show any undue deviation from what would normally be expected for Islamabad. The very low pre-November 2002 figures were rather unusual, reflecting the limited service then being offered.

Otherwise, the figures set out in the tables, which have been placed in the Library, show no significant increase in the refusal rate of family visit applications since August. The variations in the rate of refusal seen are not unusual. Each application is decided on the balance of probabilities and their individual merits in accordance with the Immigration Rules.