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Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of visitors to the UK who overstayed their visa in the last 12 months, broken down by nationality. [120918]

The information requested is unavailable.Those who overstay their visas form part of the illegally resident population. There is currently no official estimate of the size of the illegal population in the UK as there is no defined method in the UK for producing estimates. However, the Government have commissioned research into the methods used in other countries to estimate the size of their illegal populations (which would by definition include those overstaying their visas) in order to define methods appropriate for the UK.