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Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 22 June 2006, Official Report, columns 2128-29W, on visas, why records are not maintained of the number of visitors who leave the country before or at the expiry of their permitted stay; and if he will make a statement. (81124)

Physical embarkation controls were withdrawn at seaports in 1994 and reconfigured at major airports in 1998. The five year immigration strategy for asylum and immigration, published in February 2005, contains details of our plans, through the e-Borders programme, to strengthen and modernise our border control including providing an electronic record of all those entering and leaving the UK. This is scheduled to commence in 2008.