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Ports (Security)

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions have been given to immigration officers at ports of entry who wish to verify the identity of a person wearing a veil or other garment which has the effect of concealing the face of the person wearing it. (94142)

In accordance with the Immigration Act 1971 all persons arriving in the United Kingdom must satisfy an immigration officer as to their nationality and identity.

Where there are sensitive or cultural reasons why it is not possible for a person to remove a veil or other garment at the immigration control, they will be taken to a private area where, in the case of a woman, a female officer will ask them to lift their veil so that their identity can be verified.

Most people are usually content to do this but there are powers to refuse entry to persons who cannot be satisfactorily identified.