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Immigration Controls

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of applications for indefinite leave to remain were decided within (a) three weeks and (b) 13 weeks in 2006-07. (134118)

Information in this format is not kept by the Border and Immigration Agency and could be obtained by examination of individual records only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken to process an application for further leave to remain from an applicant who had overstayed on a visa was in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (135332)

The requested information is not available and could only be obtained by examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking following the publication of his Department's Review of Home Office Publications of Control of Immigration Statistics. (102561)

The implementation plan for the National Statistics Quality Review on Command Paper “Control of Immigration Statistics: United Kingdom” publications report was published on the Office for National Statistics and Home Office websites on 16 January 2007 on the following links:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/data/methodology/quality/reviews/population.asp; and

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs07/cpreview07.pdf

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with representatives of foreign governments on the implications of the proposed new points-based immigration system. (134355)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office have held two events for the London based diplomatic community to brief them on the points-based immigration system. A Migration Workshop was held on 29 September 2005 and a Migration Seminar took place on 24 March 2006. The foreign press based in London were briefed by Lord Triesman and my hon. Friend the Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety on 7 March 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to implement the new points-based immigration system retrospectively. (134356)

The points-based system (PBS) will not be introduced retrospectively. Anyone who is granted permission to come to, or stay in, the UK under the system that exists now will keep that permission when the PBS is introduced.

Anyone applying for further permission to stay here after the introduction of PBS will need to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules as they are at the time he makes that application. This means that a migrant who came here under a category of the Immigration Rules that has since become part of the PBS will need to meet the PBS requirements in order to stay here when his initial permission runs out.

This is the approach that we have always taken to applications under the Immigration Rules.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of immigration systems used in other countries. (134357)

We always look to learn from our international partners and meet regularly with them to share best practice. During the design of the points based system for managed migration, we examined how points based systems operated in other countries.

BIA officials regularly meet international partners. We are involved in the General Directors Immigration Services Conference (GDISC), a network of directors of immigration services across Europe and also the Four Countries Conference which includes Australia, Canada and the USA.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the new points-based immigration system on the (a) lower-skilled and (b) unskilled job sectors. (134358)

Tier three of the points based system will provide for the introduction of quota-based schemes to meet labour shortages at low skill levels if these are needed. It will be for the Migration Advisory Committee to make an assessment of whether such schemes will in the future be needed to meet labour needs in any particular sector. Such schemes will not be introduced while restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals’ access to low skilled employment in the United Kingdom remain in force.