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Russia: Entry Clearances

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the average waiting time is for Russian (a) students, (b) politicians, (c) business people and (d) others between application for and grant of visas to visit the UK; and if he will make a statement. (153775)

UKvisas does not keep statistics on average waiting times for different types of visa applications. Instead, UKvisas performance is measured against the following Public Service Agreement (PSA) standards:

PSA 1: 90 per cent. of straightforward non-settlement applications to be processed within 24 hours.

PSA 2: 90 per cent. of non-settlement applications requiring further inquiries or interview to be processed within 15 days.

PSA 3: 90 per cent. of settlement applications to be processed within 12 weeks.

Our visa sections in Russia exceeded these standards in the 2006-07 and 2005-06 financial years. In 2005-06, an average of 92 per cent. of PSA 1 applications were processed within 24 hours, 97.4 per cent. of PSA 2 applications were processed within 15 days, and 100 per cent. of PSA 3 applications were processed within 12 weeks.

Provisional figures for 2006-07 show that, on average, 92 per cent. of PSA 1 applications were processed within 24 hours, 97 per cent. of PSA 2 applications were processed within 15 days, and 100 per cent. of PSA 3 applications were processed within 12 weeks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information is provided to Russian applicants for visas to visit the UK. (153776)

The information provided to Russian applicants is a combination of generic material that applies to all visa applicants and tailored guidance relevant to applications in Russia.

This information is available primarily through the UKvisas main website: www.ukvisas.ov.uk, our embassy in Moscow's website: www.britaininrussia.ru and the website of UKvisas' commercial partner in Russia: www.ukvac-ru.com.

A range of printed information on applications and procedures is also available at the four visa application centres in Russia operated by VFS.