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Entry Clearances

Volume 464: debated on Friday 19 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration has been given to the return of travel documents to visa applicants pending decisions in long-running cases. (158964)

The relevant visa section will retain the applicant's travel documents until a decision has been made, as they are required to process the application. The applicant may withdraw their application at any time if they wish to have their travel documents returned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what system is in place to inform visa applicants of the progress of their applications. (158965)

Applicants are not routinely informed of the progress of their application, except in those settlement cases where a Home Office referral is necessary; in these cases the applicant should receive a letter informing them of the revised timescale.

If an applicant wishes to check the progress of their application they may do so by using the call centre or online service in countries where a commercial partner has been engaged. Where there is no commercial partner they may contact the visa section, in the country from which they are applying, using the contact details advertised on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.

Applicants are advised to check the website of the visa section of the country from which they wish to apply for the correct procedure.

The FCO website address is:

www.fco.gov.uk.