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Entry Clearance Refusals

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

I have today placed in the library a copy of the report by Mrs. Linda Costelloe Baker, the Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance Refusals with Limited Rights of Appeal, covering the period 1 October 2006 to 31 March 2007. A copy is also being made available on the UKvisas website at: www.ukvisas.co.uk together with UKvisas’ response to the Monitor’s recommendations.

I am most grateful to Mrs. Costelloe Baker for this thorough and positive report based on the 713 sample cases that she has reviewed for the period 1 October 2006 to 31 March 2007.

Mrs. Costelloe Baker commends UKvisas for successfully maintaining a delicate balance between good service and adequate control against a background of major changes in the entry clearance processes—dedicated application centres, a risk assessment basis for decision making and biometric data capture—all benefiting the genuine visitor. She goes on to confirm that the overall quality of entry clearance refusal notices is improving.

Mrs. Costelloe Baker makes a number of constructive recommendations as to how UKvisas can continue to improve the quality of decision making, customer service and complaint handling. UKvisas welcomes these comments and is keen to use these recommendations to drive up the quality of its service to customers whilst maintaining a high level of immigration control.

I wish to record our thanks to Mrs. Costelloe Baker for the work and effort she has put into producing this her third report as Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance Refusals with Limited Rights of Appeal. The Independent Monitor’s next report will cover the period 1 April to 30 September 2007 and will be published in the first half of 2008.