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Passports: Interviews

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of face-to-face passport interviews since their introduction. (198628)

The requirement for face-to-face interviews for adult passport applicants has been phased in gradually, and the Identity and Passport Service’s network of interview offices only became fully operational from 66 offices from 28 January this year. The capacity of the network has been increased progressively since July last year. The final office is due to open in May.

The interview requirement has been well received by customers who see this as a positive move in terms of safeguarding their identity. Given that the full volume of interviews is only now being achieved it would be premature to make an assessment of the effectiveness of face-to-face interviews in deterring and detecting fraud.