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Passports: Interviews

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been refused a passport following a face-to-face passport interview. (202853)

Passport application interviews form part of our programme to introduce enhanced security arrangements designed to combat passport fraud and forgery and to counter increasing levels of identity fraud. All first time adult passport applicants are now required to come for interview, but extensive checks are carried out prior to interview and in a number of cases this will uncover issues which will mean that the passport application is withdrawn or refused.

IPS records are not held in such a way as to be able to ascertain how many applications have been refused as a direct result of an interview. However, the number of interviews that have failed between 9 July 2007 and 27 April 2008 and been referred to the IPS Fraud and Investigation Units for further investigation is 525. Many of these cases will subsequently have been cleared following further checks and passports will have been issued.