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Entry Clearances

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long it took on average to process a (a) short-term and (b) long-term visa application in the latest period for which figures are available. (241065)

Average processing times for visa applications received in August 2008 are shown in the following table:

Length of stay

Visa applications received in August 2008

Number resolved

Percentage resolved

Average processing time(days)

Short-term

117,703

116,248

98.8

2.9

Long-term (more than six months)

104,559

103,943

99.4

4.7

Note:

There data are unpublished and should therefore be treated as provisional.

Source:

Central Reference System, 8 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the operation of the UK visa system. (242967)

The UK Border Agency operates a robust visa system that protects the UK border while taking fast and fair decisions.

The range of procedures in place, including taking of fingerprints and checking of watch lists, help ensure that only those who should be able to come to this country are granted visas.

Already the UK Border Agency have fingerprinted more than 3.5 million visa applicants and identified 4,900 cases of identity fraud. So far this year they have refused visas to nearly 20 per cent. of applicants.