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Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanism she uses to evaluate the efficacy of her policy of removing individuals who have no legal right to remain in the United Kingdom after their applications for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom have been disallowed; and if she will make a statement. (261901)

[holding answer 10 March 2009]: When an application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is refused, any subsequent appeals dismissed, and the applicant has no other grounds for leave, the UK Border Agency will seek to enforce compliance with the immigration decision. Those who refuse to leave voluntarily are classed as overstayers and are liable for enforced removal.

In 2008, we introduced case ownership for all in-country cases. Disallowed applications for ILR are owned by a case owner, based in the region where the applicant lives, who is responsible for pursuing the case to conclusion and giving priority to cases according to the harm they may potentially cause to the public. In addition to this, work is being undertaken on the development of electronic embarkation controls (e-Borders) to record departures, allowing us to monitor compliance and focus enforcement resource on those who do not comply.

Further information on the UK Border Agency's enforcement strategy is available to view at:

The efficacy of this approach is assessed by measuring the number of voluntary departures and removals. In 2008, 66,275 people were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK (which will include overstayers)—a 5 per cent. increase on 2007. This includes a 10 per cent. increase in non-asylum cases from 49,660 in 2007 to 54,635 in 2008. These figures (not percentages) are rounded to the nearest five and are provisional.

The Home Office publishes statistics on the number of persons removed and departed voluntarily from the UK on a quarterly and annual basis. National Statistics on immigration and asylum are placed in the Library of the House and are available from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at: