[holding answer 20 March 2009]: The UK Border Agency is committed to delivering an efficient service for all customers and claimants.
In terms of economic and family migration, the principal means by which the UK Border Agency is working to speed up the determination of immigration decisions is through the introduction of the points based system for all those applying to work or study in the UK.
The tiers relating to highly skilled migrants, skilled migrants and temporary workers are already operational, having been introduced in 2008. Tier 4, which applies to students, was introduced on 31 March 2009.
In other economic and family migration categories there are performance improvement plans in place to speed up case processing times.
For asylum cases, the UK Border agency has published the milestones for the conclusion of cases it intends to fulfil on route to the ultimate objective of concluding 90 per cent. of cases within six months by December 2011. Most recently, UKBA successfully achieved the milestone of concluding 60 per cent. of cases in six months by the end of December 2008.
There were 43,090 outstanding applications for indefinite leave to remain being processed by the UK Border Agency as at 12:30 pm on 18 May 2009.
1. Data relate to lead applicants only.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.
3. The figures quoted are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.
UKBA Case Information Database
A further 14 local immigration teams (LITs) have become operational since the previous answer was given, with the total now standing at 23. These are based in the following areas:
1. Bedfordshire and West Northamptonshire
5. Cambridgeshire and East Northamptonshire
7. East Midlands
8. Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea
9. Hampshire and Isle of Wight
18. Richmond and Kingston
19. Salford and Central Manchester
21. South Wales
23. Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway and Central Scotland.