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Entry Clearances

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations his Department has received from the English Language Training sector regarding visa regulations. (280744)

UKBA has recently received the letter from the hon. Member for Torbay addressed to myself, enclosing correspondence from one of the Member's constituents who runs an English language school, and expressing concerns about the impact of the new student visa arrangements upon the business of language schools in the Torbay area and on the UK economy. I will be replying to that letter in the near future.

UKBA has received no other recent representations from the English language education sector on visa arrangements, aside from queries about the operation of the new system from individual providers. This sector was fully consulted during the development of the proposals which have led to the introduction of the PBS Tier 4 immigration provisions for students, and the student visitor provisions, and is represented at the regular meetings of UKBA's Joint Education Taskforce (JET), where all aspects of the provisions continue to be discussed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanisms there are to ensure the standardisation between offices of procedures for the processing of applications for visas for leave to remain in the UK. (281430)

Within UKBA standard application procedures apply for both its in country and out of country operations. It has published service standards for all types of applications. These standards indicate the expected time taken to process an application by type and apply across all locations.

Service standards are published on the UKBA website.