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Entry Clearances

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to publish the research commissioned by his Department on the likely effects of raising the minimum age for (a) a sponsor and (b) leave to enter the UK as a spouse or fiancé. (290402)

There is no current intention to formally publish the research commissioned by the Department on the likely effects of raising the minimum age for (a) a sponsor and (b) leave to enter the UK as a spouse or fiancé.

The view of the UK Border Agency researchers and two external peer-reviewers was that the research report was not of sufficient quality to be published in the Home Office Research Series. The methodology used for the research was sound, but the subsequent report contained unsubstantiated conclusions and misleading statements.

The contractor was informed that the full research report was not of suitable quality for publication in the Home Office Research Series but that the Home Office would be content for them to seek publication elsewhere. Research findings have since been published by the contractor on the University of Bristol website and by the Runnymede Trust.

A summary of the research, subsequently produced by the UK Border Agency researchers in conjunction with the contractors drew out the key findings. This was provided to the Home Affairs Select Committee to inform the consultation on domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour’ based violence. The Department will also be releasing this report under a Freedom of Information Act request. However, it will not be formally publishing in the Home Office Research Series due to the concerns outlined above.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to reduce the waiting time for the consideration of EEA2 applications. (290690)

[holding answer 9 September 2009]: UKBA has put in place a clear, focused recovery plan which will enable the agency to return to operating with service standards by December 2009.The plan is monitored on a daily basis by senior operational managers.