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UK Border Agency: Manpower

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 15 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration officers his Department employs overseas to screen passengers of inbound flights to the United Kingdom at airports (a) in and (b) outside the EU. (292932)

[holding answer 14 October 2009]: The UK Border Agency’s Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON) currently employs 98 staff designated as Immigration Liaison Managers and Officers overseas, 14 within the EU and 84 in non-EU locations.

One of RALON’s core functions is to support carriers at airports to identify those without correct documentation from seeking to travel to the UK.

RALON staff only operate at airports in an advisory capacity, achieved through the provision of training and expertise to airlines in UK passport and visa requirements and forgery awareness, to assist them to prevent inadequately documented passengers from boarding. RALON staff have no legal powers overseas and the decision on whether to carry a passenger is always made by the airline.