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Immigration Controls

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 948W, on immigration controls, for what reasons the verification service's management information system was not operating in February, March and April 2009; and what the operational cost of that service has been since November 2008. (303839)

The verification service did not operate in February and March because of necessary work to upgrade its security. The service resumed in April. The set up costs associated with the implementation of the IT infrastructure used by Teleperformance for these services was £165,123. Information about costs of the service is commercially sensitive and cannot be disclosed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which colleges have had their licences to sponsor students under Tier 4 of the points-based immigration system (a) revoked and (b) suspended. (305056)

[holding answer 8 December 2009]: 14 colleges have had their Tier 4 sponsor licences revoked and 35 have had their sponsor licences suspended.

We cannot release specific details of the colleges suspended or revoked as this information is commercially sensitive.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) of 5 November 2009, Official Report, columns 1139-40W, on immigration controls, what action has been taken in respect of the 280 students whose sponsor under Tier 4 had had their licence revoked or suspended up to 16 October 2009. (305057)

[holding answer 8 December 2009]: The information requested could be obtained only by examination of individual case records.

In general terms, students studying at a college whose licence has been suspended, and not revoked, may continue their studies at that college providing they have valid leave. Students whose leave is about to expire must, as part of an application for leave to remain as a student, show that they are enrolled on a course of study at a college which is on the register of Tier 4 sponsors.

Students studying at a college whose licence has been revoked will have their leave curtailed and are given 60 days to enrol at a college which is on the register of Tier 4 sponsors. If they fail to do so they are expected to leave the country.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 25 November 2009, Official Report, column 213W, on overseas students, when he expects the review of approval criteria to be completed; who is leading the review; and whether external organisations have been consulted as part of the review. (305088)

[holding answer 8 December 2009]: I expect the review of approval criteria to be completed within the next 12 weeks. The UK Border Agency is leading on the review of the framework, working with Ofsted, and also taking comments from each of the currently approved accreditation bodies.