I have made an authorisation under paragraph 17(4)(a) of schedule 3 to the Equality Act 2010, the Equality (Consideration of Immigration Applications and Removal Directions) Authorisation 2015. This enables the Home Office to give greater scrutiny or priority to particular nationalities in carrying out entry clearance, border control, immigration casework in the country and removals functions.
The authorisation allows the Home Office to target its resources effectively in managing UK immigration controls. It uses statistical and intelligence-based evidence to identify the nationalities that pose the greatest risk to immigration controls and it permits Home Office staff to give greater scrutiny to those nationalities when making decisions.
This authorisation came into force today. It replaces the Equality (Transit Visa, Entry Clearance, Leave to Enter, Examination of Passengers and Removal Directions) Authorisation 2011, which has been revoked. The authorisation is made under the nationality exception for immigration functions contained in the Equality Act 2010. The nationalities covered by the authorisation will be reviewed each quarter by the Home Office and submitted for ministerial approval.
I have made an equivalent authorisation for Northern Ireland under section 20C of the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. This authorisation also came into force today.
I am placing a copy of the authorisations in the Library of the House.