The Home Office deals with millions of visa, citizenship, passport and immigration status applications each year. In the past year, UKVI has received more than 3.5 million applications, and more than 98.5% of major application routes, including for non-settlement, EU applications and asylum, have all been decided within their service standards. Some 99% of straightforward non-settlement applications were processed within 15 days last year.
I have a number of constituents who have family members who have applied for visas, submitted their passports and then endured very long delays—in some cases of many months—without their passports, so in effect they are trapped, unable to travel. What is UKVI going to do about those cases?
Reviewing identity documents such as passports as part of an application is obviously an important part of maintaining a robust immigration system. Travel documents are retained for the duration of the decision-making process, but if the applicant wishes to travel while the application is being considered, dependent on the route through which they have applied, we will of course return their passport to them. If the applicant needs a passport for ID purposes, we can send certified copies that they are able to use.