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Asylum and Immigration Tribunal: Visit to Ghana

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the purpose of the recent visit of the president of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to Ghana; by which officials he was accompanied; whom he met; and what was the total cost to the taxpayer.[HL8103]

The visit to Ghana was undertaken by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Bridget Prentice MP). The president of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) accompanied the Minister, as didthe director of asylum and immigration and the operational support manager of the AIT, the Minister's private secretary and a policy official of UKvisas.

The visit was to improve understanding of the issues faced by entry clearance posts, to assess the impact of the revised overseas appeals process and to identify the potential for further improvements for the benefit of the AIT, UKvisas and customers.

The visit included meetings with the acting British high commissioner; front-line entry clearance and appeals staff; visa, appeals and entry clearance managers; compliance and risk assessment teams; local commercial partners of UKvisas; Ghanaian police and banking officials; and Ministers in the Ghanaian Government.

The majority of the visit costs were funded by UKvisas, which is not funded through the public purse. The DCA contributed an estimated £8,500 to the visit costs.