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Volume 712: debated on Tuesday 14 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were (a) arrested, and (b) convicted, in each of the past three years for assisting unlawful immigration. [HL4420]

Due to changes in the nature of the system used to record details of arrests made by the UK Border Agency, complete data are only available for the past two financial years.

In 2007-08, a total of 73 individuals were arrested by UK Border Agency staff on suspicion of an offence relating to the facilitation of unlawful entry into the UK (including trafficking); in 2008-09, 127 individuals were arrested for the same reason.

These figures do not constitute part of National Statistics as they are based on internal management information. The information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols and should be treated as provisional and subject to change.

With regards to actual convictions, the Home Office publishes statistics on persons proceeded against for offences under immigration Acts, including offences relating to the facilitation of unlawful entry, in England and Wales annually. These National Statistics on immigration and asylum are placed in the Library of the House and are available from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many changes have been made to the UK Border Agency's visas website regarding application to enter the United Kingdom by overseas students since the new points-based system started on 31 March. [HL4534]

We have made three substantive changes to the UK Border Agency's visa services website regarding entry as a student under tier four of the points-based system since it was implemented on 31 March 2009.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review immigration rules in order to deal with skill shortages facing the curry industry. [HL4747]

The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advises Government on shortage occupations. Skilled chefs, including those in the curry industry, are currently on the shortage occupation list for tier two of the points-based system.

The Government have asked the MAC to review this entry by September 2009 and recommend whether it is sensible to continue to fill shortages of skilled chefs through migration. The Government will consider the MAC's recommendations carefully in due course.