HC Deb 09 February 1995 vol 254 cc450-1
11. Mr. Robert Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review procedures on controls of overseas visitors.

Mr. Nicholas Baker

Our immigration procedures are kept under review, and I see no need for a special review of controls on visitors.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware of the anxiety and anguish caused to many people in this country when visitors whom they wish to sponsor are refused entry? Is he aware that many of those people, including some of my constituents, are law-abiding people for whose integrity I would gladly vouch? Instead of simply examining the visitor's application, should not the Minister also take into account the bona fides and the standing of the sponsor who wishes to be that visitor's host?

Mr. Baker

I understand the concern expressed by the hon. Gentleman, but I disagree that, on examining visitor applications, we should not look primarily at the visitor. Sponsorship is, of course, important and relevant, but visitors must show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves, that they are genuine visitors, that they intend to leave at the end of their visit, and that they do not intend to take employment, among other things. When considering such applications, we could not properly shift the test from visitors to sponsors.