§ Mr. Andrew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the current average waiting time for asylum applications, from receipt of application to determination.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
The estimated average length of time between the receipt of an asylum application and the decision, for cases decided in the second quarter of 1993, was 18 months. This figure reflects work on the resolution of older and more complex cases, as a result of the increase in staffing in the asylum and special cases division. Following the implementation of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 on 26 July, priority has been given to cases received after that date, with the aim of resolving the majority within three months. However, comprehensive information on the average decision times since implementation of the Act is not yet available.