HC Deb 16 July 1997 vol 298 c184W
Fiona Mactaggart

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what instructions have been given to British high commissions and embassies about dealing with appeals and applications for leave to appeal in respect of husbands, wives, fiancés and fiancées who were refused admission under the primary purpose rule; and what assessment he has made of how long such applicants will have to wait. [5526]

Mr. Fatchett

[holding answer 7 July 1997]: In cases where an application has been refused solely on primary purpose grounds and an appeal is pending the Home Office will remit the papers to the Entry Clearance Officer for issue of entry clearance, subject to there being no change of circumstances. In cases where no appeal was lodged, posts will issue if further representations are made, subject to no change in circumstances. Where applicants have been refused and an appeal dismissed, applicants may re-apply for entry clearance in the normal way.

In fairness to those who have already re-applied, any new re-application resulting from the abolition of the Primary Purpose rule which is submitted by an individual who has already completed the appeal process will take its normal place in the queue. The maximum waiting time laid down for considering settlement re-applicants is nine months, although in practice the actual waiting time is significantly less than the maximum allowed. We shall continue to make every effort to process these re-applications quickly.

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