HC Deb 10 June 1999 vol 332 cc368-9W
Fiona Mactaggart

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long, on average, it took between refusal of settlement entry clearance at(a) New Delhi, (b) Bombay, (c) Islamabad, (d) Karachi, (e) Lagos, (f) Accra and (g) Moscow and the dispatch of the explanatory statement to the UK for statements dispatched in (i) September 1998, (ii) December 1998 and (iii) March 1999; and if he will estimate how long it will take for explanatory statements to be dispatched for refusals made in (A) December 1998, (B) March 1999, (C) April 1999 and (D) May 1999. [86101]

Mr. Hoon

Information in the form requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Explanatory statements are not prepared until a Notice of Appeal against the entry clearance decision is received. The time limit for this is three months from the date of refusal. In 1998, 81 per cent. of settlement refusals worldwide resulted in an appeal.

In 1990 guidelines were introduced requiring Entry Clearance Officers to produce and submit explanatory statements to the appropriate authorities in the UK within three months of receipt of the notice of appeal.

The following table shows the percentage of explanatory statements submitted within three months at the posts named, during 1998:

New Delhi 85
Bombay 98
Islamabad 74
Karachi 91
Lagos 92
Accra 50
Moscow 100

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