HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 c26W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the average length of time of an interview for an entry clearance visa in(a) Bombay, (b) New Delhi, (c) Calcutta, (d) Islamabad, (e) Dhaka and (f) Karachi in the last year for which figures are available. [83560]

Mr. Robin Cook

Applications are dealt with on the basis of a triage system which separates them into 4 tiers. The tiers are:

(A) Non-settlement

Tier 1: Straightforward applications received over the counter, by post, or from an agent, resulting in immediate issue or mandatory refusal. ECOs may ask one or two questions if necessary to clear up minor points.

Tier 2: Secondary examination of less straightforward applications that are likely to result in an issue.

Tier 3: For cases likely to result in refusal. A full interview is required.

(B) Settlement

Tier 4: This is the category under which all settlement cases are dealt with. Interviews can result in issue, refusal, referral (to the Home Office for a decision) or deferral (for additional information to be obtained).

The average length of interviews at the posts listed is as follows (figures, in minutes, are for 1998):

Post Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4
Bombay 2.00 9.00 30.00 50.00
New Delhi 2.02 5.33 28.46 57.54
Calcutta 3.00 10.00 29.75 39.17
Islamabad 3.85 10.50 35.65 39.71
Dhaka 2.80 8.07 32.87 58.11
Karachi 1.59 4.28 26.50 43.00

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