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