HC Deb 17 January 2001 vol 361 cc273-4W
Mr. Edward Davey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities the public enquiry office of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate offers private solicitors for dealing with immigration and asylum applications; how many practices are offered this facility; and what criteria they must meet. [145529]

Mrs. Roche

The Public Enquiry Office (PEO) does not deal with asylum applications. Applications for asylum are dealt with in the asylum screening unit where legal representatives may accompany applicants.

The PEO deals with personal callers wishing to make straightforward non-asylum applications for leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The PEO also offers a postal service for legal representatives for urgent straightforward applications for leave to remain. These applications are dealt with by return of post. Any representative can apply for inclusion in this service. The number of representatives currently using this service is 289, which represents a possible total of 309 applications each week.