HL Deb 13 February 2002 vol 631 cc148-9WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether passports are no longer stamped at ports of entry in cases where entry clearance visas have been granted prior to the holders' arrival in the United Kingdom; and, if so, whether they have considered the implications for the internal control of foreign nationals. [HL2761]

Lord Rooker

Entry clearances issued after 2 October 2000 confer leave to enter. These new style entry clearances are activated upon passing through the arrivals control in the United Kingdom. The passport would normally be endorsed on the first presentation of the entry clearance only.

An immigration officer conducts a process of verification on each arrival, for example, to establish that the person is the rightful holder of the document. He will also check the personal details of an arriving passenger against the Immigration Service Warnings Index, a computer system which provides information for the purpose of immigration control, national security and the prevention of crime.

The immigration officer may also extend his examination for the purpose of establishing whether the entry clearance was obtained on the basis of false information, failure to disclose material facts, or because there has been a change of circumstances since it was issued. The entry clearance may be cancelled in such circumstances.

The entry clearance (visa) indicates on what basis and for how long entry has been granted and contains other information such as whether the holder is required to register with the police. Where a person subsequently comes to adverse notice, the conditions of entry are apparent from the endorsement on the visa.