HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 c788W
Mrs. Calton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are taken at the British High Commission in Uganda to ensure fair access to the High Commission for those wishing to obtain visas for entry to the UK. [129639]

Mr. Mullin

Since October 2002, the Visa Section in Kampala has operated a same day service despite an unprecedented level of demand for visas. UK visas have allocated two extra Entry Clearance Officers to deal with this demand.

I am aware of problems with the current queuing system. Applications are considered on a first come first served basis but applicants with medical conditions can make pre-arranged appointments to visit the Visa Section. The elderly, children and the infirm are also given priority.

To improve the situation, from December all applications will be submitted on paper via an outsourced courier service. Applicants will therefore not be required to visit the Visa Section to submit their applications in person.