|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Members of the House will recall that on 17 June the House approved the draft section 102 Order, made under The Finance (No. 2) Act 1987following a debate in the Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation on 11 June. The section 102 Order provides the legal authority for the visa fee increase by allowing past deficits incurred in the costs of running the Entry Clearance operation to be taken into account when setting visa fees and for the cross- subsidisation of the costs of different entry clearance services.
The single entry visa has ceased to exist since the introduction in October 2000 of visas of leave to enter. The new standard visa for multiple entries valid for six months at £36 is cheaper than the old six-month multiple-entry visa, which provided the same level of service at a cost of £45.
Five-year multiple-entry visa: up 10 per cent. from £80 to £88
Settlement visa: up 8 per cent. from £240 to £260
In addition, the long-term non-settlement visa fee will increase by 50 per cent. from £50 to £75.
1 Jul 2002 : Column 42W
The Consular Fees Order setting new visa fees is being made not only to cover current costs but also to recover past deficits of visa fees (from April 2000), caused by the increased cost of the entry clearance operation worldwide. It is intended that these increases will return the entry clearance operation to a self-financing basis by 200304.
The proposed increases still keep UKvisas within their Service Delivery Agreement commitment not to increase visa fees in real terms
The standard visit visa at £36 is still cheaper than the old six-month multiple entry visa which provided the same level of service at a cost of £45
Applicants now get more for their money. Since October 2000, the standard visit visa has not only allowed people to visit the UK on multiple occasions during the validity of their leave to enter, they also benefit from an enhanced and speedier immigration process on arrival.
1 Jul 2002 : Column 43W
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of France concerning the future mineral exploitation of the Western Sahara; and if he will make a statement. 
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to the Government of Morocco concerning their occupation of the Western Sahara. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We regularly discuss the issue of Western Sahara with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw), raised the issue during his visit to Morocco in September 2001 and when he met with Mohammed Benaissa the Moroccan Foreign Minister during his visit to London in March 2002. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also discussed the subject with Mohammed Benaissa during his visit to London in February 2002.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the UN Secretary General concerning the proposals by his representative on the future of the Western Sahara; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The mandate for the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara is due for renewal on 31 July. The UN Secretary General asked UN Security Council members to choose a suitable direction for his special envoy James Baker, to pursue in helping the parties find a solution to the dispute in Western Sahara.
UK officials have been working with American, French and other Security Council colleagues in New York and in the capitals of Security Council members in an effort to reach a consensus on a suitable direction before 31 July.
1 Jul 2002 : Column 44W
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which overseas Governments he has consulted since the Zimbabwean Presidential elections on their acceptance of (a) the result and (b) the legitimacy of these elections. 
Mr. MacShane: We have discussed the result and legitimacy of the Presidential election in Zimbabwe with our European Union partners, the Commonwealth, members of the Southern African Development Community and other concerned members of the international community, including the United States.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The embassy in Moscow sends regular reports of the human rights situation in Chechnya, though the security situation has meant that we permit no British Government personnel to visit the region. There are however a number of non-governmental organisations active in monitoring human rights in Chechnya, with whom we are in close touch.
Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library the Government's assessment of the economic and social impact on the United Kingdom of the accession to the EU of the Eastern European applicant nations. 
The Government have not made an integrated study of the economic and social impact of EU enlargement on the United Kingdom. However, independent economic studies by the European Round Table of Industrialists and the Centre for Economic Policy Reform show that EU enlargement could increase UK GDP by £1.75 billion and create 300,000 jobs among the EU-15. I have placed copies of these reports in the House of Commons Library.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|