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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the decision to abolish the right of appeal against refused visa applications on the number of prospective non-EU students applying to higher education institutions in the UK. 
Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill removes appeal rights for all students refused entry clearance, a policy that was announced in the Five Year Strategy Controlling our borders: Making migration work for Britain. Once the Act comes into effect genuine students will continue to be granted entry clearance to study in the United Kingdom. The majority of applications for entry clearance as a student are granted and data from 2003 indicates that only about one percent of students who gained entry into the UK did so as the result of a successful appeal. Since 200102 the number of people granted entry clearance to study has increased by over 20 per cent. from 121,466 to 146,538 in 200304. Entry into the UK to study should be a privilege and not a right and changes to the appeals system reflect this distinction. We will maintain appeal rights where fundamental issues are raised, such as when people are refused entry clearance to visit family members. Other countries, including Canada and Australia, confer no appeal rights on people who are refused entry clearance as students. Proposals are currently being developed to increase, in a manageable way, the number of people coming to the UK to study; to provide these people with a high quality education; and to ensure the integrity of the immigration control. The requirements of the new system will be as objective
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and verifiable as possible and for the system to be as quick and easy to operate. A formal consultation exercise will be undertaken.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the security of nuclear weapons and related materials in Russia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: The Russian authorities have made clear that they accord the highest priority to security at nuclear weapons storage sites.
With regard to nuclear materials, the UK is currently implementing a series of projects under the Global Partnership to enhance security of materials across the Former Soviet Union. A number of projects are already under way. Discussions are on-going with the Russian authorities to identify potential future projects for UK support. Initial visits to sites confirm that in many cases significant security measures are already in place, funded both by the Russian Federation and the international community. However, we are looking to take forward a number of both bilateral and multilateral projects to assist in improvements to the physical protection of certain other facilities.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the occasions since 1997 where the Government have formally challenged the legal treaty basis for legislative activity at European Community level. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK Government have formally challenged the legal treaty basis for legislative activity on two occasions. They are as follows:
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Turkey's proposed accession to the European Union. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Government strongly supports Turkey's bid to join the EU. We look forward to opening accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005 as agreed by the European Council in December 2004 and subsequently reaffirmed by the June European Council.
David T.C. Davies:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications for visitors visas were (a) received and (b) refused in each of the last five years in (i) Nigeria,
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(ii)Guyana, (iii) Pakistan, (iv) China and (v) India; and what proportion of those granted were granted at Tier One. 
Dr. Howells: The information on applications for visitors visas for the countries and categories required, is as follows:
Statistics for the proportion of visitor visas granted at Tier One, applications where decisions are made without the need for an interview, are not available. The figures provided represent the percentage of non-settlement visa applications, which include visit visas, that were dealt with at Tier One within 24-hours.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many appeals there have been against a refusal of a visitor's visa in each of the past five years; how many were granted; and what the cost to public funds was of those successful appeals. 
Bridget Prentice: I have been asked to reply.
The following table contains details about the number of appeals against a refusal of a visitor's visa received by the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) from 2000 to 2004. The table also gives the percentage of appeals decided by the IAA that were granted. The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, which replaced the IAA on 4 April 2005 does not split cost by case type and therefore we cannot provide the cost to public funds of the successful appeals without incurring disproportionate costs.
|Family visit visa appeals received(19)||137||4,366||7,997||15,778||28,803|
|Family visit visa appeal decisions(19)||66||4,283||7,091||14,214||22,707|
|Family visit visa appeal percentage granted(19)||31||54||53||48||48|
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals have reported to his officials criminal activity undertaken against them in Zimbabwe without redress from the Zimbabwean authorities. 
Ian Pearson: Officials in Harare and London are not aware of any criminal cases in Zimbabwe where no action has been taken by the authorities. They have, however, received complaints about the slowness of the judicial system.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received following the Government's proposals on charity law in Northern Ireland. 
Approximately 2,600 copies of the public consultation document on Charities Administration and Legislation in Northern Ireland were distributed by the Department for Social Development (DSD), and 106 responses were received
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from a wide range of respondents. In addition officials attended 10 seminars across Northern Ireland presenting the key proposals.
The majority of respondents generally welcomed the key proposals to establish a Northern Ireland Charities Commission, a compulsory register for all charities operating in Northern Ireland and the submission of annual returns by charities; though some concerns were expressed about specific matters of operation.
DSD is presently reviewing the responses and monitoring progress of the draft Charities Bill in England. Final proposals will be submitted and considered shortly.
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