UKvisas does not fund any projects to promote affordable immigration advice to visa applicants overseas. However, free information leaflets about the different categories of entry clearance and advice on how to apply is available from Visa Sections, our missions' websites and from UKvisas.
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2329W
(b) In additions records indicate that in 2005, there were 12,540 non failed asylum seeker removals. Our records do not indicate how many immigration (non failed asylum seeker) removals were delayed for two weeks or more after removal directions were set in 2005.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many student applicants were refused entry to the UK by an (a) immigration officer and (b) entry clearance officer in each of the last five years. 
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many entry clearance officers can speak fluently the language of the country they are situated in; and if he will make a statement; 
UKvisas does not keep a record of how many Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) can speak the language of the country they are situated in. Most Visa Sections have interpreters and therefore an ECO is not required to have formal language qualifications in order to do their job. However, where an ECO is required to have language skills, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will provide training up to the necessary level.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people (a) were successful in applying for a visa to enter the UK and (b) failed in their visa application in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004 and (iii) 2005. 
Since 2001, UKvisas has published statistics on a financial year basis. The figures provided here are all publicly available along with other entry clearance statistics on the UKvisas website at www.ukvisas.gov.uk"Entry Clearance: Facts and Figures".
The Visa Section at our High Commission in Islamabad currently has 26 dedicated locally-engaged Entry Clearance Assistants whose primary purpose is to provide interpreting services. In addition, there are 10 further locally-engaged staff engaged in other work within the Visa Section who can assist with interpreting duties. There are also three Entry Clearance Officers (UK staff based overseas) who speak Urdu.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time taken by an immigration officer in the UK to make a decision on an entry application was in the last period for which figures are available. 
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of British nationals from Hong Kong who have been erroneously refused British citizenship as a result of Home Office error; over what period of time the errors occurred; what steps he has taken to rectify the errors; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: There has been no Home Office error. The decisions made were taken on the basis of information provided by the Indian Government in 199798 about their citizenship law which they have just corrected. Under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997 possession of another citizenship immediately before four February 1997 rendered individuals ineligible for British citizenship.
We relied on other governments for advice about people who possessed their citizenship. We estimate that approximately 600 applications were determined on the basis of the Indian Government's original advice, mostly dating from the period July 1997 to June 1999. Any applications which were refused on the basis of the original advice, and where the applicant has confirmed that he or she still wishes to receive British citizenship, will be reconsidered.
The Consulate-General in Hong Kong has also sent a letter to the Council of Hong Kong Indian Associations asking them to bring this matter to the attention of their members. The South China Morning Post carried the story on the front page of its 10 February 2006 edition.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy that cautions should not be used to deal with offences where reoffending is likely; and if he will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: Guidance on the cautioning of adult offenders is contained in the Cautioning of Adult Offenders Circular 30/2005 issued by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. Cautions are a non-statutory disposal. One of their main aims, as stated in the circular, is to reduce the likelihood of re-offending.
The circular makes clear that a caution can be used for cases involving first-time, low level offences when to do so would meet the public interest. It is not possible to set out definitive rules on the circumstances in which cautions are appropriate, because their use involves the exercise of discretion by the police who have to take into account a number of considerations in each case. These
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2332W
considerations include whether a caution is appropriate to the offence and the offender and whether it is likely to be effective in the circumstances.
The circular advises that both national and any locally held records must be checked before a caution is given, to ensure that the suspect's criminal record is known and up-to-date and to avoid inappropriate use. If the suspect has previously received a caution, then a further caution should not normally be considered. However, if there has been a sufficient lapse of time to suggest that a previous caution has had a significant deterrent effect (two years or more), then a caution can be used. A caution can also still be administered if the subsequent offence is trivial or unrelated. If the suspect has previously, when aged 17 or under, received a reprimand or final warning, a period of two years should also be allowed to elapse before administering a caution.