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Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers who have exhausted all appeals were registered with local authorities' support teams on 30 November 2006. 
Mr. Byrne: Information on the number of asylum seekers who have exhausted all appeals and registered with local authorities support teams is not collected by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the criteria are for granting Iraqi nationals arriving in the UK refugee status; and what percentage of those applying were successful in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 25 January 2007]: The criteria for granting refugee status to Iraqis, and other nationals, arriving in the UK are set out in the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which are interpreted in domestic law in Part 11 of the Immigration Rules and in the Refugee or Person in Need of International Protection (Qualification) Regulations 2006 (SI 2525/2006).
Between January and September 2006, the latest published information indicates that 3 per cent. of initial decisions made in respect of Iraqi nationals were grants of asylum. Figures are provisional and relate to principal applicants only. Information on asylum applications, initial decisions and appeals by nationality are published quarterly and annually. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at
Mr. Byrne: Staff are either recruited externally through fair and open competition in compliance with the Civil Service Commissioners Code or selected from amongst existing staff within the Home Office or other Government Departments.
Depending upon the grade, candidates may have to satisfy academic requirements and / or undergo an assessment process including psychometric testing. Once recommended for appointment, prospective employees are subject to a range of pre employment checks including nationality and residence verification, immigration record checks and national security vetting.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what system his Department maintains to keep track of the location of asylum seekers passports seized in raids of illicit immigration advisers. 
Mr. Byrne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) has passport banks located throughout the United Kingdom at Local Enforcement Offices (LEOs) and other IND buildings. Each office keeps manual records of the passports contained within them.
Mr. Byrne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) do not conduct raids against asylum seekers. IND enforcement officers undertake operational visits to detain and remove persons who no longer have the right to remain in the United Kingdom (UK) and do so in line with operational policy and guidance.
Records indicate that 3,559(1) unsuccessful asylum seekers were arrested as a result of enforcement visits that commenced before 8.00 am. 92 per cent. of these arrests took place between the hours of 6.00 and 8.00 am. A breakdown of the number of arrests per month is set out in annex A.
Records indicate that since 1 April 2005 until 16 January 2007, 1,373(1) minors were detained as a result of enforcement visits that commenced before 8.00 am. 93 per cent. of these arrests took place between 06.00 and 08.00. 523(1) minors were detained (between 1 April 2005-21 December 2005), 803(1 )minors were detained in 2006 and 47 minors have been detained up to 16 January 2007.
The relatively high number of minors detained before 8.00 am reflects that if it is necessary for IND to enforce the removal of a family then in the interests of health and safety and to help minimise disruption, the visit will normally take place early in the morning when the family is most likely to be together. Visits will not normally take place before 6.30 am unless it is considered necessary. (The Family Removal Policy (EPU 2/06) is publicly available on the IND website.)
(1) This is derived from provisional local management information which may be subject to change.
|Annex A: Number of arrests per month|
|Number of arrests|
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the longest time is for which an asylum seeker whose case is still outstanding has remained in the UK; and what the cost has been of that case. 
Electronic records relating to asylum applications are stored on the Case Information Database (CID). Records for many of the asylum cases
which pre-dated the introduction of CID were later transferred to the system in bulk and contained default application dates. Several hundred of the oldest cases fall into this category and the individual paper files for each of them would have to be checked to identify the oldest outstanding case. Such checking would be at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures there are for adding onto the Police National Computer the details of those convicted overseas and then deported to UK prisons. 
John Reid: [holding answer 16 January 2007]: Recent events have made clear the complexity of the issues faced across Government and beyond. This is not helped by the differences in systems, procedures and criteria for recording and using for public protection, information about criminality in this country and outside the UK. I have therefore instigated a Government wide review of the way in which such information is shared and used.
Mr. Byrne: Those applying for naturalisation as British citizens are expected to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English and of Life in the United Kingdom. This can be demonstrated by either passing a Life In the UK Test or by successfully completing an approved ESOL with citizenship course. Applicants can also claim exemption from the requirement on the grounds of age or long term physical or mental illness.
Nobody has been granted British citizenship by naturalisation since this requirement was introduced without providing evidence that the requirement is satisfied or by being granted exemption from the requirement.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many conviction notifications his Department has sent to foreign (a) governments and (b) law enforcement agencies in each year since 1997, broken down by country to which the notification was sent. 
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place to update the Police National Computer with information when individuals are deported by other governments to the UK on the grounds of a criminal conviction. 
John Reid: Recent events have made clear the complexity of the issues faced across Government and beyond. This is not helped by the differences in the systems, procedures and criteria for recording and using, for public protection, information about criminality in this country and outside the UK. I have therefore instigated a Government wide review of the way in which such information is shared and used.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood of 2 November 2006 on behalf of Maguy Kalanga (Home Office reference number K1105786, acknowledgement number B27287/6). 
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many convicted murderers have had their tariff set after sentencing since the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. 
No statistical data is kept in relation to the number of convicted murderers who have had their tariff set after sentencing since the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the correspondence between the Association of Chief Police Officers and his Department on the establishment, funding and operation of the UK Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records. 
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department at what level of management a decision was taken on the Association of Chief Police Officers' request in October 2006 for additional funding for the UK Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records. 
I have asked for an urgent operational response involving the Association of Chief Police Officers, Criminal Records Bureau, Prisons and Probation in order to clear the backlog of overseas convictions notifications and have asked the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office to set up an inquiry into the Home Office's handling of these notifications. This will include a chronology of events, the practices and procedures in place at different times, whether appropriate action was taken; and the lessons to be learned.
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