Previous Section Index Home Page

21 Feb 2007 : Column 792W—continued


EC Enlargement: Turkey

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department has made an assessment of potential population migration to the UK if Turkey joins the EU. [121017]

Mr. Byrne: The Commission assessed the effects of Turkish membership on the EU including migration before the EU opened negotiations with Turkey. The UK Government have drawn on this in formulating their approach to Turkish membership.

Any assessment of the implications for net migration to the UK would be affected by: the functioning of the countries’ economies at the time of accession; the level of access granted to the UK labour market; and the decisions of other member states on labour market access. The issue of migration will be analysed in more detail during the accession negotiations and as the positions of the aforementioned factors become clearer, nearer the point of accession.

Equality: Gender

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to implement the gender equality duty due to come into force on 6 April. [120622]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office has set up working groups specifically to address the requirements of the gender equality duty and is currently working towards publication of a gender equality scheme by 30 April 2007. It is identifying key stakeholders with whom policy officials will work to produce the necessary measures to (a) eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and (b) promote equality of opportunity between women and men. All steps, both current and planned, will conform with those set out in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) Order 2006 (No. 2930) which comes into force on 6 April 2007.

Executive Agencies

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of the executive agencies of his Department have regional offices outside London. [116725]

Mr. Byrne: The Criminal Records Bureau is based in Liverpool and has a second site for Disaster Recovery in Darwen, Lancashire. HM Prison Service has 10 regional offices in England and one in Wales. The Identity and Passport Service has six regional offices outside London.

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which executive agencies are the responsibility of his Department; what the function is of each agency; and what the annual budget was of each agency in the most recent year for which figures are available. [116737]

Mr. Byrne: The following executive agencies are the responsibility of the Home Department:

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)

The CRB operates a disclosure service which enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving children or vulnerable adults. The CRB was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997.

It is a self-funding executive agency and the annual budget for 2006-07 is £0 net.

HM Prison Service (HMPS)

The objectives of HMPS are to hold prisoners securely, reduce the risk of prisoners re-offending and provide safe and well-ordered establishments in which prisoners are treated humanely, decently and lawfully.

The annual budget for 2006-07 is £1,937 million net resource and £17.6 million net capital.

Identity and Passport Service (IPS)

The IPS provides passport services and is, with delivery partners, developing the National Identity Scheme.

The passport service is self-financing through passport fees. The annual budget for the development of identity cards in 2006-07 is £56.4 million.

Foreign Workers: Scientists

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made to his Department under the Science and Engineering Graduates scheme in 2006; and how many were successful. [121165]

Mr. Byrne: During 2006 a total of 4,386 applications under the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme were made of which 3,822 (87 per cent.) were successful.


21 Feb 2007 : Column 793W

This information is not a national statistic. It is based on provisional management information and may be subject to change.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made to the MBA Provision as part of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme in 2006; how many were successful; and how many of the successful applicants were from MBA graduates of UK universities. [121163]

Mr. Byrne: The following table shows a breakdown of the number of applications under the MBA provision within the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme which were decided in 2006.

Information on which applicants were from UK universities is not readily available from central records.

HSMP MBA provision applications cleared in 2006
Approved Refused Total

Initial applications

484

49

533

Note:
The figures quoted are not National Statistics but are based on provisional management information and may be subject to change.

Identity Cards

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of card readers which will be used by (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector as part of the identity cards scheme. [120387]

Joan Ryan: There will be a number of different methods of verifying identity under the National Identity Scheme ranging from a visual check of the card, which will not require a card reader, to card authentication, PIN verification and up to biometric verification where a high level of identity assurance is required.

The decision of any individual public or private sector organisation to use none, one or a variety of these methods in accordance with their business requirements will impact on whether they need to invest in card readers.

The number of card readers then required by any individual accredited private sector or public sector organisation will depend on their own individual circumstances on such matters as which channels customers use to interact with them, how their business and information technology systems are designed and what existing infrastructure is already in place.

Thus, until further detailed work with both public and private sector organisations during the preparation and initial rollout of the Scheme are complete, it is not possible to provide a total number of card readers that will be used by public and private sector organisations.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of an identity card reader. [120389]

Joan Ryan: As stated in the Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Identity Cards Bill, published on
21 Feb 2007 : Column 794W
25 May 2005, it is estimated that the cost of a card reader would fall within a range of £250 to £750 depending on their level of sophistication and performance—for example, whether they are able to check a biometric as well as the card in high-risk, high- value transactions where the card is present.

However, integrated with other security and verification requirements, this cost could fall substantially over the years ahead and no allowance has been made in these figures for reductions in cost due to volume discount or cost reductions owing to an increasingly competitive market for card readers, particularly in the wake of the rollout of the ‘Chip and PIN’ network.

Immigration

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice on living in the UK is provided to foreign residents upon entry. [121459]

Mr. Byrne: While intended primarily for people seeking citizenship or settlement in the UK, the handbook ‘Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship’ (ISBN 0-11-341302-5) contains advice about living in the UK that will be equally valuable to new migrants. A second edition (ISBN 0-11-341313-0) will be published shortly. In addition, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate has prepared a short publication, ‘Living and Working in Britain’, which will soon be available in a printed version and on the IND website in a number of languages. I am aware that the British Council also publishes useful information about the UK, particularly for students.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long on average it took for casework papers to be transferred from the Ministerial Correspondence Unit to the relevant section at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in the latest period for which figures are available. [120274]

Mr. Byrne: Most replies to Members’ letters on matters relating to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) are prepared by specialist drafting units (“ministerial correspondence units”) within the main operational business areas. How long case papers take to reach their next destination after leaving the drafting units is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Immigration Controls: Higher Education

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the current entry mechanisms to the UK for academic visitors and sponsored researchers will continue within the points-based immigration system. [121166]

Mr. Byrne: We published the Command Paper entitled “A Points-Based System: Making Migration Work for Britain” in March 2006. Beyond this, there is still detail to be worked up and we are working in collaboration with stakeholders on developing that detail.


21 Feb 2007 : Column 795W

Sponsored researchers may currently be granted work permits if they are in receipt of funding and have been selected to carry out research at a UK university or similar institution.

We anticipate most sponsored researchers would be likely to qualify under Tier 2 of the new system. There is no express provision currently envisaged for sponsored researchers who would not qualify under Tier 2. However, the Exchange sub-category of Tier 5 will provide for people corning to work temporarily in the UK through an approved scheme aimed at sharing knowledge, experience and best practice. The detail of this sub-category is still being developed but, in principle, a scheme for sponsored research could be developed within the parameters we are setting for this sub-category.

The Academic Visitor concession, which operates outside the Immigration Rules, currently enables academics to obtain up to a maximum of 12 months leave in order to undertake their own private research.

Visitors (including Academic Visitors) will sit outside the Points Based System since it is concerned with people coming to the UK for work or study.

The visitor route is currently under review.

Immigration Officers: Overtime

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Immigration and Nationality officers who take part in early morning immigration enforcement visits or other out of office hours enforcement visits are paid overtime or any kind of additional benefit. [120244]

Mr. Byrne: Overtime is paid for time worked in excess of weekly conditioned hours. Immigration Officers work shifts and are paid a shift disturbance allowance for this. It is not possible to ascertain whether Immigration and Nationality officers who take part in early morning immigration enforcement visits or other out of office hours enforcement visits are paid overtime or any kind of additional benefit as this information is not disaggregated to the level of detail that is requested.

Immigration: Detainees

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the provision of HIV tests to people held in immigration detention and removal centres. [121091]

Mr. Byrne: The provision of HIV tests to persons detained in immigration removal centres is a matter for individual healthcare professionals working in those centres under contracts for healthcare services with the Home Office.

Immigration: Scotland

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made to his Department under the Fresh Talent—Working in Scotland scheme in 2006; and how many were successful. [121164]

Mr. Byrne: During 2006 a total of 2,193 applications were made under this particular scheme of which 2,032 (93 per cent.) were successful.


21 Feb 2007 : Column 796W

This information is not a national statistic. It is based on provisional management information and may be subject to change.

IND Regional Offices

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the location is of each Immigration and Nationality Directorate regional office; how many staff are employed in each office; how many of the staff in each office have been trained in the procedures for dawn raids; and how many dawn raids were carried out from each regional office in the last 12 months. [111760]

Mr. Byrne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) do not conduct ‘raids’ against asylum seekers. 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.

There are 41 Local Enforcement Offices (LEO) throughout the UK, details of which are available on the IND website. This can be accessed at:

The total number of IND staff working in the LEO at the end of 2006 is 2,430 of whom 594 are arrest- trained to a similar standard to the police or are undergoing arrest training.

There are 170 police officers seconded to IND nationwide.

The total number of enforcement operations carried out before 8:00am throughout the United Kingdom in 2006 was 8,100.

Inter-country Adoption

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what processes his Department undertakes in relation to applications for adoption made by UK citizens for children from abroad. [120739]

Mr. Byrne: Immigration policy and procedure is to allow entry to the UK for adoption if the relevant requirements of UK adoption law have been met.

At least one of the adopters must be either a British citizen or foreign national who is present and settled here or a European Union citizen who has Permanent Residency in the United Kingdom. Those who are ‘habitually resident’ in the United Kingdom must comply with relevant Adoption Law and Regulations. For those who reside in England and Wales this includes the Adoption Act 2002 and the Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005.

Those who reside in Scotland and Northern Ireland must comply with their own Devolved Authority’s legislation. Those not habitually resident in the United Kingdom may enter with a child so long as the clear intention is to adopt the child under the laws of a country whose adoptions are recognised under UK law.

In addition a child who has been made subject of an interim adoption order in a country whose adoption orders are recognised under UK law may be given leave to enter the UK.


21 Feb 2007 : Column 797W

The purpose of these arrangements is to ensure that children come to the UK for adoption only in accordance with legal safeguards designed to prevent trafficking or other activities that amount to the sale of children.


Next Section Index Home Page