|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
11 Jun 2008 : Column 348Wcontinued
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration raids have been carried out in (a) the UK and (b) Yorkshire and Humberside since the launch of the Stop Illegal Working campaign. 
Mr. Byrne: From 14 January 2008 to 31 March a total of 1,943 illegal working operations were carried out in the UK, 136 of these were carried out in Yorkshire and Humberside.
This information is derived from provisional local management information which may be subject to change.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2008, Official Report, column 340W, on illegal immigrants: restaurants, for what reasons information on the number of people found to be working illegally in the restaurant industry in 2007 and each month in 2008 is not published. 
Mr. Byrne: Information on the number of people found to be working illegally in the restaurant industry is not published because it is only captured on internal management information systems. The data held do not constitute part of national statistics as they are based on management information which may be subject to change.
In 2007 over 6,000 illegal working operations were carried out and over 5,000 suspected immigration offenders were arrested as a result.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what employment restrictions the spouses and partners of self-employed A2 nationals are subject to in the UK. 
Mr. Byrne: Spouses and partners (by which is meant civil partners) of self-employed A2 nationals are not subject to any employment restrictions in the UK.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what factors were taken into account in the Government's proposed amendments to the resident labour market test by selecting (a) a two-week period for advertising jobs with earnings below £40,000, (b) a
one-week period for jobs with earnings above £40,000 and (c) £40,000 as a threshold; and what research she (i) commissioned and (ii) evaluated on these proposals. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 May 2008]: The resident Labour market test (RLMT) under the points based system will help to ensure that we continue to protect the privileged position held by British workers in the job market.
Details of how the RLMT will operate were set out in the recently published statement of intent on skilled workers under the points-based system. This statement of intent was accompanied by a detailed impact assessment, both the statement of intent and the impact assessment are available on the UK Border Agency website and in the Libraries of both Houses.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedure those holding working holiday visas are expected to follow if they wish to retain their employment under the points-based system; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: Switching into the points-based system (PBS) in the UK will be possible only from employment or student categories. The Working Holidaymaker (WHM) Scheme is neither. This general approach was first outlined in the March 2006 Command Paper A Points Based System: Making Migration Work for Britain, and the December 2007 publication Highly Skilled Migrants under the Points Based System - Statement of Intent specifically explained that those with WHM leave will not be able to switch into any highly skilled sub-category. Copies of both documents are available in the House Library. If a WHM wishes to apply for PBS tier 1 (general) they are expected to go home to make their application. Once PBS tier 2 is launched, the same process will apply. Currently WHMs can switch to work permit leave if the job they are doing falls into a shortage occupation and they have been in the UK for 12 months; or to the innovator category.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a race impact study on the detention of children who are British citizens with accompanying parents (a) has been carried out and (b) is proposed. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 4 June 2008]: The UK Border Agency does not detain children who are British citizens.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the immigration detention estate reached full capacity in each of the last five years. 
The immigration detention estate is comprised of dedicated male, female and family accommodation. For reasons of operational contingency planning, the
population is maintained at just below full capacity, and therefore that point has not been reached in the last five years. Within those constraints, however, the estate is managed in order to make the best possible use of the available beds.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) letters and (b) representations her Department has received from (i) hon. and right hon. Members and Peers, (ii) members of the public and (iii) ex-servicemen's charities and other groups on residency and citizenship rights of Gurkhas in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Byrne: The subject matter of correspondence and of representations received by the UK Border Agency is not recorded in a way which enables this information to be extracted.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Director-General of the Border Agency will reply to the hon. Member for Warley's letter of 18 March 2008 regarding Mr Waseem Khan. 
Mr. Byrne: I replied to the right hon. Member on 1 May 2008.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when her Department plans to respond to the letter of 29 April from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley on Eugene Sands. 
Mr. Byrne: The Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency, Lin Homer, wrote to the hon. Member on 30 May 2008.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reports of missing people were made to Cleveland Police in 2007, broken down by local authority area; how many of them related to (a) vulnerable adults, (b) children under the age of 12 years, (c) children aged 12 to 16 years old and (d) young people aged 17 to 18 years old; and how many of the reports of a missing person under the age of 18 years old related to a child or young person (i) in the care of a local authority, (ii) with a learning disability and (iii) with a physical disability. 
Mr. McNulty: This is a matter for Cleveland police. Statistics on the number and age of individuals who are reported missing from home are not currently collected centrally.
One of the priorities for the Missing Persons Bureau is the development of a national picture of missing persons, including the relevant statistical information. The National Policing Improvement Agency is working with key stakeholders, including Missing People and the Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group, to take this work forward.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign criminals were deported in 2007; and how many of these had convictions for offences related to trafficking, broken down by nationality. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 22 M a y 2008]: The chief executive of the UK Border Agency advised the Home Affairs Committee during her appearance of 15 January that over 4,200 foreign national prisoners were removed or deported in 2007. The information requested on whether these individuals had received convictions for trafficking related offences can only be obtained through the cross referencing of individual casefiles with police national computer records at disproportionate cost.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of family visitors to the UK who overstayed their visas in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: Since the phasing out of embarkation controls in 1994, no Government have ever been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally. By its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately and that remains the case. Information on the number of family visitors to the United Kingdom who overstayed their visa could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.
As one of the Government's ten substantive changes to the border and immigration system in 2008 we will count in and out the majority of foreign nationals. This will build on the successes of our early testing of the e-Borders programme (Project Semaphore) which already covers over 30 million passenger movements and has led to 18,000 alerts and more than 1,500 arrests.
This is part of a sweeping programme of border protection which also includes the global roll-out of fingerprint visas, compulsory watch-list checks for all travellers from high-risk countries before they land in Britain and ID cards for foreign nationals.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people have been interviewed in each of the operational passport interview centres since they opened; 
(2) what the monthly operational cost is for each of the passport interview centres currently in use. 
Over the past nine months, the Identity and Passport Service has been building, commissioning and progressively putting into live operation a network of 68 interview offices to establish the identity of first time adult passport applicants and reduce the level of fraudulent applications. The first offices were opened in June 2007, the 66th office was opened in January 2008 and the final office will be open in May. During the commissioning of new systems, people and offices, the volume of interviews has been constrained through selection by postcode and it is only next month that the
network will be starting to operate at close to full capacity. The total number of people interviewed in these offices to end of March 2008 was 87,765 (including people who were involved in the live trial). In the financial year 2008-09, IPS expects to conduct a further 404,000 interviews, an average of 33,700 per month.
The monthly cost of operating the interview office network, including office rental, security, IT systems, administrative overheads and staff is estimated at £2.50 million. This excludes the cost of depreciation of relevant capital expenditure. This means the average cost, excluding depreciation, will be about £74 per interview. Once the interview network is complete and operating at full capacity, I would be in a position to provide detail on number of customers interviewed and cost per interview for each office. These will vary considerably from office to office reflecting both size and location. These costs are spread across all passport customers rather than being recovered solely from first time adult applicants, and there is no plan to charge higher fees to customers of smaller offices where the unit cost is higher. The aforementioned unit cost spread across all passport applicants amounts to about £12.50 per person and this is a component of the current overall adult passport fee of £72.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the UK Border Agency will reply to the letter sent by the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Clare Short), on 8th April 2008, on behalf of Mamta Devi (Home Office reference number D1104208). 
Mr. Byrne: The UK Border Agency (formerly the Border and Immigration Agency) wrote to my right hon. Friend on 9 May 2008.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the UK Border Agencys Liverpool casework unit. 
Mr. Byrne: There are a number of teams operating within Liverpool that fall under various different business areas that form part of the UK Border Agency. These include local enforcement offices, criminal casework, asylum, managed migration and nationality. No assessment has been conducted that treats all teams based within Liverpool as one area of the agency. The UK Border Agency regularly publishes information on its performance on its website as well as through updates to the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will (a) place in the Library and (b) send to all hon. Members a full list of telephone, fax and e-mail addresses of desk officers in UK Visas and of telephone numbers in UK Visas where a voicemail facility is available. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 2 June 2008]: UKBA's Visa Services Directorate already has a special hotline telephone number and email inbox for MPs inquiries:
Hotline number: 0207 008 8463
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, documents may be faxed to 0207 008 8359/8313.
Although in practice many MPs are in regular contact with individual geographical desks, having special points of contact for MPs allows their inquiries to be prioritised and a means they receive a better service.
Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the hours of operation of the MP's UK Visas Hotline are; how many staff are employed answering the hotline; how many and what proportion of calls to the hotline were answered in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if she will make arrangements for an answering machine or voicemail facility to be installed on the hotline. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 2 June 2008]: The MPs Hotline to UKBA's Visa Services Directorate (formerly UKvisas) operates between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. One member of staff is employed to answer the calls. There is already a voicemail facility on the hotline and all calls are answered within 24 hours. 640 calls have been received since 1 January 2008, all of which have been answered.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-UK citizens obtained leave to enter the UK as a work permit holder on the basis of an intra-company transfer in each year since 1997; and people of which 20 nationalities obtained leave to enter the most times in this way in each such year. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 May 2008]: The information requested cannot be obtained from entry clearance records.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the 20 most frequent occupations were of approved work permit applications in each of the last 20 years. 
Mr. Byrne: The following list shows the 20 most frequent occupations of approved work permit applications in each year since 2000. Data for periods prior to 2000 are not available.
Top 20 occupations of work permit applications approved (1 January to 31 December each year)
Other manager related occupations
Other IT-related occupations
Other financial occupations
Other engineer occupations
Other health/medical occupations
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|