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|Estimated numbers of 16 to 59-year-olds who have taken drugs ever in their lifetime, in the last year and in the last month|
|Number (thousand) 2007-08 BCS|
|Used ever||Used last year||Used last month|
1. Estimates are derived by multiplying the prevalence rate by the 2007 population aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales (based on mid-2006 estimates from the Office for National Statistics).
2. It is not possible to add estimated numbers of drug users together for different drug types as users may have taken more than one type of drug.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of (a) short-term and (b) long-term visa applications that were wrongly approved in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Woolas: Visa services deploy a range of indicators and checks concerning the quality of decisions to issue a visa. These include sampling of decisions by Entry Clearance Managers, spot checks on whether applicants have left the UK, refusals of visa holders at ports of entry and monitoring of compliance when in the UK. In addition, the use of biometrics allows us to identify those who have entered the UK on a visa but subsequently destroyed their ID papers. This information is fed into risk profiles to inform future visa decisions. UKBA is also employing structured decision-making techniques to improve consistency in decision-making. The Independent Monitor for Entry Clearance scrutinises visa refusals not acceptances.
Mr. Woolas: The total number of (a) visa applications received (b) visas issued and (c) visas refused in each year from 2004-08 is shown in the following table. Reliable data for prior years are not held.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes in the charge for visas for (a) business visitors, (b) students, (c) family visitors, (d) spouses or civil partners of a settled person, (e) children of a settled person, (f) prospective students and (g) visitors from China there have been in the last three years. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 11 December 200 8 ]: The visa fees for business visitors, students, family visitors, spouse or civil partners of a settled person, children of a settled person, prospective students and visits from China for the last three years are listed in the following table:
|2006 - 07||2007 - 08||2008 -0 9|
We recently ran a pilot in China from 3 March 2008 to 3 October 2008 for visitors applying as a group to travel to the UK with a known and trusted agent. It was only open to those applicants who intended to travel with an agent who is part of the Approved Destination Scheme. We set a fee of £44 during March which then increased to £45 from April.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visa applications have been made by residents of (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex constituency in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what means and on what dates the recent changes affecting the length of student visas issued under the points-based immigration system were communicated to (a) universities, (b) media organisations and (c) others. 
Mr. Woolas: I agreed the change to the policy change on length of student visas under Tier 4 of the points based system on 24 February 2009. On the 25 February I confirmed these changes in writing to my right hon. Friend the Minster for high education and intellectual property and to Baroness Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK.
The principal consultative body with which we engage in the education sector is the Joint Education Taskforce. The taskforce includes universities, further education colleges and independent schools as well as members of the relevant bodies such as UUK, UKCISA, UCAS and many others. Those on the taskforce have agreed to cascade communications to their members and to publish any correspondence from the UK Border Agency on their websites as soon as reasonably practicable.
We presented the policy change on length of student visas to the meeting of the Joint Education Taskforce on 26 February 2009. We also presented updates on the maintenance requirements under Tier 4. A letter was distributed to the taskforce on 27 February confirming the new arrangements and asking members to advise the sector of the changes and to draw attention to the newly-published draft policy guidance on Tier 4 on the UK Border Agency website. The publication of the draft guidance was highlighted by an accompanying news item on the UK Border Agency website.
On 6 March, a further letter was sent to the taskforce to inform them that the guidance for Tier 4 migrants would be published on the UK Border Agency website after the immigration rules were laid in Parliament on 9 March, which they were asked to circulate to their members.
On 10 March, I made a written ministerial statement introducing a statement of changes to the immigration rules (HC314) which was accompanied by an explanatory memorandum. A press release supported this announcement.
On 31 March, Tier 4 came into effect. This was supported by a press release and updates to the UK Border Agency website on 31 March, as well as an article published on 2 April in The Times Higher Education Supplement. These all referred to the change in length of leave under Tier 4.
Mr. Woolas: There are at present 1,496 colleges on the Register of Sponsors under Tier 4 of the points-based system. A full list of the establishments is available on the UK Border Agency website which is update twice weekly.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of persons who had travelled to the UK on visitor visas who remained in the UK after the expiry of the visas in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Woolas: 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, including those who have overstayed on their visa. By its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately and that remains the case.
As part of the Government's 10-point plan for delivery, by 2010 over 95 per cent. of non-EEA foreign nationals will be counted in and out of the country, rising to 100 per cent. by 2014. This is part of a sweeping programme of border protection which also includes the global roll-out of fingerprint visas, watch-list checks for all travellers before they arrive or depart from the UK and ID cards for foreign nationals.
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