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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for visas for family visitors to the UK have been (a) granted and (b) refused by applicants of (i) Pakistani, (ii) Indian, (iii) Bangladeshi, (iv) Sri Lankan and (v) all nationalities in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Woolas: The number of applications for family visit visas from nationals of (a) Pakistan; (b) India; (c) Bangladesh; (d) Sri Lanka; and (e) other countries, that were (i) granted; and (ii) refused, in the financial year 2008-09, is shown in the following table:
|Family visit visa applications-financial year 2008-09|
|Issued||Refused||Refusal rate (percentage)|
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost to the UK Border Agency is of processing (a) a postal and (b) a premium application for further leave to remain under Tier 4 of the points-based immigration system. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 25 November 2009]: In 2009-10, the estimated average unit cost of processing a postal leave to remain application is £357 and the estimated average unit cost of processing an application made at a Public Enquiry Office is £373.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for UK citizenship were refused on the grounds that the applicant was not of good character in each of the last three years; and of them how many were so refused on (a) grounds of national security and (b) grounds other than national security. 
Statistics on persons refused British citizenship by general reason for refusal are published in table 7 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin "Persons Granted British Citizenship United Kingdom". This publication may be obtained from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:
|Refusal of British citizenship on grounds of the applicant not being of good character, 2006-08|
|Reason for refusal -n ot of good character( 1)||Number of decisions|
|(1 )Includes applicants who are considered a threat to national security.|
There are two groups subject to immigration control known as visa nationals and non-visa nationals. A visa national needs entry clearance (a visa) to enter the UK in any circumstances. A non-visa national can come to the UK for less than six months as a visitor without a visa, subject to a number of exclusions such as marriage, study or medical treatment, but does need entry clearance to come to the UK for more than six months.
The nationals of all other countries outside the EEA are non-visa nationals. The UK global visa regime was recently reviewed as part of the Visa Waiver Test. This is an assessment against a series of benchmarks, by which we considered whether a visa regime should be maintained, lifted or imposed. The results of the test were announced in February this year and new visa regimes were introduced on South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Bolivia in spring/summer. In addition the visa regime on Taiwan was lifted and a partial visa regime was introduced in Venezuela.
Mr. Woolas: A tier 4 student is able to switch into three of the four categories of tier 2-general, minister of religion and sportsperson. The information requested is not readily available and accurate data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Woolas: A Tier 4 student is able to switch into three of the four categories of Tier 2 - General, Minister of Religion and Sportsperson. The information requested is not readily available and accurate data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many students of each nationality have (a) applied for, (b) been granted and (c) been refused visas under arrangements for the post-study work route of entry to the UK in each month since June 2008. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 25 November 2009]: A table has been placed in the House Library showing the number of non-EEA nationals of each nationality who have (a) applied for, (b) been granted, and (c) been refused visas under the Points Based System, Tier 1 (Post Study Work) entry route, in each month from June 2008 to September 2009
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of applications for further leave to remain have been refused since the introduction of Tier 4 provisions to the Immigration Rules; and how long such decisions have taken on average. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 26 November 2009]: Data relating to decisions on applications for further leave to remain were published on 26 November in the Home Office statistical publication "Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary, United Kingdom-Third Quarter 2009". Copies are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have applied more than once for a student visa at each post in each month since the introduction of Tier 4 provisions to the Immigration Rules. 
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for an administrative review of overseas visa posts have been received from applicants refused a Tier 4 visa since the introduction of Tier 4 provisions to the Immigration Rules; and how long it has taken to complete such a review at each post in each month since the inception of Tier 4. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the number of sentence-expired foreign nationals being held in detention under his Department's immigration powers. 
The UK Border Agency continues to build upon the success we have made with the deportation and removal of foreign national prisoners. In 2008 we deported or removed a record 5,395 foreign national prisoners. The process of deportation can be delayed in
a number of ways through last minute legal barriers and the documentation process is often lengthy for some nationalities.
As at 1 August 2009 there were approximately 1,800 foreign national offenders detained under immigration powers who had completed their sentence and were awaiting deportation. Around 500 of those were detained under immigration powers in Her Majesty's prisons.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been introduced to tackle discrimination in hiring and dismissing migrants within the workforce in the last 10 years. 
Mr. Woolas: The Government are advised by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on the case for meeting specific skill shortages through the Points Based System (PBS) for non-EEA nationals. In particular, the MAC advises the Government on the coverage of the Shortage Occupation List which informs the scoring of points under Tier 2 (skilled workers) of the PBS. In doing so, the MAC not only identifies those occupations where skills are in short supply but also assesses the extent to which it is sensible for such shortage to be remedied through the admission of migrant workers.
The MAC's most recent report on the content of the Shortage Occupation List was published on 21 October. The Government's decision to accept its findings in full was announced on 12 November. The Government have also announced, on 11 November, their National Skills Strategy in which the Government made clear their intention to strengthen the linkage between the MAC's work to identify those areas where migration could assist in meeting immediate skills needs and future work by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills to develop and prioritise training strategies.
Mr. Woolas: The Government have consistently emphasised the economic and social benefits that migration brings if it is properly managed. In introducing the points based system, the Government have sought to maximise the economic benefits of migration by ensuring that we admit those who possess skills that UK businesses and providers of public services need or who will contribute to UK exports by studying here. However, as both the Home Secretary's speech on 4 November and the Prime Minister's speech on 12 November have made clear, it is equally important that the migration system is proofed against abuse and protects the interests of communities and resident workers if the public is to have confidence in it and the benefits it delivers.
Mr. Woolas: Information on non-EEA nationals entering the United Kingdom by reason for entry is published in section 1 in the Home Office statistical bulletin "Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom, 2008". This includes those persons granted leave to enter in work-related categories.
Statistics on other work-related routes of entry can be found in table 1.2 in the above publication which
may be obtained from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:
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