Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Tom Watson (West Bromwich East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long on average his Department's Polar Regions Unit took to process an application for a British expedition to Antarctica in the last 12 months.
Chris Bryant (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Rhondda, Labour)
Our website states that permit applications should be submitted to us as far in advance as possible, and not less than six months before the applicant intends to travel to Antarctica so there is adequate time to work with applicants to resolve any queries and ensure a smooth permitting process. Experience has shown that the time it takes to process an application can vary depending on the type of activities the applicant wishes to complete and the type of permit they are applying for.
In all cases we aim to process applications as quickly as possible following receipt.