Entry Clearances

Home Department written question – answered on 11th January 2010.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the longest time taken to process an asylum application from a former Iraqi locally employed civilian awaiting an asylum decision has been since the inception of the Locally Employed Staff Assistance Scheme.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (the North West), Home Office, Minister of State (the North West), HM Treasury, Minister of State (the North West), Regional Affairs

Former locally engaged civilians in Iraq who meet the criteria as set out in the Foreign Secretary's statement of 30 October 2007 can request assistance in the form of resettlement to the UK. Their applications are considered to be activated at the point that the UK Border Agency is referred their resettlement application by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Before this time, they will have submitted an application form for assistance under the Locally Engaged Staff Assistance Scheme, but not an application for resettlement or any immigration category to the UK. The longest time it has taken to process an application is 13 months from the time when the UNHCR submitted the application to the date on which the UK Border Agency issued the decision after interview. The average time is five months.

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