Entry Clearances: Iraq

Home Department written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Adam Holloway Adam Holloway Conservative, Gravesham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received on Iraqi citizens travelling to Jordan in order to submit an application for a business visitor visa to enter the UK; and if he will make a statement.

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

holding answer 30 March 2010

United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) International Group receives very few direct representations in respect of Iraqi citizens who have travelled to Jordan in order to submit an application for a business visitor visa. Properly documented applications are normally resolved and a decision made, within five working days.

Due to cost and security considerations, Ministers have agreed that UKBA will currently offer a limited visa application service in Baghdad and Erbil for certain designated categories of applicant (such as senior officials and diplomats), for those going to the UK under prime ministerial/Government sponsored initiatives and for urgent compassionate cases.

All other Iraqi nationals-including business people-can apply for their visas outside Iraq, in Damascus, Amman, and Beirut. The current processing time for straightforward applications made at one of these posts is usually within five working days.

UKBA International Group has recorded two recent cases of representations, from UK sponsors, regarding Iraqi citizens who would have preferred to submit their business visitor visa applications in Iraq.

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