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Migrant Workers: Visas

Home Office written question – answered on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps UK Visas and Immigration is taking to reduce the time it takes to assess and issue a visa to foreign nationals seeking to work in the UK at short notice; and if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a short-term visa for last-minute employment.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, Chair, Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will simplify the application process for visa applicants for the purposes of musical performances who have previously secured successful applications.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

We continually review our global visa operation to improve performance and ensure value for money while maintaining excellent customer service.

The Home Office's priority is to maintain a safe and secure border. Visas are only issued where an applicant meets the requirements of the UK's Immigration Rules and entry clearance applications are subject to an extensive range of mandatory and discretionary checks (including an applicant’s previous immigration history).

In normal circumstances we can offer priority and super priority services, (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk); however, these were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some UK Visa Application Centres are reopening where local restrictions allow and where it is safe to do so, but ongoing global restrictions mean some UKVI services – including priority and super priority services – remain closed. This is under regular review, and we will resume normal services as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Home Office set out proposals for the UK’s future Points-Based Immigration System in a Policy Statement published on 19 February: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-policy-statement. These proposals will transform the way in which all migrants come to the UK and will deliver a better customer experience.

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