HC Deb 16 February 1984 vol 54 cc368-9
6. Mr. Lawler

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for extension of visits were received at the immigration office at Lunar House from the West Yorkshire area in the latest 12 months for which figures are available.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. David Waddington)

I regret that the information requested is not routinely compiled.

Mr. Lawler

In view of the high numbers of ethnic minorities in West Yorkshire and the great use that they make of Lunar House, will my hon. and learned Friend consider opening an immigration office, or an office dealing with immigration matters, in West Yorkshire—perhaps most appropriately in Bradford?

Mr. Waddington

My hon. Friend will know that there are six regional public inquiry officers. However, the primary task of the immigration service is to interview incoming passengers, so it is not surprising that most officers are at the ports. For that reason I am afraid that we have no plans to open a public inquiry office in West Yorkshire, but we shall bear my hon. Friend's comments in mind in our future planning.

Mr. Madden

Does the Minister accept that whenever visitors are refused entry or extensions to visits they are often caused great distress, inconvenience and expense? Will he tell the House the main criteria for accepting visitors and extensions to visits?

Mr. Waddington

There is no difficulty about that. The criteria are laid down in the rules approved by Parliament. The duty is laid on the immigration officer to satisfy himself that the person is a bona fide visitor and that he will leave at the end of the stay for which he is seeking permission.