§ 24. Mr. Sheerman
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why applications for British citizenship are subject to delays of up to one year; and what proposals he has to reduce the waiting period.
§ Mr. Raison
The main reason for delay is that there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of applications for citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies in the last two years; at the end of 1979 they had risen by over 50 per cent. compared with 1977. My right hon. Friend announced last December that the staff of the nationality division was being increased in view of these delays but that the need to restrain public expenditure limited what could be done.