§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if the pay scales of immigration officers are designed to reward proficiency in more than one language;
(2) if immigration officers at ports of entry to the United Kingdom are required to speak foreign languages.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
The possession of foreign language skills is not a pre-requisite of employment as an immigration officer, but it is the policy of the Department to attract new recruits who have language skills and to encourage the use of those skills in existing staff. Immigration officers who are successful in departmental language examinations are paid an allowance for each language in which they reach the required standard up to a financial limit which is reviewed regularly. Individual language allowances are higher for the more difficult languages.