Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Lisa Nandy
(Wigan)
[N]
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Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether those individuals accepted under the proposed bespoke immigration route for British Nationals (Overseas) passport holders from Hong Kong will be required to pay the UK immigration healthcare surcharge.
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to pursue organised criminal gangs who exploit (1) property guardians, and (2) all those living in a property under a licensing arrangement.
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure the effective prosecution of those who commit crimes related to modern slavery.
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 17 June (HL5219), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, how many people have been transferred from (1) a prison to an immigration removal centre or (2) one immigration removal centre to another, since 23 March.
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Home Office
Nitrous Oxide: Crime
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to make the possession of nitrous oxide for personal recreational purposes an offence.
Answered on: 07 July 2020

There are no plans to change the law to make the possession of Nitrous Oxide for personal use an offence. Possession with intent to supply is already unlawful and we have no plans to change that. Nitrous Oxide is a psychoactive substance and subject to the provisions in the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (the 2016 Act). It is an offence under the 2016 Act to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import and export a psychoactive substance, subject to certain exemptions. It is also an offence to possess a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution, subject to certain exemptions.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people with no recourse to public funds have applied for that condition to be lifted as a result of changes to their financial situation since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those applications have been granted.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department. We have been in discussion with the UKSA over this issue and are investigating whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to support people with no recourse to public funds who are unable to access support through covid-19 financial support packages.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this pandemic and are confident we have measures in place to support those who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at this difficult time.

For those whose employment status precludes access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (neither of which are classed as public funds), other assistance is still available. Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits, such as contributory employment and support allowance, are also available to individuals with NRPF who are eligible.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home. Applications are being dealt with compassionately.

In addition, the Government has made in excess of £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of immigrants on a five-year route to settlement have been moved onto a 10-year route because they cannot meet the minimum income threshold as a result of their income being affected by the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office does not collate the information requested.

The Home Office has established a range of measures to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.

To ensure spouses or partners applying for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control, for the purpose of the minimum income requirement:

  • a temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19 will be disregarded, provided the requirement was met for at least six months up to March 2020;
  • an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary;
  • a temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications. Income received via the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will also be taken into account;
  • evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Guidance for our customers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members

This also sets out the ways in which the minimum income requirement can be met using other sources of income instead of, or along with, income from employment or self-employment. For example, income from the couple’s investments, property rental or pension may also be taken into account, together with their cash savings.

These are unprecedented times. We continue to monitor the situation closely and may make further adjustments to requirements where necessary and appropriate to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department will take to ensure that the income of people of colour who are subject to immigration control is not disproportionately affected during the covid-19 outbreak as a result of the no recourse to public funds condition.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

Colour is not a characteristic that is recorded separately by the Home Office and any impact of the no recourse to public funds condition on a person of colour will be because of immigration status. The Government has published advice and information about the support available to migrants living here, including where they are subject to NRPF

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk

Q
Asked by Nick Fletcher
(Don Valley)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Offences against Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department is making on its paper on group-based child sexual exploitation.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Secretary has expressed her determination to ensure failures of the past are not repeated and to do all we can to bear down on offenders and support victims. That is why on 19th May the Government announced its intention to publish a paper on group-based child sexual exploitation by the end of the year, following consultation with subject matter experts. We intend this paper to present the best available evidence on the characteristics of this form of offending, bringing together insight from existing research, independent reviews, and all of the evidence from the Home Office's own work in this area.

The Home Office will set up an External Reference Group, comprising of broad membership with a range of experience and expertise, to review the Pape before its publication. We plan to engage with the External Reference Group over the summer. It is vital we allow time for the External Reference Group to play a proper part in scrutinising the findings and setting the direction for further work.

Subject to engagement with the External Reference Group, we intend to publish the Paper on group-based child sexual exploitation in the autumn.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Undocumented Migrants: English Channel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to stop migrants crossing the English Channel illegally.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

Facilitating these crossings is illegal and no one should be attempting them in the first place. France, from where almost all embark, is a manifestly safe country with a fully functioning asylum system. Any of these migrants needing protection should claim it in France. Those seeking to cross must traverse some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. It is a reckless and dangerous crossing, putting the lives of the people who attempt it – including children and babies – and those rescuing them, at serious risk.

The Government is working flat out to put a complete stop to these crossings, and all attempts to reach the UK clandestinely and action is being taken on a daily basis. This includes working closely with our French partners.

The National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement, Border Force and the UK Police are working closely with French authorities to crack down on the criminals who facilitate the crossings. There is a UK-France Coordination and Information Centre opened in Calais which opened in November 2018

This law enforcement response is delivering results. French law enforcement prevented over 1000 people from crossing by small boats in April and May 2020.

In 2019, Immigration Enforcement made 418 arrests, leading to 203 convictions for a total of 437 years.  Out of these, 259 arrests and 100 convictions were for people smuggling.  Immigration Enforcement carried out 841 disruptions against organised crime gangs and individuals engaged in organised immigration crime, 404 of which were related to people smuggling.  So far in 2020, 21 people smugglers have been convicted and put behind bars as a result of Immigration Enforcement investigations, with more investigations underway.

The UK Government has also returned over 155 small boats arrivals back to Europe since January 2019 using the legal channels available. We have a further 686 return cases which we are currently urgently progressing.

There is more we need to do beyond this. We are working on developing tactics to prevent crossings at sea, and on ways to rapidly return those who do get across.  This may require new legislation and new agreements with the French Government. These are currently under active discussion.

Q
Asked by Scott Benton
(Blackpool South)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Temporary Accommodation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applicants for asylum have been (a) housed and (b) housed in temporary hotel or B&B accommodation in Blackpool South constituency in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office publishes quarterly figures on the number of asylum seekers housed in dispersed accommodation, by local authority, in the Immigration Statistics release, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support.

We would not disclose figures for the people we accommodate temporarily. We can confirm that the use of hotels for contingency is permitted under the terms of the Asylum Accommodation & Support Contracts.

Q
Asked by Henry Smith
(Crawley)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Visas: China
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to introduce a visa ban on officials from the Peoples Republic of China entering the UK in response to the Chinese Government's policies in relation to human rights in Hong Kong.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

All those coming to the UK are assessed against the immigration rules and must meet the suitability and eligibility requirements. All UK visa applications are considered on their individual merits.

Q
Asked by James Wild
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Driving Instruction: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has issued guidance to police forces on the suspension of driver awareness courses during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The management of driver awareness courses is an operational matter for individual police forces and course providers. Due to the current coronavirus situation, all classroom courses have been cancelled until Monday 3rd August 2020 and have been replaced by Digital Classroom Courses.

Q
Asked by Simon Jupp
(East Devon)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigration: AU Pairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether plans she has to enable au pairs to work in the UK under the points-based immigration system.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The UK’s points-based immigration system will not offer a dedicated route for au pairs, as has been the case since 2008. However, there are other immigration routes which will exist for people who may wish to take up these roles, such as the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS).

We have indicated our desire to negotiate a YMS with the EU, or with individual countries within it, ensuring young people can continue to enjoy the social, cultural and educational benefits of living in the EU and the UK.

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Visas: Sponsorship
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will review the proposal to abolish the Resident Labour Market Test in response to the covid-19 outbreak and resulting increase in unemployment.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

We set out our proposals for the UK’s 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.

On the recommendation of the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) we will abolish the Resident Labour Market Test. In its September 2018 report on the impact of EEA migration in the UK, the MAC advised a robust approach to salary thresholds and the Immigration Skills Charge are better ways to protect UK workers against the dangers of employers using migrant workers to under-cut resident workers.

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Visas: Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the proportion of migrants entering the UK under the Tier 2 (General) route in the planned new points-based immigration system that will be new entrants rather than skilled workers.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Impact Assessment for the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill included an assessment of the potential number of skilled workers that may be eligible under the new points-based immigration system. This included two illustrative scenarios for a potential increase in non-EU nationals eligible under a lower skill and salary threshold over the next five years. Estimates were provided for all skilled workers and not split by new entrant and experienced workers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-bill-2020-overarching-documents

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who originally came to the UK on a study visa were granted (a) limited leave to remain and (b) settlement after applying under the 10-year long-term residency rule in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office publishes data on grants of settlement, by initial visa category, in the annual ‘Migrant Journey’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report) release.

Data on grants of settlement in 2019 for those who originally entered the UK on a study visa are published in table MJ_D02 of the Migrant Journey detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report). The latest data relate to the year 2019.

The Home Office also publishes data on grants of settlement and grants of limited leave to remain (extensions) in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release).

Data on grants of settlement under the long-term residency rules are published in table se_03 of the settlement data tables (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). The latest data relate to the year 2018. It is not possible to identify the original route of entry from these data.

Data on grants of limited leave to remain are published in the Extensions detailed dataset (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). It is not possible to identify the original route of entry, or whether applications were made under the long-term residency rule, from these data.

Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Grouped Questions: 65927
Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people granted settlement in 2019 originally entered the UK on a study visa.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Home Office publishes data on grants of settlement, by initial visa category, in the annual ‘Migrant Journey’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report) release.

Data on grants of settlement in 2019 for those who originally entered the UK on a study visa are published in table MJ_D02 of the Migrant Journey detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2019-report). The latest data relate to the year 2019.

The Home Office also publishes data on grants of settlement and grants of limited leave to remain (extensions) in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release).

Data on grants of settlement under the long-term residency rules are published in table se_03 of the settlement data tables (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). The latest data relate to the year 2018. It is not possible to identify the original route of entry from these data.

Data on grants of limited leave to remain are published in the Extensions detailed dataset (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets). It is not possible to identify the original route of entry, or whether applications were made under the long-term residency rule, from these data.

Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Grouped Questions: 65926
Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 29 June 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Married People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many grants of leave to remain in the UK were made based on the principles set out in the 2008 Metock judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 07 July 2020

We do not hold data on the number of grants of leave to remain based on the principles of the Metock judgment.

At the end of the transition period, on 31 December 2020, free movement law will be repealed by the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill and the UK will no longer be bound by the Metock and Surinder Singh judgments.

On 19 February, the Government published its policy statement on the UK’s global points-based immigration system and this new system will apply to EEA citizens and their family members coming to the UK from January 2021.

The Government has confirmed family members of British citizens lawfully resident in the UK under the ‘Surinder Singh’ route by the end of the transition period are eligible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Family members resident in the UK by the end of the transition period based on the principles of the Metock judgment are also eligible to apply for status under the scheme.

In addition, British citizens who are living in the EU by 31 December 2020 may return to the UK with their close family members under the current arrangements until 29 March 2022, where the family relationship existed before the UK left the EU.

Grouped Questions: 65929 | 65930
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