8 November 2013

Nicholas Soames-To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visitor visas were issued in each of the last five years; and how many holders of such visas over-stayed.

Mark Harper (The Minister for Immigration; Forest of Dean, Conservative)

The information requested on visitor visas issued is provided in the following table:

Entry clearance visas issued by category: Visitors
Main applicant Dependant Total
2008 1,192,189 145,723 1,337,912
2009 1,232,061 133,540 1,365,601
2010 1,352,782 165,918 1,518,700
2011 1,494,637 189,009 1,683,646
2012 1,510,434 185,634 1,696,068
Source: Immigration Statistics, April to June 2013, Tables be.04

The latest Home Office immigration statistics on entry clearance visitor visas issued are published in the release Immigration Statistics April to June 2013, table B.04, which is available from the Library of the House and on the Department’s website at:


In regards to the number of visitors who have overstayed their visa, the Home Office is not able to provide this information. It is not possible to accurately quantify the number of immigration offenders in the UK as by their very nature those that deliberately evade immigration control to enter and stay in the country illegally are not officially recorded until they come to light and are arrested.

The Home Office continues to prevent abuse, pursue offenders and increase compliance with immigration law—our Immigration Compliance and Enforcement teams across the UK target illegal migrants who have no right to live and work in the community.

Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 18 November 2013, c752W)