Bishop of Coventry asks Government about refusal of visas to Archbishops from Syria and Iraq

13.10 Bishop of CoventryOn the 21st December 2016, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to written questions concerning visa applications from Syria and Iraq and the refusal of visas to Archbishops.


The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to review why the Archbishop of Mosul, the Archbishop of St Matthews and the Archbishop of Homs and Hama were refused visas to travel to the UK from Iraq and Syria to attend the consecration of the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in London.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the Immigration Rules. In order to safeguard an individual’s personal information and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 the Home Office does not routinely comment on individual cases.


The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to review their visa policy towards those travelling to the UK from Iraq and Syria.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: All applications for visas, entry clearance and leave to enter at the UK border are considered on their merits, in accordance with the criteria set out in the published Immigration Rules , regardless of the applicant’s nationality or where they live. A variety of factors may be taken into account when considering the application, but that would depend upon the applicant’s personal circumstances and what they had applied to do in the UK.


The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many visas in 2015 and 2016 were (1) issued, and (2) refused, to those applying to travel to the UK from Iraq and Syria.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: The latest quarterly Home Office immigration statistics on entry clearance visas are published in ‘Immigration Statistics, April – June 2016’, available from the Gov.uk website. The information on applications for Iraq and Syria is set out below.

Entry clearance visa applications and resolution by selected country of nationality
Quarter Country of nationality Applications Resolved Granted % Refused % Withdrawn Lapsed
2015 Q1 Iraq 3,183 3,248 1,353 42% 1,814 56% 80 1
2015 Q2 Iraq 3,417 3,320 1,273 38% 1,939 58% 108 0
2015 Q3 Iraq 3,534 3,486 1,284 37% 2,174 62% 28 0
2015 Q4 Iraq 2,564 2,846 1,061 37% 1,753 62% 32 0
2016 Q1 Iraq 2,239 2,279 976 43% 1,206 53% 97 0
2016 Q2 Iraq 2,804 2,593 1,104 43% 1,471 57% 18 0
2016 Q3 Iraq 2,692 2,732 1,369 50% 1,343 49% 20 0
Quarter Country of nationality Applications Resolved Granted % Refused % Withdrawn Lapsed
2015 Q1 Syria 1,929 1,768 729 41% 1,022 58% 17 0
2015 Q2 Syria 2,332 2,246 892 40% 1,334 59% 17 3
2015 Q3 Syria 2,812 2,910 1,331 46% 1,565 54% 12 2
2015 Q4 Syria 4,131 4,136 2,966 72% 1,145 28% 24 1
2016 Q1 Syria 2,268 2,403 1,385 58% 996 41% 20 2
2016 Q2 Syria 3,595 3,391 2,391 71% 988 29% 12 0
2016 Q3 Syria 3,567 3,834 2,790 73% 1,031 27% 13 0
Notes: The table shows the number of entry clearance applications resolved, and of those, the proportion refused. Includes main applicants and dependants, and visitor and transit visas.
Source: Immigration Statistics, July – September 2016, Home Office, table vi_02_q

(via Parliament.uk)