How we use cookies on this website

What cookies are for

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable.

Where delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone.

These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you by:

Managing cookies

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit Or please read on to find out more about how and where we use cookies. There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using this website:

First party cookies

Home Office websites use cookies in several places. Cookies are set by our web servers to ensure that your session is maintained for the duration of your visit (until you close your web browser).

We've listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last. We will endeavour to let you know before we store a cookie on your computer.

Cookies set by this website

Table containing the cookies which we set
Name Typical content Expires
OFLogon 40 character session-specific security token set when a user logs on. Avoids users having to repeatedly supply logon details for every form When user closes browser
OFAjaxMode Fixed value of FALSE if present. Remembers user's choice of whether to optimise output for screen readers. 11 years
OFSessionHash 40 character security token set to identify the session. When user closes browser
OFServerID Integer number. Records which server is controlling the users' session when running in a load balanced configuration When user closes browser
Screenreadmode False/true. Set by the spell check facility to remember the users choice of screen-reader friendly user interface. When user closes browser
Methodchosen False/true. Set to true by the spell check facility if the user has chosen to correct a spelling. When user closes browser

Third party cookies

When we use a supplier they may also set cookies.

We use Google Analytics to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to our websites and volumes of usage. Google Analytics sets cookies - more information is available on the Google Code website.

Table showing cookies used by Google Analytics
Name Typical content Expires
_utma Randomly generated number 2 years
_utmb Randomly generated number 30 minutes
_utmc Randomly generated number When user closes browser
_utmz Randomly generated number + info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search) 6 months