15 March 2010

UK immigration security and screening greatly enhanced

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As part of the fight against terrorists, known criminals and would-be illegal migrants the Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced the opening of a new national border centre.

UK Visa

A new UK immigration screening centre will see more travellers and UK Visa applicants checked against watchlists.

The national border targeting centre is hi-tech hub where watch-list checks on passengers entering and leaving Britain will be carried out, and will replace the smaller joint border operations centre at Heathrow.

The national border targeting centre will check an estimated 250 million passenger movements per year, as well as process UK visa application data by checking the applicant and sponsor details against watchlists.

UK Immigration officers in the Manchester centre will work alongside the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the police to share intelligence and issue alerts where a suspect is identified by the electronic border checks.

The new centre is expected to create 250 jobs in the North West of England, and enable the UK Border Agency meet the high target of screening all passenger movements in and out of the UK by air, sea or rail by 2014.

 “Thanks to our hi-tech e-Borders system the UK now has one of the strongest borders in the world. It means we can count people in and out of the UK and capture known criminals, terror suspects and illegal migrants while gathering evidence against smugglers and people traffickers,” Home Secretary Alan Johnson said.

“Already e-Borders has had a huge impact, helping us catch more than 5,400 criminals including rapists and murderers.”

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge UK Immigration applications with the British Embassy.

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